Continuing our journey towards the Black Forest for Christmas, we stopped in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France. We were met by our AirBnB host Christian at “Logement 2 pieces a Strasbourg Neudorf” that was located in a busy part of town that reminded us of Commonwealth Ave near Boston University.
The center of Strasbourg is literally an island ("Grande Île") surrounded by rivers. We found it odd that the tram did not stop at either of the two stops on the island - the tram announcement said “for security reasons” - and at every bridge there was a security checkpoint. We learned later that there was a terrorist attack at last year’s Christmas Market...so sad. It didn't seem to dampen the mood of the city - the "Christkindelsmärik" was in full gear. The Strasbourg Cathédrale de Notre Dame is massive and one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in all of Europe.
On our final night in Strasbourg we tracked down some tasty local wines at Oenosphere where we learned that Riesling from Alsace is actually dry (French: “sec”, German: “trochen”). They shared the insider’s pick for the city’s best Tarte Flambée - a super-thin-crust Alsatian flatbread made with crème fraiche instead of cheese. We got to the tiny La Binchstub just as it opened and were able to get seats at the bar as long as we promised to be finished by "7 and a half". Richard got the "Traditionelle" with onions and "lardons" (smoky French bacon). Nancy opted for the savory/sweet combination of Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, pear, and "roquette" (aka arugula). Both were phenomenal with the generous pours of Alsacian Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Before leaving Strasbourg we toured the Museum of Decorative Arts and the adjoining Palais Rohan where we imagined what the days before Christmas might be like in the courts of Louis XV and Napoleon.
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Nancy McCabe &