Strasbourg, a town of contrasts

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Here in Strasbourg Austin and I have been greatly left to our own devices. Except of a few hire boats, there have been hardly any arrivals. The more surprised we were when a sharp rap vibrated through our hull. It was quickly followed by a cheery, well known voice. Rob, Sue and Rebecca from the Beau Jolie were passing through on their way back to Colmar saying “hello”. We are hoping to catch up with them before we leave town.

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The Koejak Marina is located near the university quarter about a 15 minute bike ride from the old city centre. Right beside us is a small park where our old friend, Vauban, has left his mark again, this time in form of residual walls of a citadel. From there the way to town leads greatly through less attractive blocks of university and residential buildings, until one enters the smaller streets and pedestrian zones of the city centre. And here the way leads to and climaxes at the “Liebfrauenmünster" or in French: the Cathédral de Notre Dame. I can only confirm the tourist guide by calling the cathedral “awe-inspiring”. Construction of the gothic, rose-coloured masterpiece went over four centuries, from 1015 -1439. 

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Until the 19th century the cathedral remained the highest christian building. The stone lace work of the spires, the detailed sculptured porches, the big rose window as well as the pillars are all beautiful.

This mighty yet graceful church is surrounded by quaint 15th and 16th century half timber houses.

Now, during the European holidays, the inner city is full of tourists like us enjoying a mixture of french cuisine and more substantial German fare. 

In Austin’s case: he forced down a huge piece of Black Forest cherry cake, poor lad! 

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A great way to see the city is by foot. But to go further afield, the trams can get you anywhere! We have been to the other side of town, where ultra modern high-rises with expansive (and “expensive”) shopping malls are interspersed with streets of old patrician villas.

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A tour on the canals via boat through “Little France” and around town we are keeping for when our friend, Jane, arrives. Here is just a glimpse: 

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See above: Cranes as sculptures in a modern living quarter. Shoppers can rest their weary legs on sun chairs placed in front of a shopping mall.


Left: view from a bridge in “Petite France”.

© Austin Robinson 2019