Strasbourg – Part 1: Chateaux and cigognes
I finally got around to checking out a French chateau. It only took more than 20km of hiking to make it happen.
We caught a train last minute from Strasbourg to the town of Selestat, and I got to see actual mountains (with snow on top!) for the first time in a very long time. We had some time before the next bus up to the chateau, so I downed a hot quiche and we headed back to the bus stop, only to realize that there were in fact, no buses running at all. So, with me spouting something about being young and needing to take advantage of having legs that worked, we started walking.
Luckily it was gorgeous out, warm enough to walk around without a jacket on. I marveled that it was possible to see not just one, but two and sometimes even three different chateaus in the mountains at once. Along the way, we passed “Cigoland,” a combination of bird and amusement park with some huge cigognes (storks) that were free to swoop past us on the path and circle around the sunny fields on the side of the road. The rest were in a giant cage. We also passed signs for an eagle park and a mountain of monkeys along the way, so seems like they’re into animal-themed parks around those parts. We continued walking higher and higher up, but luckily the path generally wasn’t very steep and when we looked back, there were stunning views of small villages nestled in the valley below. After over two hours of winding up the mountain, we finally made it to the chateau.
We went inside and it was like walking into the dream of a hunter who also had a soft-spot for mythical creatures:
There was even a room full of armor and weapons:
And a lot of pretty views:
After buying the most expensive bottle of water ever (I feel like that’s a lesson I learned as a kid, never go into the forest without some water?), we took a different, slightly more straightforward path down.
We passed through a little village with a boulangerie that had no pain au chocolat or croissants and an actual fountain of potable water in the middle (don’t think I’ve ever seen either of those before!):
This time, we walked past vineyards that went on for at least a solid half hour:
And said goodbye to Cigoland:
Feet destroyed, we caught a train back to Strasbourg.