Friday, January 27, 2017

Trip to France, Strasbourg Part II

Moving around the charming and historical town of Strasbourg, despite the cold weather was a first- rate experience with the planning and special attention of Mel.  She used to carry always her backpack so she would have place to carry particularly my needs: my scarf, an additional pair of stockings, a vest, an extra bottle of water, name it she has everything taken care of.  And when she is not sure about the location of a place, she would leave me on one side and come back for me to lead the way, just as she would look for an elevator so I don't have to walk up or down the stairs.

Our trip would not be complete without a visit to a museum, a a park or a cathedral .  She scheduled a visit to the Alsatian Museum.

Alsatian Museum - Located in 3 former houses in Strasbourg, linked by a maze of stairways and connecting passages, the museum displays over 5,000 artefacts witnessing the daily life of Alsatians in the 18th and 19th centuries. Furniture, homeware, toys, traditional costumes, tools, sacred artefacts and images are on display in the 30 rooms.

Here are some pictures:



 



The Park of the Orangerie.  Built to impress an empress in 1804, the Park of the Orangerie and pavilion still capture the hearts of all who pass through it. The vast 2600 hectare park was dedicated to the wife of Napoleon, the beautiful Joséphine. It is both the oldest and largest park in the city of Strasbourg, and without a doubt the most popular for escaping to green lawns and soothing waters.

It was here that the stork, (once threatened with extinction), was successfully reintroduced. More than 800 young storks have been born since 1971. This beautiful bird which is also the symbol of Alsace can today be admired whatever the time of year.


Miniature farm and zoo  (free of charge)...




The beautiful lake with its waterfalls...



The greens and flowers in the garden...


The play areas, which are destined for children under 12 years old.  A little girl saw Mel on top of this climbing structure and was about to tell her that Mel was not meant to be up there, too late, ha, ha, ha.


Contemporary art...


Something funny...


The Strasbourg Notre Dame Cathedral -Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel" and by Wolfgang von Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God".  



It contains an astronomical clock -  Its main features, besides the automata, are a perpetual calendar (including a computus), a planetary dial, a display of the real position of the Sun and the Moon, and solar and lunar eclipses.  The main attraction is the procession of the 18 inch high figures of Christ and the Apostles which occurs every day at half past midday while the life-size cock crows thrice.


While at the Cathedral's Plaza, we witnessed the picture taking of a wedding couple attired lightly unmindful of the shivering cold of winter.  Several people just like me, took some pictures which it seems that the couple did not mind at all.


While in Strasbourg, we tried some of their local cuisine:

Their version of the Spanish Cocido.


Smoked salmon.


Their fully decorated ice cream with macaroon topping, selling a lot even at winter time!


French tarte flambée, which translates as "pie baked in the flames, with traditional topping of sour cream."  We had this a couple of times.





And something Vietnamese, their nourishing, warm soup.


And of course, not to be missed by Mel, the sushi and baby eels in a Japanese restaurant named Sushido, which was near our hotel in Strasbourg.



There was an interesting exhibit of children's artworks from recycled materials



A grand shop full of hundreds of different beers. Great selection of quality from all over the world.


Atypical pictures in Strasbourg...


 



New Year's Eve in Strasbourg-  Mel and I had a blast at the expense of Ron for the New Year's Eve dinner.  Two days before, we made a reservation for a Chinese buffet in the nearby restaurant to our hotel, about 5 minutes walk away.  Dressed in our sequined glittering clothes, we were surprised to be the only ones to be dressed up for the occasion.  We had the special attention of a waiter who looked after all of our requests and made sure we had a good time.  The guy in the next table was obviously enjoying the night with us around.


 


After dinner, we went to celebrate the start of the year in the Kleber Plaza.  It was filled with people but with security controls before  access to the Plaza.  Some people lit firecrackers but not too many. Unlike in Spain where the government provides fireworks as one of the main attractions for the holidays.  Mel brought some  sparklers instead.   While in the Plaza, Mel contacted with Ron.





We were a little bit disappointed about the New Year's celebration of the people in Strasbourg since it did not seem to be anything special for them, except for a few who would probably have been tourists after all.  Everyone greeted anyone with a Happy New Year!

And the time to leave Strasbourg came decorated with a bit of snow.



What's that?  It's Christmas and it was a wonderful celebration that we had in Strasbourg.



A lot of fond memories to live by...


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trip to France, Strasbourg Petite France

River L'ill and Petite France.  The name Petite-France ("Little France") was not given for patriotic or architectural reasons. It comes from the "hospice of the syphilitic", in French), which was built in the late fifteenth century on this island, to cure persons with syphilis, then called Franzosenkrankheit. French disease in German.

Here are pictures of the fascinating river L'ill taken both during daytime and at night.






There are three 13th century towers by the Ponts Couverts.














Although it was very cold in Strasbourg averaging 4 degrees of temprature, with adequate clothings and shoes, it was no problem to explore the fascinating Petite France even at night when the thermometer hit the lowest below 0 degree.



 
   
  
A family of tourists, offered to take our pictures after we took theirs, "Quid pro quo".  A beautiful way of remembering  Petite France.  Although, I must say, dining in Petite France is like finding a needle in a stack of hay.  It was full everywhere we went.  But that did not take away the charms of Petite France.