Monday, December 27, 2010

Mon 27 Dec - Thurs 31 Dec: Strasbourg

And so on to Strasbourg. Located in north-eastern France and part of the Alscace region. It was French, then it was German, then it was French. Apparently, over a 75 year period in the 19th and 2oth century, it changed hands four times. Which explains a hell of a lot. I found it to have the beauty and style I'd expect from a French city, populated with many traditional German looking buildings, with many restaurants serving typical German food. Many road names are in both French and German.

Strasbourg is supposed to be France's most bicycle-friendly city, although the entire city was under snow so it was impossible to actually see any cycle paths. Their tram was reliable and cheap, and the city still had its famous Christmas markets dotted about all over the place. Two more things that made it feel more German than French. I have to say, I just don't see the appeal of Christmas markets. Every city now seems to have them. They do look nice and make you feel all Christmassy, but they sell tat, and how many stalls do you possibly need selling mulled wine?

Strasbourg actually reminded me of a bigger Ghent. It had the canals and the bridges amongst other things. I had a cold from pretty much the moment I got here which never went away. It was cold and traipsing around in the snow all day is exhausting stuff. I think this was the trip where me and C questioned whether we were both suffering from "travel fatigue." We did only get back from Cuba a few weeks ago and have been away quite a lot this year. I just think it's the cold, the endless grey and damp weather, the fact that the sun does seem to go into hibernation from December until May. Winter is pretty miserable in northern Europe.

But, I did really like the city and would definitely come back, but when it's much warmer.

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