Caught the train from Lucerne back to France to a city called Strasbourg, which sits right on the border with Germany. Again I took out my trusty Google Map and followed it to my hotel. Hotel was only about 300m from the station, 28 euros a night, free wifi and walking distance to the city centre, so that was all good. I decided to stay here for 3 days / 4 nights. Its a city that you can probably see all of in 2 days, but whats the rush?

That afternoon/night was just spent finding my bearings. Walking and finding the main tourist things to see and do and then do them in the coming days. First stop was the cathedral, the number one attraction in Strasbourg. When I rounded the corner and saw it i was pretty amazed, it is absolutely monstrous. I have seen a lot of european cathedrals and this one definitely tops the cake, the outside of it is stunning. The inside is just as good too, with super high ceilings and beautiful stained glass work all over. There is also an astronomical clock inside, which I have no idea how it works or anything else about it, but it attracted a lot of people every hour and seemed to not do much at all, like most astronomical clocks ive come across. Took quite a few photos then headed back to the hotel and grabbed some food on the way.

Entire first day was spent walking around, seeing things and taking photos. Went back to the cathedral and headed to the top up many many stairs. Viewing platform isn’t that great compared to some others ive been up as Strasbourg is quite flat, worth doing though. Came back down and walked around all the streets near it, full of little boutique shops, patisseries and restaurants. Then made my way to an area of the city called ‘Petit France’. It is full of old school original wooden buildings that lean out on to the cobbled streets with canals splitting it all up. Very very photogenic area so spent quite a while there. Walked to where the canal cruises start from and found it only costs 8.40 euros so I put that down as a to do.

Next morning I headed to the canal cruises and got on the 11am one, yea I actually slept in for once, even though i still first woke up at 8am. Cruise was quite good as the entire centre of the city is surrounded by the canal so you see a lot of things, and there is also audio commentary for the whole thing (in English!) so that helped. At one stage when coming up to Petit France the boat goes in to a lock and gets raised up 1.8m which was quite cool as id never seen a lock before let alone been in one. Strasbourg is also home to a lot of the European institutions, and the buildings are gigantic and all glass, including an all glass foot bridge between two buildings on either side of the canal. Quite impressive. The afternoon was spent at the Kronenbourg brewery which I blogged about earlier.

Last day was quite open, id seen and done most things worth seeing and doing by now. Something that is a little less known is the old wine cellars under the Strasbourg hospital. I went to the address that was stated, and that address was just the entrance to the hospital complex. I asked a French dude where the cellars were but he was a giant dick and gave me some very vague directions in French. The streets are sign posted and I found the one that said ‘Caves Historique’ on it, guessed that was the cellars, and went that direction. Then found another one of the signs but it was pointing back towards the other one, and I didn’t see anything between them. I was confused for quite a while. I even found the ‘Caves Historique’ bus stop, outside a building with no signage. It was now midday and the place was going to be closed from now till 1:30pm so i gave up and decided to come back later. Spent the time wandering around Petit France and ate some lunch. Went back to the hospital and had another good look around. Oh yea by the way it was also pouring rain on and off the whole morning. I finally found an entry sign for the place and waited by the door till 1:30pm. That time came and no one was around and the door still closed. Someone else came that clearly knew the place and walked down some stairs that went UNDER the building I was outside of (the other door was completely irrelevant to the cellars) and then through a door and that was the entrance. I thought it was like a full on guided tour and there was tunnels and tunnels of barrels down there, but it was a lot smaller than that and it was just walk around as you please style (for free too). The tunnels smelt so good, just reeked of wine. The barrels were cool, some of them quite big, about 2.5m tall id guess with the fronts of them covered with some very well done wood carving. I just wish I knew about wine because by the looks of the prices it was good stuff.

Grabbed some dinner then back to the hotel for a bit. Had a few hours to kill before I headed back to the cathedral once again, this time to see the light show they were putting on every night. Since it doesn’t get dark till around 9pm here the thing didn’t start till 10pm. Countdown to the show was the bells going off for 5 minutes then slowly coming to a stop before the lights came on. And what an awesome show it was. Lights and music combined to kind of tell a story. It was very very cool. There was a similar thing last year in Brussels on their town hall but that was nothing compared to this. Was a good way to end my stay here.

All in all Strasbourg surprised me, to be honest I really wasn’t expecting that much, but it was a really beautiful city and the cathedral is mighty impressive. Im going to miss the food though, the croissants are amazing and buying a baguette for lunch for 3 euros keeps my bank account happy. Off to Deutschland now so I shall substitute it with beer.

Yea yea photos are coming, and also of Lucerne. IM BUSY OK.