How strange is it that I can take a “day trip” and journey into France? It feels crazy to me! Nonetheless, the other weekend that is exactly what some friends and I did! Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region (think…wine!) and its historic city centre, the Grande Île (Grand Island), was classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. I have read that there are many wonderful wine tours in the area, an idea that I may have to revisit in the future.
Whenever I am traveling I always look for for gluten free and vegan spots with great reviews. Bistrot & Chocolat was one of those great finds. The juices were all incredibly fresh and delicious – I had an apricot mango – and all sorts of drinking chocolate.
I went with the Gluten Free and Vegan brunch (probably the priciest thing on the menu…) and was pretty blown away. Seriously, does this look gluten free to you at all?! There was a vanilla bean spread that tastes like creme brûlée and butter had a baby, a berry spread, a hummus spread, a beet spread, and another fruit spread to go on the different breads! It definitely kept me full until dinner!
Someone finally explained to us that there was a street art festival going on because we were getting a little confused by some of the acts that were set up all around the city. There were all types of wonderful musicians and bands, even one reminiscent of a Second Line band. The act that received the most attention were two women who did a sort of dance on the post-office building. They were climbing and repelling and “dancing” all up and down the building for half an hour!
That may have also explained why security looked a little bit increased…However also keep in mind that a terrorist bomb attack was thwarted here in early 2000.
Luckily we had a gorgeous day to explore but that also meant we needed to stay hydrated. Jeannette et les Cycleux was the most packed spot on the street so we knew it had to be a great spot. The menu is a combination of milkshakes and cocktails, and they certainly excelled at both. My Persion Mojito was perfect for a mid-day treat, stuffed with mint, lemon, limes, and what I assume to be an excessive amount of sugar.
The main attraction, like many places in Europe, is the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg. The cathedral is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture and stunning to see. In fact, it was the world’s tallest building from 1647 to 1874!
Inside the Cathedral is an 18-meter astronomical clock, one of the largest in the world. It is supposed to be a truly incredible thing to see, but the line to get inside was way too long for us. I found out later that the clock inside the cathedral is not the original anymore. That one can be seen at Strasbourg Museum of Decorative Arts.
There were several museums in the area as well that I imagine would be quite nice to see but they closed at 6pm and we didn’t think to check one out until 530!
The line was too long to go into the church so we decided to go on top of the church instead! Considering the church is over 300 feet tall, it was a nice little way to work that brunch off.
We spent most of the day just wandering about and people watching, which is part of the appeal of Strasbourg. There are so many cute places to see like “La Petit France,” a beautiful area of the city with cafes and restaurants that is said to feel similar to Paris. I definitely see a few more day trips to this beautiful spot in our future!
Have you been to Strasbourg? What is your favorite thing to do here?