Strasbourg, and “Steve must leave”

Thursday 20th August

Rest day

Today was Steve’s last full day with us. I was glad that it would be a rest day, not a mammoth cycling day.

We crossed the Rhine and were back in dear old France. We walked into Strasbourg, working up an appetite. The first stop was at a boulangerie for a late breakfast. When I stepped through that boulangerie door and saw the shining rows of patisserie I thought: France, I have missed you!

Strasbourg is an interesting city, because it looks German, but is actually in France.

We have lost some of our energy for exploring new cities. We used to engage our brains a little bit more, but now visiting a city means wandering about punctuated by eating. Lazy, but fun!

So here is where our wandering took us…

The very pretty town centre.

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Where Steve finally took a shower.

This stunner of a cathedral.

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An area called “Petit France” – the name I guess is further proof that this city was originally German.

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We had a great lunch in a non-touristy bistro type place, sampling some kind of local speciality meatball.

Strasbourg is home to the European Union, so we went to have a look. Here’s the European Council building, where they discuss things like human rights (they’re pro).

There were some protesters on the street outside. How exciting!

We tried to think of something that we would like to protest, seeing as we were at the European Union buildings, but came to the conclusion that we are alright with things the way they are. I felt disappointed by this. Why are we not more outraged about things?

Here’s the EU Parliament – as seen on TV!

We wandered inside and it was actually rather impressive looking.

There was also some information on what the EU had been doing, which was interesting, as I didn’t know that the EU did a lot to alleviate poverty. I thought that the EU basically looked out for members of the EU.

As inspiring as this all was, the EU Parliament seemed completely deserted when we visited it (as Lumiere would say, ‘After all, this is France…’).

We visited the botanical garden (Steve wasn’t too bothered about this but he got outvoted).

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We wandered back into the centre of town and spent a long time deciding on where to go for dinner, which was very distressing for Eric, who is always either eating or hungry.

We ended up at a restaurant called “Flams”, which offers an “Eat as much as you like” menu (note how much less challenging this sounds than “All you can eat”). It served flammkuchen, which is a local speciality, though as far as I could tell it was thin crispy-base pizza. We ate flam after flam (really, it was just pizza) and the final flam scores were as follows:

Penny (the flamp squib): 22 flam slices

Steve (flamming lips): 32 flam slices

Eric (’tis no man, ’tis a remorseless flam eating machine): 45 flam slices

We wound down with dessert.

Steve footed the bill. Thanks Steve!

Even for cycle tourists this dinner was perhaps a bit excessive. As we walked home I contemplated my diet, starting tomorrow, which would basically involve not constantly stuffing my face.

Friday 21st August

Miles: 24

We had a quiet morning sitting around in the sunshine, and then it was time to go and drop Steve off at the airport.

We cycled through Strasbourg, and I was very impressed by comprehensive network of double-lane cycle paths throughout the city. On the way there we almost didn’t have to share the road with cars at all.

We arrived at the airport at around 2. Steve prepared his bike for transport and we helped him put it into a bike-sized plastic bag. We stayed together until it was time for him to check in, at 3.30.

We said our goodbyes (Steve was devastated, just devastated) and off Steve went. Our trio was back to two again. We cycled back to the campsite feeling sad.

It’s been great having Steve here, we will miss him. (Though I did have to listen to a lot of conversations along the lines of: “who do you think would win, 200 Bill Kazmiers in boiled leather armour, or 2 Pennys armed with plasma cannons?”)

Back at the campsite we had a restaurant meal to console ourselves, and I spent the evening updating the blog.


2 thoughts on “Strasbourg, and “Steve must leave”

  1. I’d love flam right now ๐Ÿ™‚ . Haha.

    I noticed that the EU claims poverty has reduced to 22% of the world’s population. I wonder whether they just moved the goal posts to re-defined severe poverty. But then, I have a cynical bent ๐Ÿ™‚

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