Camping in Strasbourg

We've spent a week of mooching - that's the best way to describe it - around Strasbourg. We didn't have any agenda; we just let the city take control of our actions.

Most days we walked into the centre with its quaint old town and vibrant new shopping streets. We looked in shops, bought groceries, and meandered along the canals.

On three days we ate lunch at Le Grand Shanghai where an all-you-can-eat buffet was just €12.95. It goes without saying I'd recommend the place with three visits in a week. It really is a bargain price for one of the best Chinese buffets I've ever eaten.

On two evenings we returned to Les BerThoM where a dozen real ales on tap were half price during happy hour. It's a beautiful pub with great atmosphere. It's table service, so you just sit, pick from the menu card and order with one of the waiting staff. Complimentary bowls of nuts are regularly replenished. There's a great mix of light and dark ales ranging from 4 to 9 percent proof. Annoyingly they're all served cold though.

On two days we bought a ticket for unlimited travel on the trams and buses. That's a real bargain and easy way to get around. A 'Trio' ticket gets up to three people travel for 24 hours for just €6.80.

If we had worked out the public transportsooner we wouldn't have spent three hours walking to Germany on our second day. The German town of Kehl is just the other side of the Rhine. It looks an easier walk on Google Maps than it actually is.

No visit to Germany, how ever brief, would be complete without currywurst, so we stayed in Kehl long enough for our lunch.

Our campsite base, Camping Indigo, was on the western side of Strasbourg. Just half an hour walk into the centre and yet close enough to cycle paths out into the country.

We enjoyed a bike ride to Achenheim along the canal, stopping to buy lunch in a village patisserie. Tony bought a carrot quiche and I bought a huge slab of cheesecake. We ate them by the water before continuing back to base via Holtzheim, Lingolsheim and Ostwald and then north into Strasbourg (don't do this, by the way - go back the way you came - it's nicer).

On our penultimate day we caught the tram to Parc de Pourtalès and Château de la Robertsau. We enjoyed a lovely walk around the park. Much as I hate that it's now autumn the colours of the woodlands are beautiful.

On our way back we alighted the tram at the citadel. It's quite a contrast as you walk through the gate into the park. The other side is rather starkly filled with tower blocks.

From the citadel we followed the canal back into the centre. That was an enjoyable walk past some striking new apartment buildings in what looks to be an up-and-coming area of the city.

Other things of note are that we did of course visit the European Parliament building, and there's a fabulous boardgames store, Philibert, where I purchased a great two player card game, Jaipur that has been added to the campervan games box.

A week is perhaps a bit long for a city break. I think you could comfortably see most sights if you stayed three nights. Camping Indigo Strasbourg is well placed. Half an hour to walk into the vibrant city centre and right on the bus route, but on the edge of the countryside for cyclists.

The campsite is brand new. They've really gone for the wooden chalets big time on this site and some were still being built. So if you're more of a creature comforts kind of traveller this could still be a good base.

The site is bounded by trees but the city noise is a constant reminder you're nowhere rural. Planes and trains run by and there always seems to be a siren in the distance. Two local churches have bells that strike all through the night, every fifteen minutes.

But I'd still go back.


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