We headed to the main hall, and watched the departure board for our train to be listed. It was less than 10 minutes before departure, and still no platform listed. I asked at an information booth--and the nice gentleman casually told me it was platform 4. Yikes--it was a hike down there, and we boarded the train with not much time to spare. Whew!
It was about a 2 1/2 hour ride to Strasbourg--smooth and uneventful. We traveled through mostly flat farmland, not much to see because it was very foggy. We read for awhile, and even snoozed a bit. After lugging our suitcases off the train we found a nice cafe to wile away an hour or so--we had a 12:15 appointment to check into our apartment. We sipped on a vin chaud--it was c-o-l-d in there! After we warmed up, we headed for the taxi stand.
Our apartment is in the "old" part of Strasbourg called Petit France. It's very charming, with narrow winding streets and timbered buildings.
Our "home" for the next week is on a VERY narrow pedestrian only side street, we're down at the end on the right:
We were warmly welcomed by Jules, the nice owner, and he showed us how everything works, etc. He even left us a bottle of local sparkling wine--which we will enjoy soon. They also furnish a few basics such as juice and milk, butter and jam, and a big bowl of fresh fruit--how nice!
What a find this place is! We are really happy with it, and the location is perfect.
Nice kitchen and dining area:
I want to take this pretty red chair and the amoire home with me!
We quickly unpacked and organized our "stuff" and then took care of some quick grocery shopping for breakfast items. Luckily, there's three small grocers within about a block--very handy.
Now that we were all organized and stocked up for the week we were anxious to get out and explore!
We found a couple of small Christmas markets very close by and enjoyed looking at the variety of goods. We've even bought a Christmas ornament already.
Storks are common in this area, and in nesting season one can see the huge nests around town. There are stork themed items everywhere--so we thought this would be a good souvenir:
This area of town is just beautiful. Here are a few streets right around our apartment:
This is Le Grand Rue--the main pedestrian only street. Our narrow little lane is just off this Rue:
One of the canals running through Petit France, this one is about a block from our apartment:
After a couple of hours of wandering and shopping we were ready for a late lunch, and settled on a small place right around the corner from our apartment. Very Alsatian--we each had the choucroute. It was a big plate of delicious sauerkraut with potatoes, a variety of sausages and some smoked pork. it was a VERY big plate--I barely ate half of it. Too bad they don't do "doggie bags" in France, as I would have had the rest for breakfast!
By now it was late afternoon, the sun was going down and it was definitely cooling off. We made the short walk back "home", relaxed for an hour or so, and then layered up with our warmest clothes. We were off to the big market in Cathedral Square, and I purposely waited until just after dark to see it all lit up. I wasn't disappointed--the streets and squares are beautiful!
This was my favorite--Santa and his sleigh, pulled by eight Canada geese: