Selestat is a small almost unknown town that lies in the Alsace region south west of Strasbourg. Even though the town of Selestat is tiny, the Bibliothèque Humaniste de Sélestat holds quite a few important old manuscripts..important to Richard’s research at least. So, we are planning to take a week « vacation » in Selestat so that Richard can drool over manuscripts. Which means I get to explore another French town! So, this morning we set out for Strasbourg — the closest the TGV will take us is to Selestat. Because we had to pass through it anyway and Strasbourg is supposed to have its own allure, we decided to rent a hotel for a night and walk around Strasbourg before finishing our trip to Selestat.
The 2 hour and 10 minute TGV ride was great… if you don’t count the motion sickness and the fact that we weren’t given very much time to get off the train! When we arrived in Strasbourg, we got all of our stuff, waiting until everyone had passed (because we had a stroller and luggage with us) and headed toward the exit. As I was descending with Norah, the train doors started to close on me! So, there I was holding Norah with one arm and the train doors open with the other, Richard, Sydney, the strolller, etc. were still inside and the doors wouldn’t reopen! They just kept trying to close on me. Luckily a lady (who sat in front of us on the train) took Norah from me so that could put more effort into holding the door open for Sydney and Richard. In the end we and all of our stuff made it out, but just barely!I was so surprised that when the train doors sensed pressure that they didn’t reopen! It took a lot of work to push them back enough to get us all out. The skytrain in Vancouver opens immediately when it notices something wrong to make sure no one gets hurt….anyway, a couple of security guards came up to us afterwards and to tell us that next time we had to be prepared before the train stopped and immediately exit the train. Even though the fellow was supposed to tell us off, he was really nice, and said that he has a daughter too and it’s not easy to get her and the bags off, but to remember for next time. In the end it was at least an exciting part of our journey.
After a half our walk to our hotel we stopped to take a break and have a snack before heading out to see the city. It didn’t take us very long to get to the centre of the city where the huge (and by that I mean massive – photos never really do justice) Cathedral is. These days no one puts that kind of work and detail into buildings.. I suppose it’s just too expensive. It’s a shame really, because the cathedrals around here are just magnificent! Richard and I both agreed that the cathedral in Strasbourg outshines Notre Dame in Paris.
Outside, the cathedral is surrounded by cafés, restaurants and giftshops, but is not nearly as touristy as Paris. Just down the road we found a carrousel….actually Sydney and I found a carrousel, Daddy found a statue of an old guy holding a scroll (… I don’t think he noticed the carrousel for a while…I’m kidding, but would any one have been surprised?). As Sydney watched, her face lit up and she looked at us and said «Can I go on That!? » So Richard took her on and stood beside her for her first carrousel ride.
By the way, the old guy holding a scroll was Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press.