Rhine-iP-4587

Strasbourg & Alsace

DAY 5

On our second full day aboard the Viking Lofn, we woke up with Germany on the left bank and France on the right. At 8:30, with a temperature in the mid 40s, we gathered for our morning walking tour of Strasbourg. It took a 10-minute walk and three flights of stairs to get to our bus, which then drove us across the river onto France.

We rode past modern buildings for the European Council, the European Court of Human Rights and the EU Parliament. Our tour guide was excellent in explaining the history of Alsace, wavering between German and French annexation.

We set out on foot in the Grand Ile and its old town of half-timbered buildings. On one street, merchants came out to offer a taste of cheese, coconut macaroon or gingerbread. Try them all!

We ended the tour at the gothic cathedral, which is absolutely breathtaking. We only had 20 minutes on our own before heading back to the ship. By noon, the temp was in the mid 60s and we had walked about four miles.

After a quick lunch, it was back on the bus for a ride to Mittelbergheim for the Alsace Wine Tasting. We stopped at the Albert Seltz winery for a tour led by Albert himself — a 14th generation winemaker. Yes, you read that number right. The winery dates to 1576.

A very personable Albert, who spoke fluent English, took us into the wine cave and explained his philosophy of winemaking. We concluded in the tasting room, sampling four of his white wines.

On our way back to the ship, our tour stopped in the medieval village of Obernai, where we had 30 minutes of free time but no additional wine tasting. By the time we returned to the ship around 6:20 pm, we had walked 7.3 miles during the day. 

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