In the morning we took the mètro to Gare de l’Est and caught a TGV to Strasbourg. The TGV travels the 493 km in 2 hours 20 minutes, for an average speed of 211 km/hour.
From the Strasbourg train station, we walked to our apartment in Petite France, an old part of the city with half-timbered houses and canals.
We stayed near this canal and square with Christmas market huts. The large building on the canal is Maison des Tanneurs, a restaurant specializing in choucroute, an Alsatian specialty. More on that in a later post. The area was formerly filled with tanning houses and slaughterhouses, so the restaurant is named House of Tanners.
The Strasbourg city center is an island surrounded by canals fed by the nearby Rhine River. The Grande Île is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The canals near Petite France are especially wide and picturesque, and we took a walk along the canal.
I especially wanted to see Les Ponts Couvertes, the covered bridges. The US has few covered bridges, and they’re a disappearing breed. We walked up to the island with a tower, shown in the photo below. I checked the map, which indicated we were very close, but I couldn’t see covered bridges. Signs and internet photos indicate that these are Les Ponts Couvertes, but these bridges aren’t covered!