Shearwin's in Europe 2014 travel blog

Strasbourg Cathedral

The organ in the Strasbourg Cathedral

Watchtowers controlling passage along the water course into Strasbourg

The Palais Rohan from atop the Cathedral

The Cathedral early evening from our bedroom window

Our hotel in Strasbourg

Heads were a little fuzzy this morning as we departed the hotel soon after 0900hrs. We eventually found a cafe for a sit down coffee and croissant; the croissants are as nice here as everywhere else in France. The second planned activity of the day, to climb the cathedral, has been replaced by a 40 minute, mini train tour of the city; the equivalent of a hop on/ can't hop off tour. The train is hampered by cars and people but eventually makes its way around the older city. An interesting trip with a reasonable audio description. The actual trip time is 30 mins.

On completion of the train tour, we visited the tourist office to undertake a walking tour; we had noticed others doing the tour during our train trip. The audio and map allow for 3 hours on a course that is expected to take an hour and a half. The audio is very good and explains the history of the city and it's french and German related heritage. We leisurely complete the tour and have lunch in 3.5 hrs. In hindsight the walking audio tour would have been sufficient by itself.

A city moto promotes Strasbourg, which is the seat of the European Parliament , as "Europtimists" and reflects the message we have heard on several occasions that Strasbourg is the centre for promoting the unification of the European States.

We break for an afternoon relax before walking the "German Town" trail at 1645 hrs. This tour to the north east includes the Place de la Republique and the University of Strasbourg. We stop for a drink at the river barges moored before returning to the cathedral. A group of duck's with the mother protecting her brood against an otter and other ducks has the attention of a crowd. Mother duck wins out against all.

On reaching the cathedral, we complete our second planned task for the day and climb the 330 steps to the top viewing level; a good climb exposed in places to a brisk wind. As an observation point, the view of the prominent landmarks are very distinct and make the climb worthwhile; the only limitation the haze which reduces visibility. We complete the climb by 1850hrs and return to the hotel for drinks and cheese in preparation for dinner.

Despite a light breakfast and lunch, there is no desire for a big dinner. At 2030 hrs, we walk to an Italian piazza restaurant near the hotel. What appears as a small restaurant is large and packed; the staff are rushed off their feet but maintain a very collected manner. Service is slow but well managed and we are quite relaxed about our wait. We have two pizza's and a carafe of wine.

The night is quite cool and Kaye elects to retire early, while I have an Amorino ice cream. Jan and I then await for the lights on the cathedral to light before returning to bed at 2245hrs.

Weather: overcast most of the day requiring a jumper. The evening night air becomes very cool and the breeze freshens.

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