Friday, September 25, 2020 | Written by Kaela
An 8 AM wake up call was made easier by the pastries that greeted us in the Lafayette lobby as my INTA 2221 class loaded into a bus and headed to Strasbourg, also known as Petite France.
STOP 1: The European Parliament
The EU Parliament is one of three legislative branches of the European Union. They, alongside the Council of the European Union and European commission, propose, approve, and reject laws. We went through a self guided tour of the building aided by handheld devices. The EU is unique in that it is not a state, but is more than a typical international organization. Any laws passed by the European Union apply to all twenty seven (formerly twenty eight) countries and are superior to legislation at the national level. My favorite part of the parliament building was the area at the end of the tour where multiple stations allowed you to learn about various topics including: the members of parliament, hemicycle seating organization, cities in the European Union, and much, much more. Viewing the display of all of the different cities with lights made me feel the world was my oyster; a similar sensation I experienced watching the game maker stand before his map in The Hunger Games.
STOP 2: Downtown Strasbourg
We had a bit of free time before our guided tour, so a group of us, having only eaten pastries all day, headed straight for somewhere to eat. Amidst an alleyway of restaurants adorned by vines, flower boxes, and other plant life was Le Gruber – our lunch destination. The interior of this restaurant made me feel as though I was in my grandmother’s home. Surrounded by wooden furniture randomly placed knick knacks on creaky floors a table covered by a checkered cloth, the smell of freshly made food filled the air . Thanks to our professor’s recommendation, we each got a flammekueche (or tarte flambée). The look and texture can be compared to a very thin pizza but with a very different, yet delicious, taste. Afterwards, we used our spare time to browse the nearby souvenir shops and grab some refreshing sorbet.
THIRD STOP: Strasbourg Cathedral
I am now a cathedral enthusiast. Without fail, whenever I visit one, I am completely in awe of the intricacy of the details covering its walls.
We took a guided tour of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg. One feature in particular the Strasbourg Cathedral is known for is its astronomical clock. The clock dates from 1843 and is made of many integrated moving parts. Its intricate hands are guided by time and its detailed figures move at different times throughout the day. In the spectacle I witnessed, the left angel rang a bell, the right angel turned a sand clock and the figures on the top platform of the clock marched to the steady ticking as my time in Strasbourg came to a close.