Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to do a world tour. More I put tick against my bucket list items, more the list extends in length. Given the limited amount of time and money, I think there will be many places still unchecked while I die. I have not seen the Egyptian Pyramid, neither the Great Wall of China and while exploring France in 2014, this sense of non-fulfillment got magnified to a great limit. So many corners of this world are decorated with invaluable jewels and the life is too short to experience all of them.
Take the Notre Dame cathedral for example. When you hear this name, first thing you remember is Paris, right? Well, there is another one with the same name that exists in this world and it is no less beautiful. With the tallest tower of 142 meter height, this cathedral is undoubtedly the biggest architectural marvel in Strasbourg. The square in front of it looks like picked right from the middle age. Modern shops have popped up in some of the alleys, but they are less in number. With the cobbled lanes, old architectures and dim lit, ghostly passageways, Strasbourg will blow you away on the very first sight.
For people who are not familiar with this name, Strasbourg is one beautiful city near the border of France and Germany. This is not a hidden treasure though. Every year thousands of tourists flock to Strasbourg. Its old town has got a place in Unesco World Heritage Site. People are friendly, buildings are marvelous, things are not-so-expensive – a perfect tourist destination to spend few days in.
How will you react if I tell you that this place contains an astronomical clock which is 300 years old and still accurately shows time? Not only that, it is a complex system made of numerous cross section of very fine machineries that can show the position of sun and moon with almost zero defect accuracy. We have many fine and more updated systems today, but 300 years old and still that advanced? Very few in number.
Then the Petit France area. History has never given any importance to this. In old time, this was the small area within Strasbourg used as dwelling places of the fishermen. That time those people did not have enough money to build luxurious mansions, so they used logs and woods along with other materials to build their houses. If you look from a distance, the crisscross on the walls of the houses will appear to you like drawing marks or paints. But a closer look will tell you that they are big logs of woods. The array of these half timbered houses have made Petit France one of the most unique places in the world. They are colorful, gorgeous looking and are now the center of attraction of Strasbourg. Hundreds of tourists buy miniature of these houses as souvenirs. Fishermen somehow eking out a life of these might have never imagined that this would be so popular after their death.
I can talk about many other jewels that this box will offer you. Take the European parliament building for example. Though this is ultra modern and does not have even close resemblance with the old town of Strasbourg, still this is a nice place to visit. Or the Orangerie park right next to it. It is a beautiful park used by the locals for their daily exercises. If you have visited English Garden in Munich, you will find lot of similarities with it. Orangerie is nothing in terms of size compared to the massive English Garden, but enough to take your stress off after a long week of work.
In the evening time, if you have nothing to do, go to Kleber. This beautiful square near the old town is a perfect place to relax, chat and see the sun setting.
Impressed? Plan your visit! Spend couple of days and walk along the city. Strasbourg will not disappoint you