Saturday, 21 September 2019

Strasbourg Hilton (Strasbourg, France)

Tried to sleep last night but the room was too cold to get a good sleep. Frustrating, but it has happened in a few Hilton’s where I’ve stayed before. I notified the front desk after breakfast and was offered to try another room which I accepted and moved to the new room before leaving to meet up with Ori and Molly.

I met up with Molly or Ori a little after 12:00 and we made plans for the day. We walked over to the Strasbourg Tourist Office and Molly was able to get us on a boat tour at 5:45 and then we arranged a tour on a “tour train” that was leaving soon from our location. We thought we would take a long break after the first tour then have a light dinner after the boat tour. Sometime during the afternoon we will visit the Cathedral.

I’ve seen these tour trains in other cities. Rather than a double-decker “hop on – hop off” bus, this is a “train” that pulls cars of tourists. It looks like it was made for small children to ride. I’ve thought to myself that I’d never go on one of these tours but I guess this was my turn to try it out. Actually the tour went along very well and because the train and cars were narrow we could fit down the narrow streets (without running over other tourists). The narrative provided to each of the guests via earphones did a good job telling us about all the various sites we saw on the tour. In my opinion, not as fun as riding a Segway, but we got a chance to visit many sites around the city and it was very informative.

We found a place to relax and have a beverage near the water. I got to try a Flambée, a local food (also known as a flammekueche) that is similar to a pizza. It was very good and quickly filled me up. It was a perfect day to sit under the trees to relax and talk. We were there quite a while then decided to visit the Cathedral. By this time the line to get into the Cathedral was much shorter and we soon found ourselves inside this massive building. Also inside was an astronomical clock, similar in many ways to the one in Prague. In my case, just like the one in Prague, because this clock was also under maintenance and not working. But at least I could see the clock and take pictures.

After visiting the Cathedral it was almost time for the boat tour. We only waited a few minutes in line and then started to board the boat. Strasbourg used canals and the River Ill as a line of defense of the city in the early days. Now, tour boats like ours can float by many of the historical attractions of the city. We passed many of the same buildings that we saw earlier but from a different perspective. So much of the old city has been preserved to be enjoyed today. Was a beautiful day for a tour like this one.

After the tour we were now ready for a light supper. Ori and Molly found a restaurant that they visited a number of years ago. A fine wine was paired with our meal, thanks to my hosts. During the meal we discussed places in France I could visit early next year. Also, Ori showed me how to best enjoy a small taste of apple schnapps.

I think we were all tired and while they walked back to their hotel I ordered an Uber to take me to mine. When I walked into my new room I could tell that heating will not be an issue for tonight’s stay. I slept very soundly.

Tomorrow, a half-day wine tour has been arranged. I will meet Molly and Ori at their hotel at around 12:30 and the tour will pick us up there at 12:45.

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