Having docked in Strasbourg, France, again for the night, it was a convenient walk up the canal to meet our glass covered canal boat for our one hour ride through the canal that winds through the city.
Like Brugge, Strasbourg is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Half-timbered houses are the typical architecture, however, there was one interesting addition not noticed on the half-timbered houses in other towns. In Strasbourg, some of the houses had beams that had numbers carved into them, because the houses either have been moved or will be moved to another location. The numbers help in reassembling the house correctly.
The city center of Strasbourg has a population of 274,000 and the wealthiest live in 1 million Euro homes along the canal. In addition, there are 70 consulates in Strasbourg along the canals, since Strasbourg is the seat of the Council of Europe, a human rights assembly linking 43 countries from Russia to the Atlantic. Since 1992, it has been the seat of the European Parliament.
Patricia was our guide again today and we learned from her what the meaning was behind the blue European Union flag. The blue represents hope and the circle of gold stars represents the circle of harmony of the people living together within the union. The stars are for perfection; the goal of the European Union.
After our canal tour, we had a leisurely walking tour through the Petite France, the picturesque old quarter, where we saw beautiful half-timbered buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Again, there were cobblestone streets full of quaint charm; very photogenic.
Since it was Sunday, mass was taking place at the Cathedrale de Notre Dame, however, we were able to slip into the back of the cathedral individually, unguided, during our free time. What a magnificent cathedral- and massive!
The rest of our free time was spent exploring the old quarter of the city, before returning to the ship for the afternoon.