This might have been the best day. We docked on the German side of the Rhine, but for our tour we went to Strasbourg, France. People had so much fun and enjoyed the atmosphere so much they stay for a later bus to take back to the ship and ate lunch in town. We probably would have done the same except we had a tour of a winery in the afternoon.
On the tour we crossed a bridge from Germany to France. We had our passports and Covid records, but neither was checked. They didn’t care we crossed the border. The French seemed laid back in Strasbourg. We saw the statue of Gutenberg which thrilled me. We also went in the Strasbourg Cathedral which has the Strasbourg Astronomical Clock, which really impressed me.
On the bus going to the downtown area, we went through a housing area which had big storks and storks nests on the roofs which thrilled everyone on the bus. We saw also some the next day on the way to the black forest in Germany.
Our guide was a young French lady. She talked about how many times Strasbourg changed nationalities in its history and how her grandpa had to get four different passports in his life. Mainly due to WWI and WWII. She also said Strasbourg falls under the German retirement system. She said they can do this as both are part of the European Union. She was pretty mellow about the whole thing just thinking whatever it is that is what it is. She said that people in Strasbourg don’t like either the Prussians or the French. They just like to be left alone and anybody from a Federal Government can stay away. I like the attitude.
The Astronomical Clock was the third one built on the site. Jean-Baptiste Schwigue was a boy when the second clocked stopped. He vowed to get the clock going one day. He got the contract about 50 years later. The gold hands on the clock show solar time and the silver hands show central European time.
We didn’t see the big show at noon with the clock, but we got to see the clock ring the hour with an 18-inch figures. This clock has a lot of details. Which the Church itself is beautiful, that is just a bonus. I would highly recommend seeing this clock to anybody.
We also had time to do some shopping in a square. One guy actually came out of his shop with cookies. I took one then the rest of the group and other tourists descended on him. They were great and I normally would have bought some, but we ate so great on the ship I resisted the temptation. When we went shopping I asked the guide about a candy shop. She said there was one on the other end of the square and gave us directions on how to get there. Her directions were perfect as we found it easily and I was all excited. The shop was closed on Sundays and Mondays. Bummer.
We had lunch on the ship and went back to France to visit a winery. The winery was not only interesting but very educational. The owner gave the tour. We didn’t see his field, but we saw the winery itself. We learned how the wine is made and stored. European wine doesn’t have as many additives. You can drink a few glasses and not get a headache. At least my wife and I never did on the tour. I only had wine for dinner twice and this wine tracing, but never had a headache. My wife had wine a few more night and always gets a headache drinking wine. She never did on the tour.
The owner said he was the 14th generation, and his son will be the 15th. He took us to the basement where the wine was stored. He had posters of Star Wars on the walls. He said one of his wines is named after Princess Leia. He also had replicas of the Chinese Terracotta soldiers. It was a very interesting basement.
Next we did wine tasting. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but he made me appreciate it more. I always wondered if it worked to put wines with certain foods, but he described how the flavors worked together it made sense. The most fun thing he said was you don’t say “I don’t like the wine” you should say “I don’t understand the wine”. The reason is if you don’t like it the wine is probably pared with the wrong food, or you were looking for a different dryness or sweetness. Since we were going to taste different wines he gave put nice looking containers on the table to pour the left-over wine. It was very enjoyable.
On the way back to the ship we stopped in a little town. The guide took us on a short tour of the city. When we got to the city center he said we had to be back on the bus in half an hour, but it was only a 10-minute walk. So, we had 20 minutes to shop. We found the candy store fairly fast. This was a nice shop, on friends bought candy there also. We bought some caramels for our friends and two boxes for our friends. This ended our candy shopping.
We went home and had dinner and didn’t stay up very long after the dinner.