Petit Train, ambulance & soldiers…

We arrived back to the city centre from the west bank, using our return tickets. We alighted at Broglie which was a tram stop one stop away from Homme de Fer. From there, we walked down Rue du Dôme and at Rue des Hallebardes, we turned right and followed the street towards our hotel.

Same as the most of the streets around the famous cathedral, rue des Hallebardes was lined with high-end fashion boutiques, chocolatiers and beauty shops. Their show windows were beautifully dressed and the items on display were all very seductive.

How about this backpack for a champagne picnic?…

Very chic, huh? They also had a matching set of canvass chairs too.

Then, we saw the Petit Train which came down the street towards us and stopped…

 

​A man was strapped on the stretcher, and the medics were standing around the open doors…

They seemed to be in no hurry to take the patient away. Maybe, he has injured himself rather than he is suspected of health scares, such as heart attack or brain hemorrhage, we guessed as we observed the scene.
Then, we saw a group of soldiers coming down the street…

They marched on, stony-faced…

The sight reminded us that we were living in a precarious time. A sense of danger was never far away…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Homme de Fer to Porte de l’Hôpital

Mum and I traveled to the south of the city, using Line A. We wanted to visit the area called Petite France because it looked most interesting when the Petit Train took us there last time.

From Homme de Fer to Porte de l’Hôpital…

As we alighted from the tram, a fire engine appeared and sped past us…

 

 

Allez, pompiers!

Mum and a tram…

The streets around Quai Saint-Nicolas were very quiet…

‘Not much is happening here, is it?’

Mum and I were a bit disappointed because most of the business on the south bank of the river were closed and the area appeared deserted. It was a very hot afternoon, and we were dying to replenish ourselves with some cold drink. Yet, it took us ages before we stumbled across a small cafe on Place Henri Dunant. At Cafe Recto-verso, we sat at one of the tables under the shade and drank orange juice.

We felt much energised after a breather and headed northwards, crossing Ponts Couverts which connected the north bank and the south bank.

Then, we carried on sauntering along Quai Turckhelm…

At Rue du Faubourg-National, we crossed to the west bank of the river and walked to a tram stop at Faubourg-National Gare.

Now, it is time for us to head back to the cathedral, we waited for Line B to carry us home…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

How to ride it @ Strasbourg 

‘Now then, how are we gonna buy tickets? And where is a ticketing machine??’, we scratched our heads and looked around. Unless you are a total stranger to the city, the people nowadays don’t buy paper tickets to use public transports, do they? In London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, etc, we tend to buy a pass or use a credit card. And it is all great because paper-free equals mess-free and no queuing at a ticket office means time-efficient.

However, if you are a total stranger to the place, finding the way around is not as easy. ..

Behind my mum, there was a machine with a “Validez ici” sign. It looked like we would need to validate our tickets before boarding the tram. But where can we buy the actual tickets?  We asked a group of university students where we could find a ticketing machine, and they showed us the machine further down the platform.

The fruit of our effort…

After a few attempts, we managed to acquire ourselves the tickets! Now, we are not gonna be mistaken as fare dodgers, we smiled as we waited for our ride.

Look, the tram is approaching!

 

And departing…​

 


Enough observation. We are getting on now…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Tramway of Strasbourg

The history of the Strasbourg tramway started in 1878. The carriages, which traveled through the inner city, were horse-drawn at first, and the horses were replaced by electricity in 1894. While the city changed hands between France and Germany due to the consequences of two wars, the Franco-Prussian War and WWII, the original tram system served as a transport link for the inhabitants of the city.  However, the tram’s popularity waned in the 1950s as other modes of transport, such as buses, bicycles and cars, had become more readily available. And finally, the last tram departed on 1 May 1960, and there were no more of them until 1994.

Today’s tram system is very popular amongst the people of Strasbourg. It is hard to believe that it was abandoned for over three facades…

In 1994, the first tram line A, which connected the northwestern suburb of Hautepierre to the southwestern sunburn of Illkirch-Graffenstaden was opened…

Homme de Fer station for Line A & D…

By walking a little further towards Rue du Noyer, there is another Homme de Fer station for Line B, C & F…

The development of the tram system helped to revitalised the city centre as well as solved typical urban problems, such as pollution and congestion. And finally, the city authorities banned road traffic from the city centre in 1992.

Ok, that’s enough of the history lesson!

Now, mum and I have to find how to pay our fare…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Exploring Strasbourg

When we took Petit Train Touristique de Strasbourg during the previous visit, it took us towards southwest and went around the old city centre clockwise…

The tour showed us all the musts of historic area of Strasbourg, and it also gave us a comprehensive overview of the city. However, the route did not include the area north of Place Gutenberg, and we wanted to explore what they offered there.

We felt a little peckish, so we bought some pastries at local boulangerie, an almond croissant for mum and a brioche for me, and munched on them as we sauntered along Rue des Grandes Arcades. Unlike small side streets around the cathedral, Rue des Grandes Arcades was wide and lined with major high street stores, such as Mango, Adidas, Promod, Levi’s store, etc. Because it was Saturday, there were numerous clusters of people, the locals and the tourists alike, milling around and moving slowly on the pedestrianized grand thoroughfare.

‘Mmm, it’s a bit boring, isn’t it?’, mum and I agreed.

Nowadays, all the high streets in the major cities seemed to sport all the same cookie-cutter façades. It wouldn’t matter where we went, we would end up running into those ubiquitous corporate giant brands. Oh, how depressing.

We just carried on walking along the street and arrived at Place Kléber. The sun was beating down brightly, and it was becoming scorching hot…

I wanted to sit mum down for a break but there was no bench available in the shade.

At the northwest end of the square, we saw a few police cars…

The policemen appeared to be there to keep their eyes on things around the square and to give assurance to the general public.

Then on our right, we saw a tram station.

Hey, shall we hitch a ride on a tram?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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