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Thursday, July 07, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 3, Part 1 - Strasbourg

"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." - William James

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 3 - 19th March - Strasbourg
(Part 1)

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View from hostel room window

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Note that the logo of the restaurant ("le Plateau") is a cow as well as a plate.

At breakfast they were out of English Tea, so I took "Verveine" (Verbena). And added milk to something that turned out to resemble Green Tea.

I was super nua this morning, because of the 9km walk the previous day (though my dinner host said she hiked 9km in the forest every other day) and because it was -3 to 7 degrees outside. So I only left at 8:55am!

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"Vous êtes Séparé(e), Divorcé(e) ou Veuf(ve)? Vous cherchez de nouveaux amis ?"
"Are you separated, divorced or widowed? Are you looking for new friends"
Hurr hurr. This is actually a good idea.

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Eglise catholique Saint Pierre le Jeune (Catholic Church of St Peter the Young. There're 3 other St Peter's in the city)

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Statue of Charles de Foucauld in front of the church. He "was a French Catholic religious and priest living among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916 outside the door of the fort he built for protection of the Tuareg and is considered by the Catholic Church to be a martyr"

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Palais de Justice

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Bilingual road sign: Rue du Général de Castelnau / Am Roseneck
I like how it doesn't translate. Also not all roads were bilingual so I suspect it was for tourists.

I then headed to the Place de la République (Republic Square). It seems all French towns have a Place de la République. And a Rue de la République.

I'd previously downloaded a French audioguide from SNCF (the rail company) for Strasbourg so I got some commentary. For some reason the library only had Paris and Provence guidebooks; being in Alsace for only 2 days I relied on SNCF, the Office du Tourisme (which ave me pamphlets in English, hah) and a local I met later.

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"A nos morts en Indochine et en Afrique du Nord"
("To our dead in Indochina and North Africa")
The war memorial was especially poignant, with families split with members on both sides during World War I.

In 1871 the Germans took over and build an administrative centre here (moving from the old city).

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Palais du Rhin. Commission centrale pour la navigation du Rhin

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Prefecture building for the Lower Rhine

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National Library and University

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National Theatre

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Place de la République:
360 degree feature of my camera. This is one of the few shots which looks better on my computer than on my camera (the Fuji F300EXR's failings can be the subject of an entire blogpost)

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Poster for a Janáček opera. Despite my feelings about 20th century composers, I would've been willing to give him a try if the schedule had permitted it.

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"Le Tchad 1940
Koufra 1941
Le Fezzan 1942
Tripolitaine Tunisie 1943
Paris-Strasbourg 1944
Jurez de ne déposer les armes que le jour ou nos couleurs nos belles couleurs flotteront sur la cathédrale de Strasbourg"
("Swear not to lay down weapons until the day when our colours, beautiful colours fly from the Cathedral of Strasbourg")
This was a vow for the liberation of France made by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, to whom this obelisk is dedicated. Funfair around notwithstanding.
Apparently he was appointed a Marshal of France 5 years after his death.

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Guess what building this is.

It was election season so I amused myself reading campaign posters. There were 2 main types of posters:

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Type 1: Wall of Text
They're supported by "Women of Alsace" and are working "for a vibrant, creative democracy showing solidarity" (by sending kids to National Education centres, mixing age groups in housing and the creation of social spaces). They also want quotas for women in all majority (?) elections, sigh.

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Type 2: Picture
"A new political breath"
In contrast with the previous poster, this was big on face and low on details so I assume she wanted people to vote for her looks.

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A quack doctor who does homeopathy.

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This Diesel ad stood out for not having a French translation for its copy.

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Confectionary Shop window

A concert poster advertised: "Don Juan Ouverture". Hurr hurr.

At the cathedral I met my local contact, and he showed me around.

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Cathedral plan

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The Mount of Olives, 1498. The Italian idea of it, anyway.

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3 Saints: St Nicholas, St Pancras (?) and St Catherine

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Altar

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Info Panel on the Stained Glass

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Nave

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Unlit Astronomical Clock

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Lit Astronomical Clock (I think I lit it with a coin)

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Panel on Jean Geiler de Kaysersberg, who worked at Strasbourg Cathedral
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