Strasbourg is such a city possibly most well-known for its position within European Parliament, and last week I was lucky enough to explore some of the Alsace Region’s capital as part of my travels to the World Saxophone Congress with six of my friends.
The first day (Thursday) saw an, erm, interesting flight (I really enjoy being plonked down upon arrival and hoping for the best) and by the time we had all arrived at our hotel, it was nearing 4pm. After having freshened up, we attempted to navigate the city by foot & headed to pick up our passes and tram tickets (a small saviour in the extremely hot weather). This was followed by what might be classed as the strangest dinner I’ve eaten for a very long time. Flammkuchen, which upon research seems to be a regional dish. It was like eating a savoury crepe meets super-thin pizza. Even now, I’m unsure of how I feel about it. It’s been a solid two weeks since I ate it, and I’m still not over it.
Friday was a full, full, full day of saxophones. I met some awesome people and saw some fantastic performances.
Saturday was an odd, but hilarious one. After another day of saxophones, including watching our saxophone teacher perform a concert, we took our saxophone teacher and accompanist clubbing. It was a saxophone themed evening, so I’m classing it as education – despite the copious amounts of cocktails and tequila that were consumed. MadSax is a babe.
Sunday was hilarious. Featuring tired, if not slightly hungover us, we hit up a large park to witness some of the events for the first ever World Saxophone Day. The event organisers put on a series of concerts all around the city, with many of them being broadcast around the world. The day’s main concert was held in the Place Kléber and featured a marriage proposal (to which she thankfully said yes!). Despite the rain (the one day I decided not to put my umbrella in my bag…), it was really quite exciting to be involved in the first ever World Sax Day.
Monday and Tuesday saw more saxophone performances and an event held at Le Parc de l’Orangerie (such a lovely venue). Four of the seven returned to the UK on the Tuesday evening. I had decided to stay out for a few extra days with two of my friends to wander the city and have a bit of a relax before heading back to the UK for graduation.
A real highlight of our own free time in Strasbourg had to be visiting the city’s cathedral and being part of its 1000 year anniversary celebrations. A light show, which I believe is being shown until September, is broadcast against the side of the building and it just makes you feel so humble. In fact I nearly cried (over-dramatic, I know, but it was that good & thought-provoking). ‘Seeing’, as it were, the cathedral being built really made me sit and think about how much has happened before I was even born & just what a small portion of time I’ll be around to see. Bit deep for a Friday evening, but oh well.
Like my travels to Cologne (read about that here), I’m continuing to develop my travel bug. I’m so excited for my move to America – blog post on that to follow soon – and to explore even more of the world!