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Jill McCracken’s Travel Diary

Monday, 28 Mar 2011

Location: Strasbourg, France

MapStrasbourg & Obernai, France

I am home again from my weekend of traveling (within France this time) to Strasbourg. What a city of immense history and pride. You could see the German influences as well as the continuing French tradition, but I still got the feeling that Alsatians are quite unique on their own. We left the MEC at 5am to travel by train to Strasbourg. Then we had a guided tour of the city (in English and the guide was fabulous!!) and a tour of their Notre Dame cathedral. Anne-Lise organized a really fun outing to a restaurant that served the traditional "tarte flambee" which is basically a pizza with a very thin crust and creme fraiche for its base. They made their own beer and the Canadian group imbibed so much that our songs drowned out the house band. We encountered some interesting folks that evening and I cuddled into bed early enough for our 9am start on Sunday. I have determined that I can sleep basically anywhere: floor, train, plane, hostel....

On Sunday morning we traveled out to Obernai, a small village outside of Strasbourg. We poked around a bit and attended a winery for a tasting. My favourite wine was the "muscat" which is a dry white wine. I bought a bottle here but he is an independent vitner so I won't be able to find his wines in Paris let alone Canada, only in Alsace! We trained back into Strasbourg and went on a "bateaux mouche" ride through the canal that encircles the city. Out to the European Parliament and back, I was exhausted and was happy to sleep on the train back to Paris.

I found time to incorporate a bit of research into my trip. My architecture paper is about the monuments aux mort (monuments for the dead) that are erected in Paris. I think adding a comparison to the monument in Strasbourg might add flavour to the piece: the Strasbourg people feel such pull between France and Germany (for good reason through the years) so they have made their monument neutral and it is one of the few, if maybe the only that does not mention that the soldiers died "for France". [See photos]

Lots of love,
Jilly