The next day, we had our tourist itinerary thanks to Alex and the internet.
We grabbed breakfast at Atelier 116, which is a tasty bakery that is definitely featured in several guidebooks based on the crowd it draws. I ordered a Kugelhopf in addition to a breakfast pastry. I was on a mission to try a lot of local/regional dishes and I feel I did a pretty good job this trip!
We walked in Petite France, which is so cute. There are a few canals that are tributaries of the river Ill.
The buildings are so pretty. There are a lot of tourists, which isn’t a bad thing. After traveling through this region for a few days, SMS said Alsace is like the Cinque Terre of France: cute, small towns with pretty houses/buildings that tourists flock to and move among from stop to stop. This may not sound super flattering but no ill intent is meant in the observation. These places are tourist sites for a reason- they’re gorgeous.
We went to the Cathedral to see the interior, as well as the Astronomer’s clock. We bought tickets right before they closed for interval preceding the Astronomer clock show. The tickets are sold 1130-12, then a movie is shown from 12-1230, and finally, the Astronomer Clock has its big reveal at 1230.
The movie is quite informative. The clock itself is pretty amazing but in terms of my personal interest in glockenspiel/cuckoo clock type displays, I think this may be it for me after seeing the Munich Rathaus and now this one. I know, I know. This is probably heresy to certain people but you know, we make our own vacation experiences.
Next, we got lunch at the other restaurant Alex recommended. Well, actually, he recommended another restaurant (Buerehiesel) that’s Michelin starred and offers fairly reasonable prix fixe lunch menus. But, it’s near the EU and there was a plenary session that week so the reservations were complet.
Instead, we went to Madison Kammerzell, where there are several Alsatian specialities including sauerkraut with fish. This did not sound appetizing at all when Alex mentioned it the previous night, but we decided to try it. It was awesome! We also split a tarte d’onignon, which was quite good.
Afterward, I got an ice cream from Glacier, another Alex recommendation. Peach sorbet and fromage blanc ice cream. Another hit!
After lunch, we went on a Batorama river cruise. It was a covered cruise boat, so a little less fun than the uncovered boat we were on in Amsterdam, but we enjoyed seeing the waterside view of places we had walked through that day and the previous day.
When we landed, we went straight to the tram station. We had plans to meet up with Alex for a quick drink. This meant that we “saw” another country on this trip since we crossed into Germany. But Alex says it’s very French in that area. We went to his house, which was 10 minutes outside of town, which quickly transitioned to a more rural appearance, even though we were so close to a city.
His house is beautiful and we met his wife Vanessa, who is really nice. She’s a Spanish professor and speaks French and Spanish so through my worst Franish/Spench, we communicated a bit. Alex had to work that evening since he has a divided work day so that he can take meetings that work for PST. So, we took off after an hour or so and headed out for dinner.
For dinner, we went to Caupona Taverne where SMS got a spaetchle dish, while I got a vegetable tarte flambée/Flammekueche. Spoiler alert, tarte flambée is still not much of a health food even with vegetables on it. But it’s still delicious!
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel. Another beautiful night with our walk as a digestif!