After settling into the house, Dani and I decided to take the tram into town to find some food and explore. We were in France after all! A bit of late-evening exploration seemed a prerequisite and French food and wine called our names seductively.
As we waited for the tram our initial fears were confirmed. The tram stop in the evening reminded me of the old Dartmouth Bus Terminal in Nova Scotia where I spent so many hours during university. A rag-tag group of people joined us on the trip into Strasbourg's city center. As we proceeded farther into town, our prospects brightened. Since Danielle and I had no idea where we were going, we planned to hop off when we saw something worth seeing. We pulled into a stop located on a bridge with a church in the distance…so we jumped off.
I suppose we looked very German. In addition to being the only Caucasians in sight, we wore our beards proudly, carried German beer in our hand and couldn’t easily respond to jeers in rapid fire French. After a few minutes of wandering around, everyone had settled into half time and the excitement had hushed. Other than being offered hash by the dude on the motorbike and finishing our beers, the remainder of our walk was uneventful.
We returned a couple times over the next few days and Strasbourg just kept getting better. We explored Petit-France, the old tannery district with heritage homes, and marvelled at the picture-perfect cobblestone streets and canals. Each timbered house came complete with colourful flower pots which added splashes of vibrant colour to contrast against the pale plaster of the homes. We took a train tour through the city (largely so Ryder could take a nap) and ate croissants at multiple cafes. The most enjoyable part of Strasbourg was just wandering aimlessly through the streets. There was an interesting store, statue or sight on every corner. I could easily have spent a week wandering through Strasbourg and still been happy!
If I end up in Western Europe at some point in the future, I’ll be making a beeline straight for Alsace!