I was told that I would get sick of the church bells but I still look forward to each quarter when they ring.
I was told that once the city becomes familiar it will stop being exciting, but I still smile each step out of my apartment door.
And I came with the intention to walk everywhere, but the discovery of the simplicity of the tram system has me changing my mind.
Ah, yes. That’s a Galleries Lafayette you see in those top photos. Strasbourg has one of it’s own. But that’s really where the similarities of Paris and Strasbourg end.
It’s a much quieter city. It feels safe at all hours of the day. There always seems to be a market happening on some street you walk by. The people are far more patient, polite, and enthusiastic about your presence (whether in a shop, restaurant, or just walking down the street – you get a nod). The tram (as opposed to the metro) is spotless, plays music at each stop, and just seems more organized and accessible (good luck getting on a metro in Paris if you’re handicapped).
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not bad-mouthing Paris. I love my city. Yes, my city. It will always be my city. But I’ve said it before – it’s disorganized and can feel unsafe and is tainted in many ways. It’s no less fabulous or fantastic, it’s just different. And as I’ve also mentioned in ye old blog of past, when you live in a city, it’s a totally different experience than visiting as a tourist. I am feeling what that truly means by having lived in both Paris and, now, Strasbourg France.
Here, in Strasbourg, I’m living in France, experiencing clear French lifestyle and culture, but it is all drowning in that provence mentality (much like a Southern Italian mentality that I am very familiar with). It’s a mentality of knowing what it means to live your life, to cultivate happiness, and not letting small problems turn into big worries. It’s about cherishing those apero moments with your loved ones and friends and using the weekends as they’re meant to be used: slow strolls, lazy lounging on terraces, and lots of delicious wine and cheese.
Paris understands all that as well, it’s just moving at a bit of a faster pace and already thinking about Monday on a Friday evening, if you know what I mean!
These are the first pictures I’ve taken of Strasbourg at night. The photos don’t even capture the beauty of it in person. I’m using my phone camera, keep that in mind, and it can only grasp so much. These were taken city-centre on a Saturday night, and you can see how quiet it is. But! Still very much alive! Restaurants and bars are packed – we almost had difficulty getting a seat for dinner.
The past few days have been raining, which is my favourite way to explore a city. Streets are emptier, the air feels renewed, and there is something so calm and beautiful in the sound of rain hitting pavement. This morning was a thunderstorm which is simply the best. It was so cloudy that we had a chance to open up our eastern facing balcony windows, which usually have a hard hitting sun that heats up our place and can’t be opened before 14h. Thunderstorms, a fresh breeze, a delicious cup of coffee, and a good book – who could ask for more?
I hope the universe is treating you as beautifully as it is treating me. Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to an uninterrupted weekend with the love of my life.