#oneyearago: Strasbourg – where French meets German

In my last post I had just found my orientation and got started with my Sciences Po classes in Reims. After “conquering” Reims within our very first days, it didn’t take long until we set out to discover a new city: Strasbourg. “We” in this case were a group of 12 exchange students from all around the globe.

Saturday mornings can be filled with lots of things: sleeping in, enjoying a cup of coffee or staying in bed watching Netflix. This Saturday morning started with forcing myself out of bed, throwing on some clothes and running to the bus to catch our 7:38 a.m. train to Strasbourg. But this effort was worth it, because this is a weekend I’ll certainly remember for a long time.

strasbourg_en-route
3 hour train ride to Strasbourg

Discovering Strasbourg

For all of you who don’t know the city, Strasbourg is biggest city of the French Alsace region and located directly on the French-German border:

france_map_strasbourg
Map of France

Due to this location, the Alsace region changed several times from being French to being German and vice versa – until the end of World War II, when it became French for good. And these changes are something that you can actually perceive while visiting Strasbourg: It definitely looks similar to German medieval towns like Bamberg and lots of signs are written in German.

We didn’t have any luck with the weather because it was mostly raining, cold and veeeery windy. However, we made the most of it and had lots of fun together (it’s definitely true that the people you’re travelling with make all the difference!).

Our best moments in Strasbourg:

  • Climbing the 330 stairs to the top of the cathedral’s only tower (they somehow never built the second one): It offers such a nice view, but we were scared to be blown off the tower because of the strong wind. 😉
  • Eating a ‘Stras-Burger’ (Yes, we couldn’t resist calling it like this).
  • Hiding from the rain inside the cathedral and in as many cafés as possible.
  • Relaxing in our lovely AirBnB close to the central station (I’m still amazed how we managed to find a place that fitted the whole group of us).
  • Having real trouble to re-open the door of the AirBnB. We all tried, but the lock was determined to keep us out of the apartment.
  • Having a real Alsatian Flammkuchen in the Restaurant Le Gruber

We definitely didn’t see all of Strasbourg during this one day and a half, but this makes me determined to definitely visit the city again! Guided boat trips on the river Ill and a visit to the European Quarter are up next on my Strasbourg bucket list.

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