Strasbourg by night

Did you miss my photos in the past week? I hope you did because I’ve some today!
I was out for dinner yesterday and got some pictures on the way there. It’s dark pretty soon these days, so getting out of my room at 5 pm was more than enough!

The restaurant was in the city centre, right on the Corbeau Bridge. I stopped not far from Gallia to snap a photo of St. Paul cathedral and the other side of the bridge:

Then I went to Place Kléber, that was beautiful! In the second photograph, which is, erm, slightly out of focus (citation intended), you can see the huge sapin de Noël (Christmas tree). It’s actually not as big as Milan’s (which is 50 mt tall), but it’s a good 30 mt and I’m sure it’ll be handsome once decorated with the little lights. I saw them lifting it to standing position on Tuesday morning and realized how close Christmas is! Scary.

Knowing we’d be having a late dinner, I also took the chance to enjoy one of my favourite fall treats, roasted chestnuts:
They were good, though I’ve had better. I think most of their charm were due to the fact that I was eating them in such a beautiful place, in such cute rustic-looking paper. When I got to the bottom of the little portion, I found the most precious, perfect chestnut.
I also enjoyed that they were hot. It’s been a couple very cold days here! When I got back from Italy, Strasbourg was all autumn and warm colours and mild weather, but after a dozen cloudy days it’s getting back to freezy. I’m crossing my fingers for some snow before Christmas, and in the meanwhile I’m happy to pedal around town in my beret and gloves (yes, the mistery PC is still there. Creepy.)
One more thing to note is that a couple shops are already sporting Christmas lights! I can’t wait to see more. I’m a big fan, even though I usually am against all kinds of energy waste… hypocrite much? I prefer to save energy all year round and enjoy a few hours of Christmas lights every December. I’m also determined to find a little Christmas tree for my room: I’ve seen some in a few shops yesterday but they were all closed, since the French consider Armistice Day a holiday.
A note about the restaurant we dined at! It’s called the Ancienne Douane and, as I said, in the city centre and right by the Corbeau Bridge. I had already noticed it in my very first day in Strasbourg with my family and we immediately thought “That must be expensive”, so we never got in. It’s actually pretty cheap for being a big traditional restaurant in the city centre and especially for being one of Strasbourg’s historical buildings! (I think I spent about €15.) As the name reveals, the ancient city customs agency was there (in the mediaeval times). If I remember correctly, once there was a fire in the building and people started throwing leaping from a window into the Ill river, until a really fat monk got stuck!
In these days, it’s a huge restaurant with a very large menu that can please everyone, especially in this cold season when the heavy food can be best appreciated. I got a dish with spaetzle, mushrooms and green beans (loaded with garlic, but not as much as some people’s mussels!) (By the way, Strasbourgers love mussels; I’ve also been told that there used to be many alsatian summer dishes that were fish-based, back when it was still possible to eat what was fished in the Ill.)
I’m thinking about taking my family there for an old-fashioned alsatian meal when they come to bring me back home.
L’Ancienne Douane
6 rue de la Douane 67000 Strasbourg
Tel. 03 88 15 78 78
Today, I woke up to some much needed sun! I haven’t seen it in more than a week. It’s also been very humid, which I don’t think will stop before spring.

Since it’s Saturday, hence market day in the Robertsau, and I needed to go grocery shopping, I decided not to get into a dark and sad supermarket. Instead I supported the local business by buying from a half dozen different stands, and have a walk in my (beloved) neighbourhood.

Here’s my loot: different varieties of apples, bananas, clementines, oranges, pumpkin seeds and raisins from my favourite organic produce stand, where the kind lady told me it’s “dommage” (too bad) that I’m already heading back to Italy in Christmas time; dried spanish baby figues and apricots, and a small goat cheese at the stand of a big man with a loud roaring laughter;

Yogurts (cinnamon cherry, rhubarb, damson plums [a big alsatian desserts staple], blackbarry, coffee) and a huge vanilla/chocolat flan at the dairy stand, where the small old lady right before me got some fruity cream yogurts speaking in alsatian – and I was excited to find out that I could understand what she said! After all, alsatian dialect is a mix of german and french, and I knew the context. The woman at the stand was not impressed and answered in the same dialect without blinking an eye. I’m actually scared about the huge flan because I know once I open it it’ll be finished in a matter of hours.

Tomorrow morning should be interesting, if I can wake up by 8 am. I’ll let you know!

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