You are probably familiar with snow globes – those little semi-spheres containing an idyllic winter scene that, when shaken, appears to be blanketed in a soft snow. If you’re honest with yourself, on at least one occasion you looked wistfully into that picturesque vignette and dreamt of joining the miniature carolers for a pint of wassail, rosy cheeked and content having brought joy to the other two people in the tiny town. Then you snapped out of it, sternly insisting that it is but a fairytale.
If you still hold out hope of entering snow globe land I have good news for you. It exists. Just like the dream of the 90′s is alive in Portland, the dream of the snow globe is alive in Strasbourg, France – the self-proclaimed “Capital of Christmas.”
THE time to visit Strasbourg is in the month of December. There is an easy direct train from Gare d’Est in Paris straight to the city center. You won’t need even need a car. After all, have you ever seen a car in a snow globe?
Once there, here are Five Things to do in Strasbourg that I recommend on this fine Friday in December.
Walk all around “Little France.” I have no idea why it is called Little France. It doesn’t look like anywhere else I’ve been in France yet but it is beautiful just the same.
Eat at La Corde à Linge. It’s decorated like Philippe Starck went steampunk in a tailor’s shop and the burgers are delicious.
Imbibe at L’Academie de la Biere. Contrary to various indications, I am not a lush. That said, while you won’t get the education here that you would at Cambrinus in Bruges you’ll at least “walk” away “enlightened” and/or gorged on the 4 Euro cheeseburgers.
Watch the Astronomical Clock strike lunar high noon at 12:30. It will cost you 2 Euro but you can watch a 20-min video prior getting you psyched up and a little petrified about the end of the world before the scene unfolds at the stroke of the bells and rooster crows.
Wander the Christmas market at night with a cup of “vin chaud” – mulled wine. It was literally freezing when we were there but the town lit up at night with artisan stalls everywhere was worth braving the cold to experience.
There is actually plenty more to do in Strasbourg than just five things and don’t get me started on the surrounding route de vin, route du chocolate and the chateau. You’ll want at least a few days before exiting the snow globe.