Strasbourg: fairytale city at the crossroads of Europe

After having a nice time in Germany, I left Stuttgart and headed towards Strasbourg. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see what Strasbourg had to offer because besides my work trip, Strasbourg was my favorite destination.

It’s not surprising that you see so many German style buildings in Strasbourg.  Not only because it borders Germany but because it had also been considered part of Germany.  It is a city with a complicated history between Germany and France but ultimately serves as an area where both the French and Germans call home. I heard people speaking German just as much as French. It’s beautiful.

I started admiring the beauty of Strasbourg in a guided tour lead by a nice old woman. We started from the city of La Petite France. It was funny because there were tourists everywhere taking pictures. I obviously was doing the same thing! (You will find some of my photos in this article follow) It’s not hard to see why.  This is a storybook town.

Fun Fact: I thought this town was called Le Petite France because it looked like a small France.  It is called Le Petite France because of the hospice for people with Syphilis that was built there in the fifteenth century. Syphilis was otherwise known as the “French Disease.”  Interesting.

As I walked closer to the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg; there were many cute little tourist shops.  These shops featured some local pottery from the Alsace region. So pretty!

It was hard to get a good shot of the Cathedral because it was right in the middle of the town.  And you can see all the touristy shops near it.  The cathedral was built in the middle ages as you can see with the gothic/Romanesque architecture.

Inside the church and all is glory!  Speaking of touristy, this cathedral even had a souvenir shop inside of it! I bought some souvenirs for my beloved and me!
The astronomical clock inside the church is spectacular and still pleasing to the eye with its specific architecture.

Outside of the cathedral, the cobblestone streets are lined with cafes. As I walked around more, I realized it was a huge city and it wasn’t only this quaint little town. I went way beyond all the timber housing. It had a very metro feel to it too with modern shops and restaurants.  This beautiful town just kept on surprising me!

Strasbourg is situated on the Rhine and a big attraction is taking a boat cruise down the river.
When you are there, you can’t miss the river tour! A great way to see and learn all about this city is to take a boat ride around it. Tours are 70 mins long and run every half hour, I was lucky to be on time for the next tour.
The tour took me past the famous Petite France and tanners’ quarter, under the Covered Bridges and the Vauban dam, the Neustadt imperial quarter, and the European Parliament. The river is very narrow, so you feel very close to the buildings around you.
I passed through a lock both ways, quite a new experience for me!

What I liked the most, were the true stories told that I never would have known about, it was really interesting. Everybody on the boat has an individual headphone available in 12 languages, with a children’s commentary available in 4 languages.
I enjoyed the tour, always good to see the sights from the water.

Strasbourg was absolutely fantastic!
I had a great time at all of these places and hope you guys enjoyed reading along.

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My Visit to the European Parliament

EU Parliament (12)
By March 2015, I was in Strasbourg and I visited officially the European Parliament.
It was a great visit through which I had the opportunity to be close from European decision makers and to have a better overview about the flow of the European decision making.

Each month, members gather for four days to vote and debate in a series of meetings known as plenary sessions.
Fortunately, I had the chance to attend the plenary session of this month!

My visit to the European parliament included discovering the institution, listening to the debate of the European Deputies and meeting with Terry Reintke, who is the youngest Deputy in the European Parliament from the Green party of Germany (27 Years old).

So first, I assisted to the debate between the Deputies talking about Russia and the Ukrainian issue. It was extraordinary to experience the European atmosphere of work and the European way to debate and resolve issues.

Afterwards, I met Terry, who works mostly on the Ecological issues and the Empowerment of Women. We discussed several themes. She talked about her work in the Parliament and she explained how hard it is for an active young woman. Among the obstacles she faced in her carrier is to be taken seriously and respected just like other male deputies. Terry talked about her experience in the elections to be member of the European Parliament and then in the working field. She stated that women in political life are facing a lot of difficulties and barrios that men don’t usually face. And she said that men generally focus on building a network that may facilitate work for them while women generally are very practical and hard working.

It was a breathtaking experience that simply changes your way of thinking and let you better understand the progress of the European policies.

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