Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace in the northeastern part of France. The Strasbourg-Grande Ile is an island which is surrounded by River Ill. The entire island is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the center of commercial during the 15th century.
You can visit Strasbourg by taking a TGV from Gare de l’est in Paris and is one of the best daytrips you can take when you need to breath from the hustle of Paris. So after spending 5 days of walking tour in and around Paris, here I am waiting for my 10:20 train to take me to Strasbourg. It is a 2.5 hours train ride from Paris. You can book your train ticket online but to get it cheaper, you need to book and plan your itinerary well in advance.
My itinerary for spending the day in Strasbourg was to see the towering Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, a walking tour around town until I get to La Petite France and to try the famous tarte flambée. Strasbourg is a small island and you can complete the walking tour in around 5 hours. Once you get out of Gare de Strasbourg, which has phenomenal dome architecture by the way, you will feel like you have entered into a fairy tale book. The cobbledstone streets, small houses with wooden frames with beautiful flowers adorning the windows, it all feels like I am one of the Disney characters in a fairy tale book.
I walked directly to the street leading up to the cathedral, no need to look at the map, there were some group of tourist that I’m pretty sure is also heading that way. So I just went with the flow, and I was right. Just a few blocks from Gare de Strasbourg was the towering Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. I stand small in front of it. I couldn’t even fit the whole tower in my camera viewfinder. It was just sooooooo tall! There were a lot of cafes and small souvenir shops around it that looked like hobbit houses compared to the cathedral. I stood in front of it in awe. I had no idea how long I stood there. I was just admiring the architecture, thinking how did the people of Strasbourg built this magnifiqué cathedrale during the late 12th century?
Beside the cathedral was a plaza or square with a small road leading to the Batorama ticket shop. I followed the line to purchase a ticket which was Eur12.50 per pax. Inside the glass ceiling lined Batorama boat, a headphone with several language translations and a map is provided.
The guided tour around the River Ill, to La Petite France and the Vaubam dam is 1 hour and 10 minutes. After the batorama tour, I did my own walking tour of La Petite France. I warn you to wear your most comfy walking shoes here. The streets are made of uneven cobblestones and sands in between them.
I just stood in this bridge after taking the shot for the longest time admiring this lovely scene. If only I could stay here. Going around La Petite France is easy because there are a lot of small bridges and side streets that you can take a shortcut if you feel you get lost. But the best way to do the walking tour is to walk on the river side. There’s some benches here and there, so you can take a rest and breathe all the beauty in. I continue on with my walking tour admiring the sloping roofs and wooden frames. All the time during my walk, I felt like I was inside the Beauty and Beast scene where Gaston and Belle where having their proposal scene, I think. So picturesque!
In the center of La Petite France is a small festival market that sells wheels of nougat and cheese and of course the famous tarte flambée. It was a long line of hungry tourist but nevertheless having fun while watching these beautiful seniors prepare and toss their flambée by hand. While waiting, I took some photos of their whole production line hahaha
Finally, my tarte flambée was done, the lady signalling that it’s mine, so I grabbed the still hot thin wooden board and found a bench to sit. There it is in front of me! I travelled all the way from Singapore for this!!! So yummy that I finished the entire thing! So thin and crispy, the fromage-blanc was so gooeey, the onion bits and the chopped bacon making all this crunch sound with my every bite. Never mind that it was still hot! That was the most amazing lunch of my life.
After lunch I walked back to the steps leading to the cathedral again. I sat in one of the benches in the plaza. I was just admiring this beautiful view around me. I was taking a lot of mental pictures, watching other tourists at the cafe or shopping for souvenirs. I make a deep sigh, ah so magnifiqué.
I went inside the cathedral to say my prayers of gratitude for this wonderful travel experience. I know I am not supposed to take out my phone while a mass is going on, but I cannot help it so I took a quick one. The interior is so lovely and elegant. I was not able to go up and see the astronomical clock due to lack of time and the long line of tourist wanting to see it even in the late afternoon.
Time to go back to Paris now. So I retraced my steps back to Gare de Strasbourg. Going back I stopped by Place Kleber for some photos and souvenirs. One warning though, if you intend to do some shopping here, most shops are closed on Sundays.
I stopped for a while for some photo shoots. I saw some tourists doing a biking tour of Strasbourg, and I said to myself, must do that too! Oh well soon. I must really go back to the train station now.
Time to go back now, but I will definitely be back soon Strasbourg! à bientôt!