Thursday morning we drove the short distance into Selestat, and found the free parking lot by the side of the train station. We bought return tickets to Strasbourg (7 euros each way, ouch) and hopped on the train, a 15 minute ride. Fron the Gare in Strasbourg is a very easy walk to the major sites. The weather promised rain sooner rather than later, so we decided to do some walking first. We followed the walk in the Green Michelin with some side trips, winding through the shopping district and then the old part of the city and Petit France. Strasbourg feels prosperous and sophisticated, and we enjoyed walking around. We crossed bridges back and forth over the river, wandered down streets, ducked into doorways and churches when the rains finally came.
At 11:30 we headed back to the Cathedral, where strangely, we couldn't find an open door. We finally saw a sign that the Cathedral closes at that time of the day so a special opening can be done for the chiming of the famous astronomical clock. So we waited in a wet line for a while (Lands End makes a very nice light rainjacket, by the way), bought tickets, and filed inside. We were herded over to the clock, which is a massive structure stretching toward the ceiling. We stood on the hard stones for a good 20 minutes, getting a small taste of what it must have been like standing at church services. A movie about the clock finally started, which was heavy of purple prose and swelling music, but a bit short on historical detail. Ah well, you can read about the clock here: http://www.otstrasbourg.fr/article.php?id_article=148&lang=en
The clock begins to strike when two angels strike the hour, and then a skeleton Death does so, as figures from babies to old men parade past him. Above, the Apostles go around Jesus, who blesses them as a rooster crows off to the side. We took a shaky little movie, which I'll upload and add later.
By this time, we were hungry, and our wet clothes had dried somewhat. We had noted a street of restaurants mentioned in Pudlo and Michelin nearish the Cathedral, so wandered over. We decided on a newer place that seemed to be popular with French-speaking business people, usually a good sign. We had a lovely lunch, Larry with the daily special of a beautiful piece of beef with frites and tasty green beans; and I with duck breast and potatoes gratin. We shared a Moelleux, a molten chocolate cake for dessert. Au Petit Tonnelier at 15 rue des Tonnneliers.
By the time we stumbled out of the restaurant into the rain, it was after 3:00. We figured we had time for one museum, so walked over to the Musée Alsacien. It's a museum about daily life in the Alsace of the past, and we found it quite interesting. With admission we got free audioguides in English, which was wonderful for putting the exhibits on homes, occupations, customs and religion into context. There are several rooms on the Jewish population, including a tiny little reconstructed shul.
Strasbourg is a lovely city, with much more to see and do than can be explored in one day. We'd like to return.
We had noticed a nice looking fresh pasta shop, so stopped by there for some spinach ravioli and a piece of Parmesan for dinner. Took the train back, and spent the evening at home reading. Pasta with zucchini for dinner.