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Back in France

Strasbourg, France: First, I was able to find out what happened in the Zug train station yesterday. A 63-year-old woman was "grazed" by the train and she fell under the cars. She was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. I will report more if they report more.

We were at the train station again this morning, this time traveling to Basel, Switzerland and changing to a milk-run train to Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg sits on the Rhine River and borders Germany... but for much of it's history it has fluctuated between belonging to France or Germany... depending upon who was ruling and who was conquering that year. It's a crazy history, but the local Alsatian people have rolled with the flow and have kept their own culture alive, melding with French and German customs, languages, religions and foods. WWII was particularly hard on Strasbourg. The Nazi's took over the city, flying the swastika everywhere, forcing everyone to speak German, changed all the street names to German names, forced the men to fight in the German army on the Russian front, forced the children into Hitler Youth groups. If you were caught even wearing a beret, you were sent off to a work camp. Due to the blending of so many worlds in Strasbourg, the city was chosen as the center for the EU Parliament and Human Rights Council.

St. Paul's Church Strasbourg
St. Paul's Church

After checking into a hotel, we (as usual) hit the streets to see what we could see. I had several things listed that I thought would be fun and we chose the boat tour around the canals that meander around Strasbourg. It is just over an hour, and it goes by all the pretty buildings, and the boat goes through two locks, so that is always fun. The weather was spectacular.

Along a canal
Batorama in Strasbourg
Boarding the Batorama Boat

So here is a little video of our boat ride. It starts in the old town, goes through a lock, and continues to the outskirts where the spectacular European Parliament Building commands a prominent spot along the river.

Strasbourg canal cruise
EU Parliament
European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The parliament meet 4 days every month.
Old half-timbered houses in Strasbourg
Another beauty
Palace Rohan
Palais Rohan - now houses 3 museums

Back on dry land, it was now after 6p and we were getting hungry (no lunch). It's not like there were not a zillion restaurants in the car-free cobblestoned old town area. French, German and Alsatian - plus burgers, Chinese, tacos - anything you could want - and some of it at very good prices as only Paris has more university students than Strasbourg.

Gutenberg Square, Strasbourg
Gutenberg Square - the famous printer lived in Strasbourg.

Every restaurant seemed to offer Flammkuchen or tarte flambée. It's the same thing, just in German or French. It is basically Alsatian pizza, and we wanted to try it for ourselves. It seemed every version had bacon, so we ordered the vegetarian and it was a mushroom and onion (with carrots!) pizza - but with a creamy sauce. Fun to try new things.

tarte flambée
Tarte flambée in Strasbourg

Trying new things is fun, but trying to get any service in our restaurant choice was nearly impossible. We were so thirsty after our boat tour, we asked for water time and time again but it never arrived. Seriously, I was ready to walk to a nearby kiosk and just buy a bottle! Even the locals around us were complaining and throwing up their hands in frustration. Will not mention this place (but the "pizza" was good).

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg - at night

Back to our bed and an early night. Another day trip planned for tomorrow.

Until my next update, I remain, your Alsatian correspondent.

Pedometer: 10,000 steps. Too many for a travel day. I want a day of rest. (Not going to get one.)