I very much enjoyed this city. It had quaint cultural elements that gave it a certain joie de vivre. When we got to the centre square, we were greeted by a gorgeous carrousel as well as an extensive chess game where tourists and locals could take on a local master. The square was so full of life and vibrancy, it was impossible not to fall in love with it.
We also took our time perusing the Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg, which is not as beautiful and famous as its Parisian counterpart, but it was nevertheless impressive. Much of the architecture, like most European cities, was quite remarkable. Being so close to the border of Germany, you could still see German influences in a lot of the buildings around Strasbourg. However, there was also something so uniquely French about this city. There were numerous beautiful waterways and canals, as well as stone bridges. It is really a wonderful city to leisurely walk around.
One thing that really impressed me was a house that we passed by that was covered in lavender. From plants ascending the outer walls of the house, to an entire lavender canopied walkway leading up to the house, it was a pleasure for both the eyes and the nose. Lavender is just about as French as it gets.
Of course, the most impressive thing – and it always is about France – was the food. As you may recall from my Colmar article, what I missed out on in my last trip to France was all of my patisserie favourites. I more than made up for that this time around! I will first note that anyone who has never tried Millfeuille has not lived! This is my absolute patisserie favourite. It is layer after layer of flaky pastry goodness paired with a delicious creamy custard and topped with a chocolate and glaze like finishing layer. It is out of this word! It is the perfect treat because it is not too sweet and just bursting with flavour. As a cautionary note, it is a little difficult to eat, since when you bite down on all of these delicious layers everything gets pushed out of order, but the mess is worth every single bite.
My other favourite include Macrons, which I bought from Paul’s bakery. If you are ever in France you should try to find a Paul’s somewhere. It is some of the most extraordinary baked goods that you will ever come across. There was also, of course, an impressive selection of breads and other baked goods. We also passed by a patisseries that had a wonderful selection of chocolate and candy. Have I succeeded in making you hungry yet?
All in all, the trip was fantastic because the weather was beautiful, the food was absolutely fantastic, and the company was amazing. As long as you have good weather, good food, and good people to share it with, nothing else really matters.
Published in Fusia magazine, July 2015