Published: September 23rd 2010September 22nd 2010
I was just lucky to get a room!
I have dated this Wed.22 Sept. and hope to keep it short as there is simply not enough time to do all of these in huge detail. The arrival in Strasbourg from Colmar was relatively efficient as the train trip is only about 35 minutes. However finding a hotel here was impossible as I asked all the hotels within reasonable walking distance of the station -- I later found out, after seeing "complet" (full) on most hotel desks, so you did not even have to ask, that it was a European Parliament sitting week -- one week a month in which you can guarantee that the hotels are virtually booked up a year ahead. I had to resort to going right down to the bottom of the Old Town near the cathedral on spec and found the Hotel Patricia in an otherwise obscure location (it was mentioned in my 15 year old Lonely Planet) and I was happy to take whatever room they had -- in this case it was only €32 with the shower upstairs. If nothing else it was down the right end of town as being close to the cathedral.
Frankly after two days in Strasbourg I
main Strasbg hospital near me
am not quite sure there is anything much here other than the cathedral and lots of clothes shops and so on. However I have not yet been to any of the museums and apparently they are quite good. As you will have already read from my earlier post I have ended up being an extra night here -- perhaps the man at the Hotel Patricia when he asked if I was spending another night obviously knew more than I did! It seemed that there were limited French trains running and virtually no through country services.
I have been a very lethargic tourist (what else is new?) and have not exactly raced around the sites. I did buy a 24-hour tram pass yesterday at about 4 PM so that was handy in terms of being able to go to the station without wheeling my bags all the way there (which I did down town in the hot sun when I arrived). This allowed me to do a certain amount of exploring on the trams, which do not go all that far and the suburbs are fairly uninteresting if the situation at the somewhat romantically named Ducs d'Alsace, picked at random,
was any guide. It was simply a grassy tram stop and I think maybe the Ducs was a nearby theme park or something! From there came back into town and went out to the European Parliament. This is a large circular building with a central courtyard. Outside it seemed to be almost full of chauffeurs and black Mercedes waiting for possibly important Euro MPs. I could not work out why it did not appear to be any national sign for either UK/GB along with all the other EU countries. I returned from there and had a rather heavy duty Alsatian style meal in a pub of choucroute garnie - this means a huge mound of sauerkraut "garnished" with slices of cooked ham and some sausages and such and a couple of potatoes. Definitely not gourmet, but typical "local food". That was going to be it, but when I saw the size of the blackcurrant tart that arrived on the next table I decided that I should have one (particularly as it was only 3.6E - huge and nice!).
The previous night I had been to L'Alsace a Table - which was a specialist seafood restaurant with particular emphasis on
oysters and so on. There was a separate small glass booth with view from the street where the rather jovial Chinese chap cracked open oysters to order. He also fished out some rather reluctant crayfish from the large tank right next to my table. I think he must have emptied it almost completely as he seemed to fish out about a dozen. I had a fish soup with rouille paste to swirl through it along with croutons. Then a roast filet of bar fish (the name in French of the fish was "bar" it seems) - which was OK. It was all going relatively well until the dessert which was listed as "clafoutis griotte" which is appropriate as in my view this dish was completely "grotty" cos the base was simply not cooked. Although the blackcurrants (?) used in the topping, and the ball of ice cream on top, were all okay the base was simply not cooked as a pastry at all -- I actually spat it out as it was virtually inedible! Decided not to attempt to tell them in my less than brilliant French that it was "horrible" - but I think the kitchen would be able
to tell from the small hole in the base that I had virtually not eaten that at
There are more photos below