Not literally, of course.
1 May. Labour Day. France. Family trip plan to one of most famous fortresses in Alsace: Haut Koenigsbourg. Incited by 1 May invitations “all – to the fortresses” which invaded Facebook, I bought the train tickets Strasbourg-Selestat on-line the evening before. They are polite, the French railway: tickets for itineraries offered on line are guaranteed strike-free.
The next morning, Labour Day lesson 1: no buses or trams. They expect you to know that. Especially, after some years one lives in France. So, we do some “kilomètres de solidarité” to the railway station. Some celebrate the Labour Day. Some have to labour it.
The train is on time and we get to Selestat. Labour Day lesson 2: read the small script. The navette driver announces that of all castles only Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today, as he heard himself this morning on radio. I open the facebook event on Alsace castles, click couple of pop-up sites to finally get to the text in small letters: Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today. Merci beaucoup!
The driver’s entrepreneurial spirit comes to rescue. He tells us about La Montagne des Singes on the same itinerary and offers not to charge the kid for the trip.
20 minutes latter we are there, meeting the loveliest creatures. Sorry, Haut Koenigsbourg you lost it to monkeys this time. Without even a battle 😉
Time spent there was lovely: we fed them with pop corn distributed by the park’s employees
watched baby monkeys playing
witnessed a love story
and learned how to stay zen even when surrounded by hoards of curios visitors
for your revigorating spa at Caracalla Therme. It made me remember a soviet time childhood motto: Ветер, солнце и вода наши лучшие друзья* 🙂 overwise served with a very present sense of German order and structure. Helpful in particular when an all-smiles octogenarian crosses the nude-clothed areas as if at home 🙂 under the priceless looks of ladies of his age 🙂
a first experience of swimming under the rain. “Swimming” in my case case is more of a “comme le fer a repasser” (an ironing machine) 🙂 as Mme Francois, my neighbour-patissiere, puts it.
my muscles fever and a reminder that i have them and they need regular exercise,
a very nice Alte Laterne hotel team. They made us feel at home.
a special dinner at Garibaldi Restaurant with many authentic Italian flavours.
an excellent Russian speaking guide at the Faberge Museum. It was our first encounter with Faberge and the 1,5 cm Easter egg with a rabbit inside was most impressive. As were the first and last Easter eggs made by Faberge for the Russian crown. The Museum has also a small but impressive collection of gold jewelry from all over the world and a lovely small garden with the sculpture of a gigantic rabbit.
very pleasant evening walks along the “Lichtentaler Allee” and the little cascades of the Oos stream, with a busy ducks traffic.
a show of old-meets-new with the 19th century railway station transformed into a concert hall.
your many and diverse children playgrounds. A must in our case.
Only an hour by bus from Strasbourg – thanks FlixBus- Baden Baden gained a spot on my list of places to comeback to for a shot of relaxation and recovery.
* wind, Sun and water are our best friends.