We docked this morning in Kehl, on the German side of the Rhine. With no optional tours, all went to Strasbourg, France. What a delightful day it was!
Strasbourg is known as the capital of Europe because of the many international governing organizations there, including the European Parliament. It is a city of contrasts – the contemporary buildings surrounding the 15th and 16th century structures in the historical city center. It is also a unique city – the Grande Ile, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honor was placed on an entire city center. We walked along absolutely charming Petit France area surrounded by canals. Regretfully, time didn’t allow us to take the canal boat ride that circumnavigates the central island (such is the problem with planned tours). But we did have time to stroll the streets and window shop.
While I shopped, Charles wandered around a beautiful old, Lutheran church, a delightful example of the German protestant movement. The church had connections with Albert Schweitzer, the Nobel prize winning physician, organist, and New Testament theologian. Schweitzer, who was an authority on Johann Sebastian Bach, played the organ at the church and began a series of concerts commemorating Bach.
Linda Spalla, I can understand why you wanted us to be sure we spent time here. The medieval city scape and the half-timbered framed buildings were so charming.
Charles and I got in a little (maybe too much extra) exercise climbing to the top of the city’s main site, Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg with its famous astronomical clock. There are only two of these clocks in the world and we can now say we have seen them both, the other in Prague. We were amazed to learn that the cathedral itself took over 400 years to construct–a period almost twice as long as our country has been in existence.
We enjoyed after dinner entertainment tonight, a French vocalist and accompanying accordionist–very soothing, easy listening music that was also very “French,” but even I enjoyed it. Our boys would have considered it “lame.”