Strasbourg, Munster and Cologne

June 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

Gentle beams of yellow light interlope on the dark room from the windows by my bed. Outside the translucent curtains, the sounds of laughter, high heels clicking on the cobblestone and waiters pouring the final glass of wine. Occasionally, the waft of a light cigarette floats through the open window from the walkway below. It’s the middle of the night, but Strasbourg isn’t sleepy. And neither am I. (Written about a week ago, when I was jet-lagged, heavy-headed, sitting in a dark hotel room waiting for the sunrise.)

The sun did rise, and my brother and I took a walk along in river in Strasbourg, stopping in at a boulangerie on the way back at exactly six a.m. Unfortunately, we never saw the sunrise because the sky was shrouded in clouds. Still the cobblestone streets were peaceful, mostly deserted save for the few men setting up white tents for the market in an old square and the street-cleaning trunks making their way down the larger roads.

From there, onwards to the mountainous region of Alsace and the Vosges. We twisted around the slopes and mountain passes, passing ski lifts running without snow on the ground, green pastures, studded with wildflowers, on which vosgienne cows — known for their black and white coloring, their delicate faces, a cow species renowned for its beauty (who knew that existed?) — grazed before being called into the barn to be milked. We descended on foot into cool caves, where rounds of cheese, tinged pink of the outside, age for several weeks.

Our final stop was Cologne for the weekend, where we rode bikes along the river (I only crashed once!) and ate “the best” gelato in town. In the backyard, breakfasts of croissants, fresh strawberry jam and steaming, milky coffee. In the evening, crowds of people looking up at the big TV screen displaying the soccer game for what must have been thousands of people. In the early morning, with the birds chirping and the rabbits scampering across the grass, walking home from the club.

Welcome to Euro, take three.

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