Weekend getaways were frequent while in Europe and the most fun bit after a long week of work. Best part was to be able to explore a completely new place and culture within a matter of few hours drive. People spoke a different language, wore differently, ate different cuisine, had unique wine palates and their own history. This habit led us to experience many off beat places that are not always listed within ‘the things to do’ in Europe.
The Alsace city capital was recommended by few European friends as a romantic getaway. Me and the husband booked a room and in no time were driving through the scenic French countryside towards Strasbourg. The Alsatian style city sitting between the French – German borders snugly display an inimitable contrasts of the modern future and gothic medieval past within this one city. Modern; seen that and done that. But medieval; definitely seen that but most definitely, will never get done!
Things we did in Strasbourg, IN A DAY!
We drove around a bit before we actually found our hotel and once checked in we immediately got ourselves some lunch at a french restaurant called La Bourse. After all the good food, we explored the city on foot alongside the canal and it’s green landscape and walked into an entirely different world. In the middle of all that manicured urban lied the beautiful half timbered Alsatian houses leaning over narrow cobbled streets with quaint cafes, bakeries and french boutiques. This is Petit France, a historic quarter of the city at the end of Grande Île which is actually an island surrounded by two peaceful canals in the heart of Strasbourg. Walking down the cozy cobble stone aisle with the husband while admiring the charming vibe of the place, made it to my favourite memories of Europe list.
Super thin rolled dough topped with creme fraiche, lardons (bacon) and onions. All this baked till crisp and singed at the edges made for our go to from the menu at few restaurants we stopped to try it at. Also known as tart flambeé is one delicious memory of Strasbourg. If you are a vegetarian they do the mushroom ones that are just as delicious.
Heart of Grande Île is the beautiful central square surrounded by brilliant medieval architectural buildings some government, some hotel, some bars with their tables and chairs laid out almost on the street and one bench at where we sat and gazed for a while before we got our paper map out and made our way to the very raved about beverage place in town, the ‘Code Bar’.
One constant which, if your have read more than one of our travel stories you must have figured that we do it every time we are at a new city. Nope? Well, if isn’t obvious already, we hunt down their best alcohol to sample. Local food isn’t that behind but we like to compare a good buzz.
Now, if you are like me, you will look up online for the best bars in Strasbourg. There’s no way you can miss Code Bar in those list and the thousands of amazing reviews the place has received and in an unlikely event if you find yourself still not convinced, believe me when I say they serve some really mind blowing cocktails. Aesthetically and taste wise that promises happiness till you don’t over do it. It’s a small space owned by a couple with hearts as big as the glasses they serve the cocktails in. Dark n Stragon is the first drink that you should order and ladies don’t shy away from the name and ingredients in it, you will truly lose out settling for a cosmo there. Don’t get me wrong I love my Cosmo, keeps me light but this is the real deal here, GO for their off beat options in the menu. If you are feeling adventurous for the evening, the bar tenders does some real mean mixing on request. The bar is know to be full most of the time and if you are hoping to check it off your list, for your own good do it mid day or on a very early evening when it is least crowded.
Medieval gothic architecture that once up on a time was not just the tallest church but also the tallest building in the world and now is the sixth tallest church in the world. Built in the middle ages, it’s intricate Roman design has tourists like us gaping in amazement. Not to miss the market along side for some souvenirs or be seated at one of the cafe’s there for further gaping and enjoy the vibe.
You will notice the pictures below are extremely gloomy as it was very cloudy that day. In the evening the clouds broke loose and it poured the entire night. Well, the next day we left for Luxembourg, made a pit stop at Nancy for lunch and explored a little of the place in half a day, more about which later.