The three of us have three weeks to travel, we have a vague plan to cover three Countries; Germany, Austria and a bit of Italy.
‘Derek’ our Renault Captur, who had looked after us so well for 153 days and some 18,750KM, was left behind in Paris to begin a new life – probably one at a more casual pace.
We take the TGV to Strasbourg, a relaxing 2 hour journey across to the eastern border of France. We are collecting new wheels tomorrow and overnighting in Strasbourg.
Finding the small town remarkably expensive, I took a gamble and booked another Airbnb. Greeted by the owner on arrival, Jane and I take a rattle lift up to the third floor whilst Don and our host take the stairs (they won’t fit in the lift).
The apartment is spacious with two bedrooms and a lounge room, all contain numerous beds – yes, including the lounge room. I think the owner was surprised that there was only 3 of us and not 10!
Between pidgin English and pidgin French, the owner explains he needs to finish making the beds and cleaning-up. From the state of the kitchen – he’s got a bit of cleaning up to do! Perhaps we set the benchmark too high at Pierrefonds. We leave our things and walk into the old town for lunch.
When we return, the place seems clean; sort-off, as long as we avoided eating in the kitchen we’ll be fine. We could only find one coffee cup and took turns in the morning to share it around. Not trusting the cleaning effort, our showers are all very quick in the morning.
The positives are that it was well located – an easy walk from the train station and close to the historic parts of Strasbourg. But, not somewhere I would recommend to anyone.
Jane asked us if this was the worst place we had stayed, without hesitation we both replied in unison “no-way, this is pretty good.” I think we have her worried about what’s next.
Petite France is the heart of the old town, it’s straight out of a fairy tale; half-wooden houses line the canal, flower boxes adorn the buildings and explode with colour. The area is bustling with Alsatian taverns, restaurants, boutique hotels and of course gift shops.
The cathedral is a striking feature of the town. Construction started in 1015, though it was not completed until 1439. For over 200 years (until 1874) it was the world’s tallest building.
Strasbourg quickly became a prosperous merchant city, dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. It is a town that has played a significant role in French – German relations throughout history.
Today, Strasbourg is a blend of franco-german culture and the host of several European institutions; including the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament.
In 1988 the entire city centre of Strasbourg was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Jane is happy to be a passenger on this holiday, she has designated us as her “Secretaries”; relying on us for decisions on the next destination, sourcing accommodation (which she might now be a little nervous about), doing the driving and paying for everything along the way – don’t worry, she gets a bill at the end!
We are heading east to Passau where we plan to pick-up some bikes and do some cycling along the Danube. Taking a couple of days to get there and explore a bit of Germany and Austria. We’ve picked Füssen as our next destination and find a hotel online – we will leave the AIRBnB’s alone for a while.
We purchased a GPS in France only to find that the car includes one. It’s in French, but we manage to get it working and at least we know tourner à droite and tourner à gauche to get us on our way!