Tuesday, December 9, 2014


We were a little lazy this morning!  I woke up at 5 am after a marginal nights sleep.  Although this apartment is wonderful, the bed isn't the best.  Old sleepyhead David slept till almost 7:30!

We lounged around for a few hours, drinking coffee and surfing the net.  David walked down to the corner boulangerie for a fresh baguette for our breakfast.  That's one of our favorite "traditions" when we are in Paris!
 Yummy breakfast!

After our nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit and baguette, we bundled up and set off to explore more of this beautiful town.  It was a little damp out there-but we expected that, and came prepared with good raincoats, umbrellas and waterproof shoes.

I was on a mission this morning!  Last night we went to a small market featuring old books, posters and prints--right up my alley!  I found an old French class room educational poster showing types of birds--I loved it, but for some reason didn't buy it.  I thought about it all night, and decided it was one of those "if you don't buy it you'll regret it" instances, so this morning we made our way back over to the market.  I found the vendor, and looked through his nice display of vintage posters--I didn't see it the first time through, and my heart sank.  Then I spotted it!  I tried not to look very interested, so I could bargain  a little.  But when he told me the price it was so much less than I anticipated that I didn't even flinch.  I just handed over the Euros!

Here it is--I'm thinking it will be great in our newly furnished and painted living room at home:

Of course, we then needed a sturdy mailing tube, so after a fun French/English conversation with the vendor and his friend they managed to direct us to an art supply store a few blocks away.  We were in luck, and found a tube that was a perfect fit.  I'm sure it will be a hassle to carry home on the plane as it's pretty big, but I'll think of beautiful Strasbourg every time I look at it!

After a long walk back to our apartment to drop off my prize poster, we sat out again in the direction of the Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral.  We wanted to get a good look at this beautiful church during the day, and also visit the inside.  The cathedral is celebrating is 1000 year anniversary in 2015--amazing!  This current structure in it's entirety does not date that far, but the original church in this location does.  The current building dates from the 13th-14th centuries.  For several centuries the Strasbourg Cathedral was considered the tallest building in the modern world!

Here's a decent look at the the front part of the exterior:

The west side of the Cathedral, the copper roof is oxides and really adds some nice color:

This is a very zoomed-in shot of the back of the bell tower.  We were shocked to see the obviously modern addition--it's just weird!  Who's idea was this??

 Detail of the very ornate decoration on the main entrance:

Close up of detail on the front--the depth of the decoration and stone work is amazing:

The interior of the cathedral was not as "over-the-top" ornate as the exterior, but is was still lovely.  Some of the windows were gorgeous:

Windows like these line both sides of the nave--they are stunning:

There is also a beautiful astronomical clock dating from the 16th century:

This is the magnificent Pillar of  the Angels, dating from the 11th century.  Unfortunately, my photo is not so magnificent:

After our time inside the church, we wandered around the area near the church, there are some beautiful beautiful buildings:

This one looks very much like buildings in Belgium and Amsterdam:

This doorway was on a very old building, and is only about 5 feet tall.  Notice that the door frame is not symmetrical, it's slanted.  I've never seen one like this before:

Today was a cold and windy day, and after a few hours wandering around the beautiful streets near the cathedral we were frozen--and hungry!  We chose a nearby "upscale" hotel restaurant because the menu looked interesting,   It was a lovely dining room, and most importantly it was WARM in there! The decor was a bit quirky;  there was a stuffed zebra head and a small antelope type animal mounted on a pillar in front of us!

We each ordered a new (to us) Alsatian specialty to share.

We tried a tarte flambé, a local specialty made with creme freche,  lardons (very delicious smoked bacon) mushrooms and onions.  It's like a very, very thin crusted pizza--but better!

This is baeckeoffe de viandes, a wonderful mix of new potatoes, carrots, leeks and 3 kinds of meat slow cooked in white wine.  Our baeckeoffe had lamb, beef and pork.  It was heavenly!

We had a leisurely lunch--not only because the food and wine were delicious, but because we needed to thaw out and warm up!

After we finished, we decided to use the restrooms before we left.  I laughed out loud when I walked into the women's:  (yes, this is a real stuffed animal head!)

Strange to have a chair in the bathroom:

We came out of the hall and into the lobby, and noticed this funny chair.  The front was plain, no detail at all.  I love it!

We bundled up and walked back out into the cold.  We heard Christmas music--a very jazzy version of Jingle Bells.  A little ways down the street we found these funny guys, they were great!

We wandered around a few more blocks, enjoying all the pretty decorations and amazing architecture.  It was getting dark, so we decided to head "home", stopping along the way for a few dinner "fixings".

We shopped at a nearby boulangerie for a baguette,  a small pastry shop for a yummy dessert, and a local market to pick up some cheese and hard sausage.  When we got home, we made ourselves a hot spiced wine and relaxed for an hour or so--I think we might be thawed out now!

Here's our delicious dinner;  the little jar is a locally made spread of horseradish and beets--mmmmm good.  The cheese is a wonderful Alsatian Munster--nicely aged and stinky!  Dessert:  a tiny strawberry tart to share!

So now we're relaxing in our lovely, WARM apartment.  Tomorrow will be an early day--we are taking a train to Colmar, which is fairly near Strasbourg, only a 25 minute trip. It's a much smaller town, and from the pictures I've seen it looks quite charming.  Plus they have lots of Christmas markets!

So good night from pretty, sparkling  Strasbourg:


  1. As big as the tube for the poster may be, at least it's not a cast-iron duck. I'm sure dad will transport it for you.

    1. LOL Matt! I'm sure he will--your Dad is sweet like that!

  2. Wow, more beautiful pictures of a beautiful city. Lol, interesting decor in the bathroom and love the back of that chair.