The pronoun and verb “I do” were the best two words that I have ever spoken in my life. This simple phrase has brought me happiness for over 25 years and were spoken to the love of my life, Franz. In celebration of our silver anniversary we wanted to visit a city that exuded romantic ambience where we could reflect on the past, revel in the present, and plan for the future. We chose the quaint but sophisticated city of Strasbourg, France. And an excellent choice it was. This ancient city is situated on the shores of the Ill river near the Rhein that separates France and Germany. It also serves as the seat of the European Parliament as well as the capital of the winemaking Alsace region. At the heart of the city center is the Grande Ile which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Strasbourg not only lived up to but exceeded our expectations. From our Hotel Cathédrale suite in the historic center we had an amazing view of the 1439 year old Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral with its single soaring spire and intricate details of the ornamentation. The evening luminance of the stained glass windows was stunning. We enjoyed our time strolling the cobbled streets lined with Rheinland black and white timbered facades, colorful flower boxes, and flowing canals. A boat tour we took highlighted the eclectic mixture of architectural styles ranging from the sleek Parliament to the charming La Petite France that reflected the historical influences from the Romans to Martin Luther and the present.
This blending of Franco/Germanic culture is deliciously expressed in the food and wines of the region. We indulged in the typical Alsatian dishes including Choucroute garnie (sauerkraut, potato, and pork), La Tarte Flambée (German/French pizza), Jambon En Croute (ham, onions, leeks, with a dough crust) and Beerawecka (Alsatian pastry) and of course, my favorite Crème Brûlée. Yummy! Wines bars and Winstube (wine & food) are plentiful and we imbibed our fair share of fermented grape juice. The province of the Alsace Lorraine wines are renown for their white wines that include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner and Muscat and a light bodied red Pinot Noir. For our anniversary dinner we chose a small restaurant in the La Petite France quarter called La Cambuse that specializes in Vietnamese/German fusion cuisine. And pleased we were. The restaurant has a nautical theme and the seafood selections were exquisite. We enjoyed the house speciality which is a Vietnamese ravioli stuffed with sea bream in a fragment cilantro broth. Heavenly. It was a memorable evening, with my wonderful husband, in a beautiful place. I look forward to the next 25 years.