Neuf Brisach – Strasbourg

Neuf Brisach is a pretty interesting little town, built at the beginning of the 18th century on a distinct plan specifically to keep the Germans out. It’s reminiscent of a Roman fort, with gates at the centre of each of four edges, and earthworks outside. It’s nearly perfectly preserved and oh so French.

It was a short day’s ride, only about 45 miles, because we wanted time to explore Strasbourg. And 45 dead straight and flat miles, alongside the Rhone-Rhine canal and its backwaters. But surprisingly interesting, looking for wildlife: a lizard crawled across the path, skinny and fat fish in the water, wagtails, a possible crane. Human life occasionally diverting, like the office boat trip where the staff were all made to wear silly paper sailor’s hats and each given the name of one of the seven dwarves. Go figure!

Before we knew it we were approaching Strasbourg, first with out of town kitchen showrooms and storage rental, but then, on crossing the river into the old town, a superb mediaeval centre. We are staying more or less next to the cathedral, and climbed the 332 steps to the viewing platform with views to the Vosges mountains and Black Forest.

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