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

Tram ride @ Augsburg

Finally, we were there, at Moritzplatz, to embark on our very first tram journey but we still had a problem.

‘What we gonna do with this carnet business? It just looks like a tape with stripes!’  Unlike the carnet of Paris Metro system, this carnet of nine did not come in separate tickets. I wish if I took a picture of it before giving it to mum as a souvenir so you can see what I mean. It resembled a short piece of tape measure with dotted stripes. And those lines subdivided the tape into nine sections.

Mum and I looked into the train from the platform to find out how those boarding passengers paid their fare. Unfortunately, none of them were paying with the carnet.

Please, please anyone, help us!

I looked around and found a woman in 20s. Oh, wunderbar! ‘Sprechen sie Englisch?’ She replied yes and solved the mystery for us. She showed us how to fold the carnet along the dotted line and to feed each folded part into the slot on the machine on the tram.

We thanked the woman and waited for a tram. How about that building in front of us, mum?’

It was very fetching…

The building looked like patchwork on a boho handbag!

Then, we were on a tram heading towards north…

Unlike my mum, who used a tram in Vienna a few years ago, I hadn’t been on one for many many years. My last ride was at Amsterdam and I was on my way to see the Night Watch by Rembrandt at Rijksmuseum.

Here is another video clip I captured during the tram journey…

 

I hope you enjoy the streetscape of Augsburg!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Maximilianstaße, Augsburg

So, Augsburg was founded by Emperor Augustus. It was where the name came from! I chirped to mum while I googled about the statue in Rathausplatz.

From our bench, we could see people sitting on the rims of the fountain and enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. We wondered how scorching hot the square could be when the sun was high during the summer.

It will be very very hot…

The cloud above the square was remnants of the rain we experienced earlier that day.

While we were driving from Rothenburg to the city, we were met with a torrential downpour on A7. The beating of the rain drops was so ferocious that my dusty VW looked like if it went through a car wash once the rain was over. I must say that it was rather a hairy drive because the spray of the water produced by the lorries’ wheels blinded us momentarily every time we passed by them. When the downpour came down its hardest, the only thing we could see through the window screen was tail lamps of the cars in front of us in the shape of very blurry red dots.

‘Shall we get some fruits at a supermarket?’ We walked down Maximilianstraße. The thoroughfare looked like a major high street of Augsburg and both sides of it were lined with large stores.

Let’s try here, we spotted a supermarket. Mum was very curious about German groceries, especially tinned vegetables. In Japan, the people used much less tinned foods for everyday cooking, therefore, she was fascinated by the wide variety of them lining the shelves in Germany. After inspecting every single aisle, mum’s curiosity was satisfied and we left the shop with a box of strawberries, a few flat peaches and a bag of dried apple slices.

Then, I spotted a pharmacy. ‘Can I check if they stock the sunscreen I am after?’

I had been looking for a particular sunscreen by La Roche-Posay, called UVIDEA XL Ultra-light Mist SPF50. I asked about it at every chemist in France but couldn’t find it. And I was wondering if I had any luck in Germany. The pharmacy was large and did stock La Roche-Posay. However, they didn’t have the specific one I was looking for and I had to leave empty-handed. Oh, c’estla vie!

We continued our stroll down Maximilianstraße and arrived at a junction with Moritzplatz…

A multiple tramway tracks merged and forked at the junction…

Drum roll, please! We will ride a tram in my next blog entry (at last)…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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