There has been a really long delay in me finishing the blog posts for our Viking river cruise of the Rhine. The Internet onboard was very, very slow, so I couldn’t keep up along the way. When we got home, life went back into overdrive with Thanksgiving, Christmas preparations, and the move from Maryland to Florida.

Our next stop was Strasbourg. Candy and I elected to take the optional “Taste of Alcase” tour. This involved the normal walking tour, but we also stopped at several shops for food sampling.

Strasbourg is a medieval town that was mostly spared during WWII.

Our guide walked us around the old, medieval part of the city. Our first stop was a gingerbread shop where we learned about the various spices that go into gingerbread, tasted different types, and purchased some for our upcoming Christmas party.

The proprietor of the gingerbread shop talked to us about how gingerbread is made.
The exterior of the gingerbread shop.
Having “torte flambe,” which is sort of like French pizza without the tomato sauce. I really liked it!

Our next stop was a small French cafe. Our guide took us upstairs to a semi-private room where we were treated to “torte flambe.” This is sort of like French pizza. A creamy cheese sauce is spread over thin dough and then covered with onions and bacon and then baked on high heat for just a few minutes. They were really good. We tried several different toppings, including a sweet version as dessert. I don’t think we would have tried this dish or found this restaurant without a guide.

Out guide leading us around town.
Another view of the town.

We were a weekend too early for the Strasbourg Christmas market / festival, but the town was largely decorated for Christmas. Most of the shops had decorations and festive window displays.

The Christmas display in a shop window.

Our next stop was the magnificent Notre Dame cathedral in Strasbourg. The mechanical clock was amazing, the way it tracked moon phase, day, date, time, and motion of the stars.

Interior of the cathedral in Strasbourg.
A view of the magnificent clock.
Vignette 1 of the Strasbourg nativity
Vignette 2 of the Strasbourg nativity

The cathedral had an amazing nativity on display. I have never seen one that depicted five scenes before. They usually focus on just the manger scene.

Vignette 3 of the Strasbourg nativity
Vignette 4 of the Strasbourg nativity
Vignette 5 of the Strasbourg nativity

After visiting the cathedral, our guide walked us around various shops. At one shop we picked up bread, at another desserts, and and another cheese.

The woman in the cheese shop describing the various types of cheeses and ingredients used to make them.
Candy in front of a giant wine barrel in one of the town squares.
At one point we stopped to look at this model of the city. You can see one of the people on the tour with us carrying the bread we picked up at the bakery. I was carrying the heavy cheese. Someone else had the desserts.

In some of these pictures, you can see that we are all wearing ear pieces, and the guide is wearing a small microphone. This allowed him to talk to us without have to shout or bother others not on the tour. I also allowed us to hear without having crowd up to him.

Our group had a nice wine, cheese, bread, and desserts dinner at the wine shop in Strasbourg.

The Taste of Strasbourg tour culminated with a dinner at a winery in town that included the wine, cheese, bread, and desserts we had been picking up along the walking tour.

One of several plates of meats and cheeses.

This was a very nice tour, and we saw things we would have been unlikely to discover on our own. My only complaint is that it wasn’t a taste of Strasbourg, it was two full meals. I think they could have cut the amount of food in half without detracting from the tour, and we wouldn’t have felt so bloated at the end of the day. The meal on the boat was the one I had been looking forward to — Bavarian food buffet — but we were so stuffed from the tour that we really couldn’t enjoy the dinner.