“I have no agenda,” I said to AdventureMan as we walked the streets of Strasbourg, yesterday, walking and walking, through throngs of Strasbourgois, “but tomorrow I really need to go by the shoe store.”
He knows I love one particular shoe store.
We were up for breakfast by eight this morning – still nine, body time, Kuwait time, so it really felt like sleeping in. We are staying in a very exclusive hotel in Strasbourg with wonderful parking, we come, we park the car, and we just walk and walk and walk. We have a code to get into the hotel if we are out too late and the front door is locked. The rooms are simple, but bright and clean and stocked with shampoo and soap and spacious closets. The loo is separate from the shower room; I really like that. This hotel is so exclusive you probably couldn’t stay here – unless you, like us, are formerly military. The military hotels here have an agreement that people from other country’s forces can stay. There is a special rate for us former-military, a very agreeable rate that includes breakfast with the lightest, flakiest croissants in the world. I think it has to be the butter of the Alsace.
We were lucky to get a room. There was a huge crowd of people, a group, staying here, too.
So we headed out, taking our time, heading for the shoe store and an antiquities store AdventureMan wanted to visit. In the shoe store window are about six different pair of shoes I could happily scarf up, if only the store were open, but there is still a half an hour. We kill time, I tell AdventureMan I will catch up with him, and I stand in front of the shoe store waiting for it to open. Half an hour, I am still waiting, and AdventureMan comes; his store hasn’t opened, either.
It is very quiet in Strasbourg, this Friday morning, and we are marveling at how relaxed the French are about getting up. Hmmm . . . even my favorite pharmacy is very late opening. . . several of the bakeries are not open . . . the historic post card store AdventureMan wanted to visit is closed . . .
Remember I told you I can be slow sometimes? So can AdventureMan. Around 11, we start wondering if it is a holiday. When we go to lunch, we ask, and they say “oh yes! It is the day of the end of the war! It is a holiday!” and the light bulb goes on. We will have to stop by our favorite stores tomorrow, and today, we are having a wonderful, very quiet day in the heart of Strasbourg, it is wonderful having the city mostly to ourselves. Well, we are sharing it with several thousand other tourists arriving from Germany, from Italy, and from other parts of France.
It smells so good here. There are lilacs blooming everywhere, and other wonderful smelling flowers:
We love it that the French signs for picnics show a baguette and a bottle of wine in the picnic basket:
Walking in Strasbourg is so lovely; no matter where you look, there is something marvelous:
We had lunch at Le Pasha, a Tunisian restaurant. It was absolutely delicious! Sorry, we were so hungry I didn’t remember to take any photos. We had brik, a lamb stew/ lamb chops, and Tunisian pastries. It was a sweet restaurant:
And now, AdventureMan is snoozing, music to my ears. We need a little down time as much as we need the walking, the lilacs, the vistas and the sips of wine.
As we listened to the church bells clinking out the sound of the hours last night, AdventureMan turned to me and said “I miss our muezzin.”
We have a spectacular muezzin. You know how some people TALK about loving God, but when you look at how they behave, you wonder “is that what loving God looks like?”
When we hear our muezzin call out the call to prayer, we can hear his love of God. He was gifted with a glorious voice, and even at the earliest prayer, around 3:30 in the morning, he calls with joy and love in his voice. This man loves God, and he serves God by doing his best with every prayer.
(I did not draw that muezzin above. It is a poster, and you can find it by clicking Allposters here.)