Monday, June 17, 2013

June 13, Day 5: Travel to Strasbourg; first evening in Strasbourg

We left Rueil about 10:00 Thursday morning, picked up Raymonde in Paris and hit the A4 autoroute which goes straight to Strasbourg. The weather was cool and rainy but improved as we drove east. We passed beautiful fields of yellow mustard and white cows. We stopped once and got excellent sandwiches on that chewy, crunchy French bread we all love so much.
At the rest stop
We arrived in Strasbourg about 4:00 and checked into our "aparthotel," the Adagio, at 4, rue de la Haute Montée, a few steps from the Place de l'Homme de Fer (Iron Man Square), where almost every tram line has a stop, and around the corner from the immense Place Kléber. The hotel was not only centrally located; it was wonderful in every way. It is a "green" hotel, encouraging guests to conserve power and water. For example, the electricity doesn't work (other than the A/C and the refrigerator) unless the key card is inserted in a little slot inside the door. That way, you never forget the lights on when you are out, and what is more, you can always find your key! A few pictures of our room:
The bed flips down on top of the sofa.
There is a table under the desk and a TV with channels in many languages. We mostly watched BBC World.
A view from our window above the terrace
We were on the second floor. On the first floor; there is a lovely terrace and a little restaurant which serves a copious breakfast for €11. You can eat inside; or out on the terrace.
The terrace as seen from our window.
Breakfast on the terrace
The terrace as seen from a different angle
Here, you can see how features of the old building have been preserved within the modern hotel.
Flowers on the breakfast table
Everything was very modern, but the original staircases can be used instead of the elevator. They have stained glass windows! This is taken from inside the tower you see in the photo above the flowers.

The tram stop is a few steps from the hotel.
Brigitte and Jean-Marc; as parents of the bride, were extremely busy the entire time we were in Strasbourg, so Christoforos and I spent most of our time with Raymonde. We had planned to eat at the Place de Broglie (near the city hall where Audrey and Thomas would be married on Saturday) but a storm appeared to be brewing.
Storm clouds gathering.
So instead, we ducked into the nearest restaurant on the Place Kléber, the Brasserie Alsacienne, where Raymonde had a big salad, Ch had a traditional Alsatian choucroute, and I had my first tarte flambée or Flammekûche, a really delicious concoction of melted cheese and veggies on a paper-thin crust, served on a board. Kind of like a pizza, but with a different taste. (The rain never came!)

She managed to eat all of it!
Choucroute Alsacienne
After we ate, Raymonde returned to her room and Ch and I went to get our first look at the famous cathedral, Notre Dame de Strasbourg. It was too dark, and the cathedral too immense, to take any photos except this one:

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