It was among the hottest days this summer when we went to Strasbourg. I had studied how to reach, what to see, where to eat etc. I read up blogs and travel sites, and erm, took print-outs.
That freaky lady with the maps, printed itineraries, goggles, hat (in case it’s sunny), umbrella (in case it rains), and water bottles, marching to a target- that’s me when I am made in-charge. And mind you, I sorta like to maintain my distance from that lady if I can. ‘Cause you know, she’s not that fun.
Yeah, maps, directions, train and bus connections- it’s all way out of my comfort zone. Not part of my natural abilities. What are my natural abilities? Well, mostly to spot moments like this:
I believe it’s where I truly add value as a travel companion. But I was the guide for the day to Mum and Dad, and I was determined to do it well. I stood peering into the map at a crossing, looking hilariously touristy on this scorching day, thinking, “I like to walk in the sun, so no one sees my confused frown behind my shades.”
Just then a gallant Frenchman on a bicycle appeared before us, “French, German, English?”
“English,” I said.
“Ok. Now I am here to help you. Where do you want to go?”
Relieved that someone saw the confusion behind the sun-shades, off we went to our first stop- the Parc de l’Orangerie. This park was built by Napoleon to impress his wife Josephine, and provides a green haven in the poshest area of the city.. ideal for an afternoon of books, sleep or nothing!
Petit France, the old town, is a different kind of spectacular altogether. Though not as immersive and fairy-tale like as Colmar- the other gem of Alsace region, it has some unique features that set it apart.
We found our way to the unique Ponts Couverts (Covered bridges) by evening. As we sat down, pink in the face with the heat, but relaxed like one is at the end of an active day, the picturesque bridges seemed to resonate with the same pink glow, and calm reflection in the canal waters.
This covered bridge, was actually a thorough-fare where, it seemed, amateur artists housed their quirky artifacts, for the captive attention of passers-by:
There remains a reason to go back to Strasbourg another time- the Notre Dame which is said to be grander than the Paris one. But we did visit a beautiful local church, allowing a shady respite from the hot sun and a moment of tranquility in a busy day. A moment of thanking God. Sounds like a good enough church to me 🙂