In order to maximize our time in Strasbourg, we got tickets on one of the earliest trains out of Stuttgart. This seemed like an excellent idea when we were making the arrangements, slightly less so when we had to get up in time to return the rental car before making our train.
I wish I could say the trip took us through spectacular countryside, dotted with charming villages where little children came out to wave to the train as we passed. But if I did, I would be lying, because we were traveling through modern southwestern Germany, which lends itself more to subdivisions and industrial parks. So I went back to reading my book, which turned out to be less about racing around the world than about using writing credentials to get a major publisher to pay for a really awesome vacation. I really need to get some credentials.
We arrived in Strasbourg and were immediately charmed. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t fair to Germany; like traveling from Houston to Montreal and judging the countries accordingly. But what can I say, I’m a sucker for France.
We dropped our bags off at the hotel, where the approach to security was of the, “Ya, just stick your things in that room over there. It has a door,” variety. But it was much to early for us to check in, and we had things to see.
I should note that Strasbourg is almost inconceivably cute. Half timbered buildings are hanging over tiny cobblestone streets practically everywhere you turn, with cozy-looking bakeries, charcuteries and weinstubs on every adorable corner. And it has both the French charm and German friendliness, which happens to be a very nice combination. It also has a truly spectacular cathedral.
I would try to describe the Strasbourg cathedral to you, but my knowledge and vocabulary would shortly fail me. So I’m just going to cop out and send you to my friend Marilyn’s blog, as she was there last summer and happens to be an art historian. I encourage you to go and read what she has to say, and imagine me thinking that.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant specializing in Alsatian dishes, where I realized that it is not only possible, but very easy to eat yourself sick in France, and Cameron was sitting in a place where he could spend the entire meal staring at a huge ham covered with puff pastry. No points for guessing what he had for lunch.
The rest of the day was more of the same; wandering around staring at buildings, then back to check in and rest up, then out into the freezing rain for another huge meal (dinner). By the end of the day, we had decided it was silly to go back to Stuttgart any sooner than we absolutely had to, and were determined to change our return tickets from Sunday night to Monday morning.