David's Diary: Sunday, Sept. 30, 2001

Strasbourg Canal Tour

La Petite France
La Petite France

After a busy week and touring yesterday we all started the day with low energy. We watched a little TV, read, and relaxed. After lunch the weather tuned nice and we decided to take another trip into Strasbourg. Water is important to Strasbourg. It is surrounded by a canal and is situated next to the Rhine river. Ships can reach the North Sea ports within 48 hours of leaving Strasbourg and with Strasbourg's network of rail and highway lines it is the second largest river port in France (after Paris).

Like Amsterdam, Strasbourg has commercial canal tours that last just over an hour. We started the tour by heading to La Petite France a lovely area of old houses that is surrounded by the old fortifications used to protect them. We even got to lock in and out of La Petite France giving Kevin and Allen something interesting to watch.

European Parliament
European Parliament

Our tour continued along the canal and turned towards the European Parliament. The parliament alternates between Brussels and Strasbourg with sittings once a month throughout the year, except for August when there are none, and October when there are two. During a sitting of parliament the city swells as thousands of individuals descend on the city to take part in parliament (there are over 1350 offices).

We returned to the center of Strasbourg enjoying the sunshine and the views from the canal. We passed the old commercial fishing port, which is now only used for tourist boats. People were strolling along the canal or just sunbathing in the fall sunshine. It was a wonderful Sunday outing that revived all of us as we prepare for another week of school, travel, and excitement.

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