Three years ago, when we first came to Strasbourg, we were charmed by its beauty and its calm atmosphere. This ancient city on the border of France and Germany in the Alsace region leaves an impression of belonging to both countries. Many street signs are in French and German; the population speaks two languages, and most people also speak English. One can see the history of the city and the dual influence everywhere, in the architecture, the different building styles, the foods and goods shops. One can see multiple decorations on various houses which reflect not only the different epochs but also the country which happened to own the city at the time. The famous pink sandstone seems to have been a popular construction material, there are many churches, towers and of course the cathedral built with this stone. The menus in any café or restaurant offer traditional regional dishes. One can buy delicious foods in any large supermarket; there are also lots of specialized stores which sell sweets and the famous French macaroons (pastry), as well as many patisseries where each item would make your mouth water. Storks are the most popular birds; though you don’t see them on the river, you can buy a soft toy in any souvenir shop, in any size you like. The Ill River flows across the city, with lovely trees in bloom shading its banks. There are also lots of canals and small rivulets. One can take a boat ride to see the old and new districts, the many EU institutions located in Strasbourg. Or one can just walk around enjoying the sights. La Gare, the main train station, deserves a separate mention. This 19th century building was recently enclosed into a glass shell. At a distance it looks like something out of a science-fiction movie.

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