Monday, November 9, 2009

Snails in Strasbourg, France

Two weekends ago, we decided that we needed one last mini-weekend adventure, so we bought some tickets for the weekend to Strasbourg, France - a beautiful city, the seat of the Region, in the Alsace Region of France. The tickets for two with half-tax cost 200 CHF and then I snagged a four star hotel for 80€. Not bad for a weekend getaway.

Stasbourg (or Strassburg/Straßburg in German) is a strange city actually, because they speak French and are French but being on the border and having changed hands so many times throughout history, a lot of the city feels 100% German - I mean, check out these buildinging above - nothing says Germany to me like these wooden decorated homes with the geraniums. Perhaps everyone in Strasbourg suffers from a bit of a cultural identity crisis. In one hand, they have a big fat Bavarian-style pretzel, in the other they are washing it down with a Bordeaux. Not literally, but that is how I would best describe Stasbourg.

The highlight of Strasbourg, like many major German cities - er... nevermind... is the Münster or Cathedral.  This beautiful piece of Gothic architecture was definitely the highlight of the city. The church is made of beautiful sandstone - in need of renovation if you ask me - and inside is a very nice astronomical clock in which a skeleton chimes the bell on the hour - very similar to the astronomical clock in Prague, which in in my opinion is the better still.

Details on the Strasbourg Münster door and entry-way.
I love gothic entry-ways with all the carvings.

Naturally, when going to Strasbourg, you will want to make sure you stop in one of the many bakeries and try some of the regional specialties - there are sooooo many yummy looking bakeries to choose from. We of course, at the advice of Kerrin and others, had to try a Kugelhopf, local to the Alsace region.

Perhaps it was just me - then again, Jace agreed - they look sweeter than they are. If you have had the  British/Aussie Easter specialty, the hot-crossed bun, they are just like that (bread with raisins and powdered sugar) but without the ever so sweet and delicious icing cross on top. So I liked the Kugelhopf/Gugelhopf, but I prefer something with more sweetness - like one of the million other cookies in the bakeries or the chocolates and macaroons on offer in Colmar - more on that on Wednesday!

The souvenier possibilities are HUGE in Stasbourg if you love to cook - lots of lovely French linens and tablecloths and these great big pots. Any idea what these are for? Just casseroles or are they more like a big cast iron pot? I think they were ceramic actually. They were lovely, but I could not buy any more now that I know how much it costs to take it all back to Australia with us! :)

For dinner, we stumbled upon a restaurant overlooking the locks, and of course being in France, Jace just HAD to have snails. We really like them really and if you have never tried them, I recommend you do! Honestly, if you like garlic and butter you will love snails. I understand these were done Alsace style, but honestly the butter and garlic was no different - perhaps it was the addition of a bunch of parsley? Either way - yum! Do try them. Up to you if you get 12 like Jace, or 6 like me. :)

Enjoy Strasbourg if you are looking for a getaway just 2 and a half hours from Zürich by train. It really was a lovely little spot for a relaxed Saturday . More from the Alsace Region on Wednesday, as we also visited Colmar! Tomorrow, a guest post from Chantal!

Ps. If you would like to be a guest blogger on Swisstory, contact me. Through the end of the year, while we are in transition I am looking for guest bloggers. I look forward to hearing from you!
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dyanna said...

Your blog is really interesting.I'm waiting for your new post.
Have a nice day.

Swiss Side Jewellery etc said...

Hi Jessica,
Love your blog (great photos, interesting posts) and will be back to read more soon.

Sorcerer said...

hey!! nice blog and nice writeup..thats pretty interesting read too.

John, Kim and Ella said...

Thanks for the Alsace post! We've been thinking about a weekend out there - this was perfect!


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