Thursday, September 5, 2013

Strasbourg, France: Cathedral

My parents are in town!  Pete's on vacation!  The kids are still off school!'t begun my new French term yet!

My mom is also learning French, so we planned a two-night stay in the Alsace region of France, basing out of Strasbourg.  Strasbourg is about halfway between Lux and Switzerland, and right next to the German border.  It's also kind of half French and half German, since it has belonged to both countries at different times over the centuries.
We rented a minivan and drove the 2 hours to Strasbourg.  It's also very accessible by train from Lux.
I'm devoting this post to the Notre Dame, Strasbourg's impressive Gothic-style cathedral from the Middle Ages.  Next post will be about our time in the rest of the city, and then on to Colmar and a few other quick stops on the Route des Vins.
made of pinkish sandstone from the region
By the way, this is my dad's first visit to in continental Europe.  I should warn you that he's difficult to pin down for photos, as he's typically off somewhere taking his own.  But he's usually not too far away.

awesome organ in the background
Based on what we were planning to do at minimum in Strasbourg, we decided to opt for the Strasbourg Pass from the tourist office.  One of the activities included is to watch the special display of the cathedral's astronomical clock (basically a really old, massive cuckoo clock), occurring each day 12:30pm.  You have to go through this whole fancy procedure to see it; you get your tickets at 11:45, you line up at a special side door, they clear out the whole cathedral, you have to be inside by 12:00, you crowd in with a bunch of other tourists, you watch a ponderously philosophical 20-minute video about the passage of time, in which all lines are slowly repeated in French, German, and English, and then the clock finally does its thing, including an angel and a angel of death character ringing bells, a rooster crowing, and the twelve apostles parading past Jesus as he blesses them.  It's a bit long and boring for the kids, to be honest, but if you are reading this and would like to take your kids, just be prepared to take them down front and sit down on the stone floor with them so they can see.
they can say they did it anyway
Also included in the pass was a climb to the platform (not quite top) of the cathedral.  When Pete and I visited Italy, Austria, and France back in 2005 with our church choir before the kids were born (Daphne was in utero!), climbing up cathedrals and towers was one of our favorite things to do.  Pete's parents (and grandma!) were with us on that trip, so it was fun to have my parents and our kids with us this time.

on our way
on the platform, next to the spire
the view
Hey, there's my dad!
back down
Notre Dame and me at night


Anonymous said...

Wonderful to see my baby brother with LOTS of gray hair! How nice that Hal and Fran can have this special vacation with you. As Grandma Dot would say, "You're making memories!"
Auntie Grace

Debbie said...

How fun. It is raining here in Oregon --- Feel like your post transported me to a very fun "mini vacation"! Love it!