Bit of a change from Paris, right off the train and none of the hustle and bustle! It proved to be true in many ways, Strasbourg is quaint and quiet, rustic and well worn. We arrived at the hotel, conveniently located to the station, and found it to be conveniently located to the station – little more than that, thank god it’s cheap!
On our first full day, I was a little concerned. The city was overrun by old ladies with blue rinses. The vicious sort, with canes, not for walking with, but for prodding the unfortunate souls who get in their way. We came up with a plan to thwart them, we would climb the 9 million steps to the top of the cathedral spire (for a long time the highest one in Europe). Up there we were free to enjoy the pleasant, clean air and the view of surroundings.
Upon getting down I came up with a plan, maybe we could outrun them! We rented a couple of Segways to roam the city streets, and with little effort could easily avoid a pointy, dig in the ribs.
The next day Sarah woke me at the crack of dawn to embark on a death march through and around the Alsacian villages of Obernai and Barr. Both are extremely small, with historic centers and surrounded by vineyards. Whilst Obernai is the more visited, for having the quaintiest shops and eateries, Barr has a superb array of trails over the surrounding hills to castles and monasteries aplenty (but not for the faint of heart).
More Strasbourg on the third day, this time a boat tour and a couple of museums – actually interesting, at no time did I feel the need to stick something into my eye.
Fourth day the slightly disappointing town of Colmar. It is pretty and we had a great lunch from a fantastic bakery (pretzels and sandwiches), but tourist laden, and probably more for the bus tours than for people with easy access to the smaller towns (ie us, with our train passes).
Local wine and a good book by the river finished a fine visit to Alsace.
I must admit I am somewhat charmed by Strasbourg, and the Alsace region!