After having looked over to France while admiring the georgeous sunset at the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse we finally managed to go there as well.
From Freudenstadt it is just an one hour drive by car. You cross the river Rhine at Kehl and soon the whole picture changes: Different traffic signs and a different language. We drove a couple of minutes through a new building area but after that were already in the centre.
To find a parking place was no problem at all. We found a place in the car park Austerlitz, which is well organized and even won a prize for that. Each parking deck is lit with a different colour. That is eye-catching and you can remember it easily.
From the car park we had to go directly to a café. First of all a café au lait. You only get that in France. Unfortunately not in these nice ‚boles‘ – small bowls – but very good anyway. Something sweet would have been nice with it. But there was no offer. One street further we found an itsy-bitsy boulangerie (bakery). Yes!! “Un petit pain au chocolat, s'il vous plait.“ School French still works and these tiny sweet things taste great. Just check a second boulangerie. Tastes even greater!
Now we were ready for some culture. Off to the cathedral. Is famous! A must see! On our way towards it the hustle and bustle got more and more. A lot of people want to see this building. Hopefully there is no photo prohibition. ‚Entrance only here!‘ Okay! Let’s go!
Wow! This thing is huge and unfortunately very crowded.
Nonetheless quite impressing. Giant and dark. The coulored glass windows glow though. Very touching! Also in the cathedrale the way is marked and compulsory. You cannot walk around as you like.
There are funny icons for ‚pray‘ and two small areas are reserved for praying. If you manage to lose yourself in a prayer in the middle of this crowd.
In the cathedral there are two shops. Was’nt there a paragraph in the bible?? Some parts are only lighted up after paying for it.
A huge gathering in one part. But then a bell rings and the knot of people vanishes. It was the astronomic clock. Really impressive if you catch sight of it. So waiting until the bell ringing times are over is imperative.
After that we only wanted to get away from all these people and two blocks away turned into a small alleyway. There we could not stop to admire timber wood houses skew-whiff houses and one house was slimmer than the other.
Stupidly we left our drinking bottles in the car and had to buy something to drink as punishment. Directly besides the cathedral a street vendor wanted 2,20 € for a glas of water. That was too much for us. We also wanted to rest our feet a little bit and we found a nice looking Café, restaurant and brasserie. But we were only allowed to sit there if we would order food. Though it was marked on the blinds we could not just have drinks.
Two blocks further the labelling was right. And there we not only got drinks but they also offered snacks. Funny was a „pair du knack“. My school French sufficed to ask questions and order food. My idea about a ‚galette‘ was different after having been in Brittany. Anyway – fried mashed potatoes with salad were alright. They were freshly made and did not come out of a frozen plastic bag. A Quiche is always okay and so we could carry on freshly invigorated. There were still so many alleyways to be discovered.
Unfortunately a lot of shops and restaurants were closed. Pro-Tipp: Don’t go on a Monday to Strasbourg. A lot of shops have their day off on a Monday and August seems to be a popular month for the annual shut down.
We did not really mind because shopping does not make sense for us. The alleys are great for strolling around.
Near the water there was again tourist alarm. Sightseeing boats are operating there. And people are packed in them like sardins in a tin. But they seem to like it because not a single seat was vacant. We don’t like that. We rather walk around and explore a town on our own and by foot.
So we came to a cute square with some bars and restaurants and maybe Strasbourg’s smalles house. At least it was hardly wider than my outstretched arms. At this square we had another excellent cup of café au lait and watched the lively coming and going.
We did not find something to eat there but walked back towards the car park and discovered there a restaurant named ‚Canon‘. There we sat in the sun watched again the hustle and bustle. All’s right with the world in France because really many people went into the super tiny boulangerie across the street and came out with a baguette under one arm. (You never carry baguette in a shopping bag!)
Here my school French failed me and I ordered our food wrong but the waiter were so friendly and changed the order without any problems. Here strikingly many people speak French. In other parts of Alsace you can mostly get along with German.
A final café au lait and then we went back to the car park and towards Freudenstadt.
Strasbourg is definitely worth a visit. A nice short trip also from the Black Forest!