This town on the east coast of France next to the German border is charming and relaxing. Our objectives to eat local specialties, see the town, and not spend too much money were all achieved.
We arrived on Friday night close to midnight. A walk through the silent town in search of beer was unexpectedly relaxing for two parisiennes used to constant noise. The escape from the din of glass being recycled, squeaky bus breaks, and annoying accordian players in the metro definitely helped get rid of a back knot or two.
I asked the bartender for a good local beer, and she served me a Schwarz beer on tap. It was so good that I had to get a second one! It tastes very similar to Kozel Černý, the beer I loved drinking when I studied abroad in Prague. I thought Schwarz was a maker, but it turns out it’s just the type of beer, so unfortunately I can’t repeat the experience.
I could have continued walking around and taking pictures all day. I just love seeing new places and despite the gray skies, everything was so beautiful and inspiring to me. There were so many cool little things I kept noticing everywhere and there were no tourists out at all. But, breakfast must not be missed, especially when traveling.
More exploring in this very walkable town! Up first: Cathédrale Notre Dame. It’s a beautiful building! I love the pink sandstone that gives it quite a different look from most cathedrals I’ve seen.
Then…a climb up the tower to see the view. For a sixth-floor dweller like me, this was easy! 😉
Back on flat ground, we continued exploring. The canals are beautiful and calm – you can run or bike along them, or sit and watch the ducks and swans float by. There are little shopping areas and restaurants to be found everywhere, as well as residential neighborhoods.
Pretty soon we’d walked enough to get hungry – it was time for some choux-croute, basically hella flavorful saurkraut and sausage. It’s a great meal to eat in cold weather. Pretty much every restaurant was serving it so we picked a random place in which to eat. We were served a vegetable soup that BLEW my mind with it’s flavor level. The secret ingredient was…choux croute!
During lunch, we decided to take a bus to Germany! It was only about 20 minutes away, so off we went to Kehl.
It was unnerving to walk into a bakery and realize I had no idea how to order strudel in German. Phoebe and I pooled our knowledge before the woman behind the counter came over to us and we managed to order zwei strudel, bitte! (Not schweine like I originally said, thank goodness for hand gestures and friendly German people.) It made me realize how comfortable I’ve gotten with the French language, but also reminded me of how exhilirating it is to have those small victories of accomplishing something in another language.
Some more exploring:
We headed back to Strasbourg for dinner (flamenkuchen – thin flatbreadish thing with cream, onions, and bacon and I got mine with cheese – DELICIOUS) and some more exploration before our late train back to Paris. I love traveling in such a low-key way, with less pressure to have The Best Trip Ever. The best part about living in Europe is that it’s so easy to get out of the town you are in and see a completely different place without spending too much money or taking too much time to arrive. I recommend Strasbourg, even if you are coming from far away.