Where to begin?

The Observatory of Strasbourg

- - Important update: unfortunately it is not open to the public. I was misinformed (not so hard if you can't speak the language and get your informations from other students)

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I've arrived to Strasbourg a little more than a week ago. I knew that it was going to be beautiful, but I didn't anticipate the view that would greet me the first day I turned up for work. Yes, I work there, in the Observatory of Strasbourg. Okay, I don't actually work in that building, but in an office in a building next to it. But still!! I get to look at this every time I go to work.

Where to begin?

It has a big garden, and a botanical garden next to it (I still haven't visited it somehow - I guess I have my program for the next weekend). There are lots of cute squirrels too.

Where to begin?

Unfortunately it is not open to the public. Nevertheless the gate is open, and most of the time no one will tell you to get out. I think you can even go into the main building - the one in the picture - but the other ones are closed. The offices would be boring anyway, although there's a library (which I didn't explore enough yet). The other closed building has the kitchen - so please don't try to break in to take our food and most importantly our COFFEE. Still it's a nice place to visit, so if you have the chance you should definitely check it out, at least from the outside, since you're not really supposed to go in.

Where to begin?

Public transport

In my first week I walked to work - it is a good 30 minute walk from the place I live. But I got lazy and now I take the tram. Or maybe it isn't entirely because of laziness, but because I got my monthly pass for the public transport! It is pretty good to be honest, only 26.6 € (if you're under 26) for the unlimited use of Strasbourg's trams and buses. I was caught off guard by the fact that they needed a photo for it, but fortunately you can apply for your card on the internet, so you don't need an actual printed photo. First I was a little confused that I always have to validate it before I get on a tram or bus (and tried to push the card into the ticket slot instead of touching it to the top - I still don't know how I got an internship.....)

And it was quite useful, because I only had the card for two days, when there was an incredibly big storm. You don't want to walk 30 minutes in that kind of weather. Still, I had to go to buy groceries, and the tram just happened to have a stop near the store I wanted to go to. So even in this big rainfall, I decided to take a detour from work. But of course I got on the wrong tram. I somehow misread the F as E, and had to be in this awful weather for even more time. So after I got back to the stop I started from, I finally got to the store by getting on the right tram...

So I just told this story (in addition to demonstrate how unlucky I am) to show that the pass can be very useful, especially in bad weather or if you're prone to messing up and getting lost. Before I came to Strasbourg I was considering not getting one and just walking everywhere. Maybe if you live in the center it's doable, but I'm glad I got the card.

- - - I almost forgot: Nearly everyone has a bike around here. It's a really a good city to ride a bike in - as I'm told. Personally, I have some kind of fear of riding a bicycle in the streets, so I didn't try it yet. Maybe later I will.


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