Strasbourg, a slightly more abrupt than usual post!
Strasbourg is on first impressions a charming town. Although I arrived late in the afternoon and didn’t have much of a walk around that evening, I could already tell that I was going to like it. It helped that I stayed at an incredibly renovated hotel called Graffalgar where every room had been done up by a different artist, and I just HAPPENED to get an incredibly adorable soothing pastel coloured owl masterpiece.
The next day I took a long walk around the old town. I’m not sure what I expected of the famous covered bridge, but I wasn’t expecting a series of mostly empty rooms, some with partly broken statues in them, others with vestigial arrow slots. I like this lion headed saint and a king on a legless horse, though. It also retains the chains and winches from old draw bridges and water gates. On the western end you can access the terrace via a stair and look down at the canal with its 4 guard towers, the cathedral and town.
My first stop was the Museum of Alsace. I said I was all museumed out, but this one was a little different, focused on the traditional cultural architecture and home fit outs of the region. Also, even though the buildings here are delightful to look at, there’s only so much strolling around in the cold by yourself that you can do. But truly the architecture is divine.
For a student the 1 day museum pass was only 6€ (3.50€ for single museum entry) so I just upgraded even though I hadn’t originally intended to go to any others!! For full price its 6.50€/12€.
The museum itself, aside from the displays, is a fascinating maze of interlinked rooms between several traditional houses, which alone makes it worth a visit in my opinion, and shows a fascinating scene of a past life other than the opulence at the palace museums. It also included a costume collection. I took quite a few photos in here, but really, it’s part of the fun to unravel the maze within the house yourself.
After a quick lunch of Quiche Lorraine (of course) from a local bakery, I headed to the historical museum, which covers the political and religious history of Strasbourg as a free city, and also includes a remarkable 78 square meter 1:600 relief map. Larger than any in the Invalides museum in Paris (although it lived there at one point). This museum also features an automatic location-based audio guide, which was interesting when it started picking up on the display point on the floor below when in the toilet.
Its getting colder , so i head to the palais Rogan afterwards. Unfortunately I’m already a bit maxed out on art and palaces and Roman ruins, Although I did like this matching pair of old ironwork safes! That was something a little different that I hadn’t seen at any of the other museums so far.
Afterwards, as teeny tiny little snowflakes are starting to drift down, the Cathedral bells start to chime. A lone cellist sits in the cold beneath it and the barely audible sound of the cello blending into the clangor of the bells is one of the most mournful and beautiful things I’ve ever heard.