Backpacking in Strasbourg

Monday, August 22, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Gargoyle Strasbourg by Danalynn 
Gargoyle on the cathedral in Strasbourg.

Chris and I started our day in the South of France, heading towards Strasbourg but doubtful we would travel any farther than Bordeaux in a day of hitch-hiking.  After more than an hour with no prospective rides (and, indeed, mostly quizzical looks from the drivers) our spirits were a bit low.  We were excited when a car pulled over to the side of the rode--a ride!  Anywhere would be better than here!--but that excitement turned to astonishment and glee as we learned that the driver was driving through France to Austria, and would be passing through Strasbourg.  We exuberantly thanked the driver (thank you again, Stephen!) and settled in for our first truly long-distance hitch-hike in Europe.  One extremely lucky 13-hour hitchhike left us in Strasbourg that night. 

Strasbourg Art College
The art college in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg is a very unique town--it is the capitol of the Alsace region in France and is the official home of the European Parliament.  Strasbourg sits in France right next to the French/German border and the region has historically been German-speaking.  A distinct German flair is readily apparent in the architecture, food and even the language.

Strasbourg Houses
The houses were quite German-looking.

During our time in Strasbourg, Chris and I Couchsurfed with a very nice local and alo met up with another lovely Couchsurfer to have coffee.  We were shown around the Strasbourg downtown and had a chance to try Tarte Flambée, a traditional Alsatian meal (similar to a thin-crust pizza).  By far, however, our favorite location was the cathedral. 

Strasbourg Church Door
The door to the cathedral in Strasbourg.

The cathedral in Strasbourg is known as one of the best examples of late Gothic architecture and the detailed work was stunning.  Most of the supports on the outside of the cathedral were sculpted in precise detail to resemble miniature cathedrals themselves.  There were also countless sculptures of important religious figures, gargoyles, and biblical scenes decorating the cathedral as far up as the eye could see.

Strasbourg Cathedral Statues
Statues on the cathedral in Strasbourg.

We roamed around Strasbourg for two days before we left France for Germany.   Being plain old tourists for a change was a nice break from all of the traveling we had been doing! 

Strasbourg Ducks
We did not see any storks in Strasbourg (storks are the symbol of the region Alsace), we did happen upon this mother duck and her ducklings!

Danalynn Strasbourg
Despite the fact that Strasbourg was much cooler than Spain, it was still very warm!
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