In Strasbourg

On Wednesday, our group caught the train from Lyon to Paris. Our tickets made it clear that librarians were on the move.

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Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region, very close to the border with Germany. The region has been violently disputed for hundreds of years and has changed hands between France and Germany several times even in the 20th century.

The historic town centre is built on an island in the river Ill, close to where it flows into the Rhine. The entire city centre is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, with cobbled streets lined with buildings from medieval times onwards. The Germanic half-timbered houses and window boxes full of geraniums are straight out of the travel brochures I used to cut up for school projects.

Although Strasbourg is full of tourists at this time of year, it feels like a living city, not a film set. I’d describe the attitude to the historic buildings as respectful but not precious; venerable buildings now house hipster tattoo parlours, banks and fast food restaurants.

Here are some photos from my wanderings in the early evening, when the narrow streets fall into shadow and the tour groups go home to roost.

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