Our last day in Paris we planned a day trip to Strasbourg, mostly so we could take a trip on the new TGV Est line that opened in June.
The interiors of the new TGV EST Line were designed by Christian Lacroix (lovely use of hot pink, orange and royal blue) and we wanted to experience the scenic french countryside at 200 mph.
We left Gare de l'Est right on time at 6:54 a.m. and arrived in Strasbourg around 9:15 a.m.
We visited the Cathedral and picked up audioguides at the tourist information center and set off on a walking tour of the City. The old city is fairly compact and full of 16th and 17th century buildings, reflecting a unique combination of french and german architectural elements. The city has gone back and forth between France and Germany several times over the last 150-200 years.
One area, called "Petite France" is along the river and a small lock for barges to bypass a spillway. The half-timbered houses are decked in flowers and reflect on the water below.
There is a unique "Pont Tournant" or "Turning Bridge" that swings to the side to let boats by. It was right at the edge of this bridge that Mallory was stung on the hand by a bee! Thanks to Scott, "Mr. Prepared" we did not even have to stop in a pharmacie. He had his first aid kit with advil, benadryl and cort-aid in a roll on applicator. Poor Mallory! We stopped for lunch and fortunately the swelling in her hand began to go down.
It was at about this point that it began to rain. We ended up going to the museum for the afternoon. We also shopped for Christmas ornaments in Petite France. On the way to the train station we stopped for a local specialty "Tarte Flambee" (or in german "Flammekuchen"). It is a thin puff pastry crust, topped with cream, onions and bacon and cooked in a very hot oven (like pizza) and served at a perfect temperature to burn your fingertips because it is impossible to wait to eat it. In fact it was so good, Mallory did not realize she left her Christmas ornaments in the cafe until 3 hours later after we arrived in Paris. Quelle dommage! We will have to try and find her some replacement snowmen along the way.