Once you see enough churches in person, you start picking out the little details that make each one different and interesting. What made this cathedral very interesting was the astronomical clock. It is a very complicated and sophisticated piece of machinery for its time of construction in the mid 16th century. It was depended upon to calculate the date of Easter every year following the very complex Gregorian calendar. Implication being made here is that this ability is impressive.
It is also incredibly accurate in measuring the alignment of the planets and the zodiac. Yep, I said zodiac and it is in a church. However, considering the context of when the clock was built, it was during a time when every European court had its own court astrologist (or a team of them) and dates were evaluated and prioritized based on heavenly alignment. Today, I admit, it seems slightly bizarre.
Afterward, I visited the museums for local archeology, decorative objects, and fine arts. In Strasbourg it is incredibly easy to do so as all three reside in the same palace that was once built by a local and powerful cardinal.
Conveniently enough, the boat tours are right next to the palace so I was able to go there next. Rivers surround the central part of Strasbourg and so boat rides make for a practical and fun tour.
Yes, I did the tourist thing but it was at least not expensive and the French and Germans surrounded me and no Asians could be found so I deemed the experience authentic enough.
Not too many non-Europeans make it out to “that neck of the woods” in Europe. It is really too bad. It is a pleasant city with all the aesthetics of French life like the architecture and a public transportation system that must have been German-inspired being easy and efficient to use even for a complete stranger like me. It is the best of both worlds. For all Anglophones out there, head to the books stores in the center squares of the city. Most of them are English bookshops. That is just an FYI.
As an off side note, you know you’re missing the states when you get the urge to crank up some country music. Realizing some ways he is not really country, I’m finding myself listening to a lot of Johnny Cash lately. It is not that I didn’t like him before but I think I’ve fallen in love with him now.