After visiting the EU Parliament, we set off from Strasbourg to visit the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg. This castle is situated on top of a mountain about 12km away from a little town called Sélestat. The night before we had discovered that the shuttle bus from Sélestat to the castle wasn’t running because it was February, so we called the local taxi company to see if they would take us. They quoted us quite an expensive fare, but we had seen pictures of this château and eventually decided it was worth it.
So around Sunday lunch time we caught the train from Strasbourg to Sélestat, forgetting to composter (validate) our tickets before we hopped on the train which resulted in a fine. Not a good start to the expedition. We arrived at the train station and there was not a taxi in sight, so we called the list of numbers that were provided on the taxi rank sign. Each time we rang, we got the same answer: Sorry, we don’t work on Sundays! Quite annoying since we had called up the night before to check, but we should have known that nothing is open/operating in France on Sundays.
Faced with the fact that we would not be able to reach the château, we decided to follow the signs to the Vieille Ville (Old Town) to try to salvage the trip. Sophie and I knew nothing about Sélestat so we were not sure what we would find, but as we neared the centre of town we began to notice how every street was lined by beautiful old pastel coloured houses and then we discovered two amazing churches in the space of 15 minutes. It turns out Sélestat is over 1000 years old.
These are probably my favourite photos from the whole trip because Sélestat was such a serendipitous find (also the sun came out so that always makes for better pictures). In one of the streets we encountered a man that was standing on his doorstep about to feed his cat, so we plucked up the courage to start a conversation with him in French about the history of the town. He told us that most of the houses in his street were from the 15th century at least. Coming from Australia, it was hard for us to imagine living in a house that was 600 years old – I live in a house that was built about 10-15 years ago.
I hope you enjoy these photos from Sélestat and if you are ever in Alsace I would highly recommend taking a little detour to this amazing village. I know I will come back one day and hopefully I will be able to see the elusive château!