I was reluctant to drive to Strasbourg. I knew it to be a large industrialized city on the Rhine, home of a university and the EU Parliament. I didn’t know it to be much of a tourist destination. But, stubbornly sticking to the itinerary I’d mapped out a few weeks earlier, we left Lorraine, entered Alsace and drove toward Strasbourg.
It turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
Without a specific destination in mind, the GPS stops being helpful once we enter a city. At that point we just followed the signs to “Centre.” This is always a good idea for tourists driving in France, as the “Centre” is the oldest part of town. Fortunately the road we were on took us easily into the Centre of Strasbourg, directly to a parking garage with a convenient available space.
We were delighted to find ourselves in a beautiful and charming town, not the crowded frantic city I expected. The cathedral was stunning, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
Build from gorgeous sandstone, its color is remarkable. For quite a while it was the tallest building on earth, and remains the tallest structure built in the Middle Ages.
The old part of the city is actually an island. The area alongside the river that surrounds it is lovely.
We were quite lucky to find a room in the little hotel directly across from the cathedral, which is beautifully illuminated at night.
During the summer there is an amazing show on the east side of the cathedral, tracing the history of the cathedral with music and lights.
After a full day, we settled down for the evening. Having not been away from the farm for more than one weekend a year in over 12 years, we were now nine days into our vacation. I worried a little about things back home, but no much. So far, we had no regrets over our long overdue time away.