The territory of Alsace-Lorraine is not quite France but very much a part of it. We were headed to Strasbourg, the capital of the territory, to see this beautiful city that sits on the Rhine and its tributaries. It has fabulous wines and is the center of power for the European Parliament. Who knows, this would potentially be for me a last look at what it was like to see a Union Jack outside the Parliament building after Brexit.
Strasbourg is foremost a beautiful town – it’s very German in feel and therefore very organized. There are great restaurants and the pedestrian zone around the massive cathedral is worth the visit. It has this very Euro feeling to it and houses the second largest university in France. The constantly circulating river boats do sightseeing tours and allow you to see the beautiful old buildings adorning the river. There is lots of sightseeing activity on the river boats and at night, a walk to the main square to see the cathedral is an absolutely spectacular stroll. We ate in a couple of good Alsace restaurants and likely had way too much meat but greatly enjoyed the Rieslings and Pinot Blancs. It’s one of the few times that I allow myself to indulge in sautéed foie gras.
What is cool about this city is that it’s a base to visit two other spectacular nearby places – Baden Baden and Colmar. For a French teacher, Colmar is a must and Baden Baden is a fabulous add-on across the border. We even got to see a baseball game outside the EU parliament. How strange, especially since baseball, so they say, is on the decline and soccer is on the rise. It seems here in the heart of Europe a flicker of faith was keeping the old ball game alive. Meanwhile, the Union Jack was flying high; a last flutter of the flag to denote that the great European experiment, alive and well everywhere, and created after the disaster of the second world war, was getting red carded in the U.K. Go on Scotland, declare independence and leave Auntie Britain and go live with your less superior relatives, The Euros. Ireland seems much happier living with its European neighbors since its divorce in 1922!