Friday, September 22, 2017

Petite France

Day 6 - So Beautiful

In Petite France, the Ill River splits into several channels that cascade through an area which, in the Middle Ages, was home to Tanners, Millers and Fisherman -

It is now a very beautiful part of the Strasbourg Tourist area.

With it's Locks ...

(OK .... I couldn't resist that one)

With it's Lochs and Swing bridges 
- tourist boats now cruise the river

Petite France is also home to what has been referred to as 
"The Best Gingerbread Store in all of Strasbourg"

Just don't get there between 12 and 2
or you may, as we did, find the store closed for Lunch!
(which the owners were enjoying at a table set 
with Baguettes and glass or two of Red Wine at the counter)

No Gingerbread for me then....

Thursday, September 21, 2017

That Other Famous Building

Day 5 - European Parliament

Strasbourg is not JUST home to beautiful centuries old Cathedrals and rambling alleyways made of Cobblestones.

Strasbourg is also home to some of the most modern buildings in Europe. 

The European Parliament,
The European Court of Human Rights
and The Council of Europe.

Each of the five buildings are named after distinguished European Politicians.

You can reach the Parliament Buildings by Tram
or Cycle along one one the many Bike Paths in the City -
Or take a leisurely stroll form your Hotel
(If it happens to be on 'that side of Town").

Otherwise You can take a Scenic Cruise up the Ill River on one of the Tourist Batorama Boats.  Unfortunately you can't get off the Cruise as it is a 'there and back again' deal.

Walking around the perimeter brought us to the Tram Stop and a view of the controversial 60 mt  Tower which has been deliberately left unfinished at the top.

It is not hard to see that the Architects were influenced by Roman Amphitheatres when designing the building.

It is possible to arrange a visit to the European Parliament - or if you happen to be around in May, you can come to the Open Day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Exploring Strasbourg - Don't forget to go out in the Dark

Day Four - Fairly Quiet

Well, some days just have to be for resting and not doing very much at all. 

St. Paul's Church - Strasbourg
I must say that the best part of our time in Strasbourg is the 25 minute walk back to our Hotel at night along the Ill River. 

And when you get to see sights like this - it is worth every step!

Saint Paul's Church was built in 1892 and designed for the Lutheran members of the Imperial German Garrison which was stationed in Strasbourg.  It is unusual as it is wider than it is long and has 19 entrance portals to accommodate Military Personal from the Highest Ranks down - Including the Emperor should he come!

We have passed this building many times but have never gone in - nor seen the Pipe Organ which is said to be the largest Instrument in Alsace and most probably Eastern France.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Frankfurt to Strasbourg by Train in First Class comfort

Well......... That was what was SUPPOSED to happen.

All tickets for all train journeys were prepurchased before we left home (and happily sitting on the Travel Agent's 12 months Interest Free offer along with our Flights and Accommodation.)

We arrived at the Station with plenty of time to locate the Schedule Board to see which platform our train was departing from.
Train 8590 Direct, Frankfurt to Strasbourg a leisurely 2 hour journey was NOT on the Board. 

This concerned us and eventually we found a lovely Information Ambassador, (I got the feeling he was a volunteer) who advised us
"Oh - That train is not running" - What?- 
"You will need to get on that one over there and get off at Karlsruhe and get a Bus" - Pardon? -
"But don't worry, you are only going to Strasbourg - everyone else are going to Switzerland...They are NOT happy"

So now we find ourselves in a Foreign Country on a Train going 'somewhere else' with tickets for one that does not exist.
Thank the Lord He led us to seats in a Cabin with a group of Multi-lingual locals who took control of 'advising' the Conductor of our situation and we were able to continue our adventure a lot more relaxed and with wonderful company.

The remainder of our journey - although not totally without amusing incidents was a comfortable trip through the German/French countryside, delivering us safely to Strasbourg just in time to freshen up for our 7:30 Dinner Reservation and the reason for the Trip.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Returning to Strasbourg Via ... Frankfurt

Well, why not?
After all We have seen Paris, and She couldn't have changed that much in 6 months!

Day One - Frankfurt Germany
How can you make the most of a City when you only have 2 days?

Get a City Pass of Course!
In our case we applied and downloaded the E.Ticket before leaving Melbourne as the Pass included travel in the inner city and Frankfurt Airport.
This was very useful as we got off our Plane, walked through to the Airport Station and straight onto a Train heading for our Hotel. 

No wandering around looking for ticket machines that speak English when you are Jet-lagged.

Day Two - Where the Tram took us

It is always fun to take off armed with your Camera and a comfy pair of shoes and do a little Street Photography - In this case a chance to watch a true craftsman lay Cobblestones in a Plaza that is being restored.

And having laid a few Brick paths in my time - his methods were particularly interesting!

But this didn't fill in very much of our day - so it was back on the Tram to see where it took us, after all we had 'Nowhere to go and all day to get there'.

Frankfurt Zoo - 
Our Frankfurt Card gave 50% discount on entry to the Zoo which meant it was only €10 for us both and an opportunity to see how other Zoos compare to Melbourne.

Initially we were concerned at the enclosures but could see there was a lot of work going on to improve the environment for the animals - A new Penguin House is being constructed at the moment, and I am sure they will feel right at home come Winter.

Which of course made us realise that Northern Hemisphere Zoos have to 'over-winter' their Warm Climate Animals INSIDE. 
A problem we don't have in Melbourne.

We saw Creatures - Great...

This Beautiful Lady is a 5 yr old Indian Lioness called Zarina.  She was pacing back and forth when we came across her, ignoring all those who were on the other side of the glass. 
Six Steps - turn - Six steps back - turn... over and over, that was until she saw me.

We don't know what it was but when I raised my camera She stopped dead in her tracks - Turned and held my gaze through the lens.
And then - to show just WHO was 'Boss' jumped at the glass, raising herself to her full height and pawing at the window.

Maybe I should have respectfully requested the Photo before taking it?

... And Small.

From the Majesty of  a Lioness on the Prowl

To an Intimate moment between a Mother and her Baby.

These are Tiny Striped Grass Mice or Zebra Mice from the Grasslands of the Savannah in Africa.
The little ones were out exploring - perfectly safe from predators, but that didn't stop Mum from checking on her little one.

I can actually watch Mice in their Natural Habitat for ages, they are fascinating creatures.
(Note: My House is NOT a natural habitat for mice - so they get evicted very quickly should one stray inside!)

....And Curious

Can't say I have ever seen a Pale PINK Pelican before -

But ... To see things we have not encountered before IS, after all why we travel!

Tomorrow:- Back on the Train - Destination Strasbourg

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Belandre - South Morang

Gluten Free Heaven!

I have a young friend who is Gluten Intolerant who has a Sister who is allergic to a lot more as well, so whenever I find new products I usually let her know.

Today I walked into a small shopping plaza in McDonalds Road South Morang to discover a tiny unassuming little Cafe that specialises in Gluten and Lactose Free products.

It is situated in the Woolworths Supermarket foyer - just a timber dining table that seats 12 and a Counter hiding beside the ATMs.  We almost walked past in preference to the more up-market Cafe that faced the parking lot.

I don't have any problems with food allergies and intolerances (other than a small issue with Malt which limits my indulgences in Mars Bars) but going out for coffee with Family and Friends who do, is sometimes distressing. So finding a gem like this is rare indeed.

The owner is a qualified Chef and makes all the Cakes, Slices and Biscuits on offer and will make GF Toasties to order.
Commercial Pies, Sausage Rolls and 'Piesties' are also available as is Fresh/frozen GF take home Pasta, Pastry and Flour by Ardour.

And the verdict from the Lactose Intolerant One when presented with a Gluten and Lactose Free Vanilla Slice -
Oh.. I ate it all - it was YUM. - High praise indeed!

Central South Morang
340 McDonlads Road South Morang
(Located inside - opposite Woolworths )
0428 799 800

Monday, August 14, 2017

Taking on a new direction

Myrtle and ME has always been about the Coffee shops I visit while I am Out and About and the service I received while I was there.
Was it good coffee or bad?
Did they give me a bonus cookie or chocolate?
Was there Foam Art on my Coffee?
And the ever present question - Will I return!

Coming home and writing up an experience at a coffee shop that day or even a week later is very time consuming and with the advent of Instagram a little out dated.

And of course Coffee shops come and go - Close down, change owners, Awesome Baristas arrive and then leave again, and the experience I received is never the same from one visit to the next.

So - It is time for a change!

I will not be closing Myrtle and ME but I will be re-purposing it!
(Recycling is all the go isn't it?)
As my DH talks of retirement and his hope to 'not sit at home and stagnate' - I will be taking Myrtle on the road once again but as a TRAVEL Blog.

I will still write about Cafe's and Coffee but as part of Our travels.

In the next few weeks you will see some changes I will be integrating my existing Travel Posts across from my main Blog, so it will mean that AussieKiltedQuilter can be more about ... Quilting (and a few other distractions!)

Come and join ME and DH and of course Myrtle (my trusty Sat-Nav)
as we go on some new adventures.

Sincere apologies to anyone who has me on their reading list for the multiple posts while I have been moving my Travel Posts across.