Mon 25 Nov - Strasbourg, France

New country, new town...

We woke up at Hotel Angelo in München to a cold and crispy morning. This was the view from the window of our room.

Another earlyish morning, 6am wake up call, as we had a bus to catch at 9am from München's main bus station ZOB (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof) next to their train Hauptbahnhof.

The breakfast at Angelo commenced at 6.30am and was something else. A German style buffet with all the usual suspects of eggs and bacon, but also many types of wurst and lots of different cheese. 8 types of cereal were on offer including 4 types of muesli but to Hans disappointment, not Weetabix and not corn flakes. Oh well, there was a lot of other things on offer.

We really like hotel Angelo. It was a very modern, colorful and homely place and we could easily had stayed there for many more nights.

At 7.30am or so, we checked out and wandered to the local S-bahn station, being Harras. Rush hour traffic on the train this Monday morning, but we got seats and were soon at the Hackerbrücke station where the 2 bahnhofs are. Overlooking the trains...

And next to it is the ZOB building with the buses underneath.

Did we say cold morning? It was also slippery in places due to ice that had formed overnight. This sign was not kidding. You'd better pay attention when walking across here.

Today's bus route is twofold. First from München to Freiburg and after 1 1/2 hours in Freiburg to Strasbourg which of course is in France. Here is Di outside our first bus waiting for the driver to return with his morning cuppa.

Meinfernbus turned out to be a real winner and is probably our favorite so far. A few examples of what we like:

  • Check in - don't even have to show a ticket; paper or virtual. They have the names of every passenger on a mobile phone, you tell them yours, show ID and they tick them off on line
  • Punctuality - departure on the minute from München and two minutes ahead of time from Freiburg
  • Comfortable seating - yes, they were
  • Good drivers - yes, they were too

We even liked the short break for a smoko at a few places. Firstly, in Friedrichshafen at the southern end of Germany, at the Bodensee with Swiss territory across that water. Then this place Badeparadis in the Schwartzwald. The break gave us an opportunity to stretch our legs after we had been sitting still for a long time and also to take some photos.

Yes, this part of the journey looked really alpine in places, although the best was yet to come on this trip.

A tad nippy... But it did wake you up.

Well, Hans was sure afterwards that Di must have been asking for it at the time...

Back on the bus and we had a steep mountain road experience as we wound our way down from snow topped alps to the flat farm lands below. Lovely views but Di of course was watching carefully.

We arrived in Freiburg for our 1+ hour gap between buses. Perfect for lunch at just after 1.40pm and a nearby döner kebab shop did the trick for us. Lots of food, in fact far too much, but really tasty döners.

As mentioned earlier, the next bus to Strasbourg departed ahead of time at just before 3.15pm and has only one stop at Kehl, which is across the Rhine from Strasbourg but on the German side.

The Rhine here forms the border between Germany and France and as soon we were into French territory, there were a few things that we noted...

  • Almost immediately we ended up in a long queue of vehicles, first time today
  • The squeeze was due to road and bridge work... with nobody there working at 4.30pm (not noticeable in Germany, must be more contractors there); and this...
  • A well thought out and designed temporary left hand turn lane...maybe not...

We arrived in Strasbourg almost on the minute to the published arrival time at 4.35pm. The trams going into town and onto our stop and hotel were literally next to the bus stop (4 stops only). So, on we bought tickets and jumped on...

Well, we did notice another thing too. The Germans can be pushy and impolite at times, but the French immediately did a "better" job at it.

For example, a lady with a stick pushed herself onto Hans spot on the tram and proceeded to almost sit on Hans bag, and as Di was leaving the tram with her bag, she was almost run over by furious little ladies trying to get in, looking for seats perhaps.

Here is our hotel in Strasbourg, Le Petit Trianon, which is just outside the old town inner ring, but very close to the Gare as Hauptbahnhof is called in French which will serve us well when we move on to Paris later this week.

We got a tiny tiny room with a double bed but managed to change that to a twin room instead as they usually have more space. Nowhere near as classy as Angelo in München, but the price was a lot better instead.

After a short break in the room, we took to the streets and our immediate neighborhood to get our bearings. Well, we very quickly crossed one of the many bridges across L'ill river and onto the Grande I'le or Grand Island, the UNESCO classified historical city centre of Strasbourg.

Not hard to see why... The old buildings along the L'ill are just gorgeous in the dark...

... so we took a few photos...

...and even a "selfie".

Well, we have to explore these places tomorrow as that wasn't really our plan for tonight and we had no idea what they were.

The water was coming down here furiously and it looked great as parts of it was also lit up.

Of course, Strasbourg has been both German and French at various times through history and signs showing streetnames in both languages (although old German) seemed to be quite common. We thought that was a nice touch.

As the sun had gone down several hours sago the temperature was quickly dropping to freezing and we kept moving. Our quest for something simple to eat, soup or so, took us to the Gare as the light snow flakes dropping on us earlier became mostly sleet.

The Gare of Strasbourg is an old station encapsulated in a glass dome. An interesting way of creating more space.

Well, we found a "quick and go" style place inside the station but their menu was limited. They did have a microwave and lots of packets of stuff so Di sat down with a soup, heated in a microwave oven (self service) and a simple wrap for Hans, neither of us were very hungry after the excessive eating over the last couple of days.

As we left the station, yep, the sleet may look good against the lights, but it was no longer very nice to walk the streets so we ventured back to our hotel around 8.30pm.

A bit of reading and blogging and soon we were in dreamland. Good night.


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