Leaving the Petit France area, we walk back to the Grand Rue accompanied by Coralie, this time to find one of her favorite cocktail bars in town. Although she is a passionate cappuccino lover, in her words, the perfect balance between milk and coffee that also reminds her of his childhood and her grandparents, it's mid-afternoon in Strasbourg and our friend has decided to change the coffee for something stronger and special on this occasion. We walk slowly, lost in the architecture of the facades that plunge us into worlds of fantasy and medieval princesses and kings. However, although it is nice walking with the temperature that we have today, Coralie confesses that the most magical and endearing time in these streets is the Christmas season, when hundreds of bulbs and winter decorations mixed with snow on an image hard to forget. As we move forward, the Grand Rue seems to end in another street, the Rue Gutenberg that leads directly to the square of the same name where we are greeted by a statue of the inventor of the printing press, who resided in Strasbourg during a stage of his life.
Life in the Square Gutenberg looks dynamic with young people who mingle with visitors in the restaurants and shops. However, it is difficult for us to not direct our attention to the beginning of the Rue Mercière in one corner of the square, where the colossal and wonderful facade of the Cathedral of Strasbourg is already appreciated. With its 142 meters high and its gothic elements, the Cathedral was built over four centuries, between 1015 and 1439 and its square holds the popular Marche de Noël or Christmas Market during the winter. In addition, the Maison Kamerzell it is also here, one of the most ornate and best preserved buildings of the city. Following Coralie’s advice and amazed by the beauty of the Cathedral’s walls, we begin to get lost within the streets around the square under the protection of the flèche, as is known also the bell tower. Leaving the Cathedral behind, Coralie brings us back to reality through a couple of streets with houses of different colors to head to the door of L' Alchimiste, a cocktail bar located in the basement of a beautiful medieval building that has nothing to do with the pub decoration. The atmosphere is festive and energetic inside L' Alchimiste and its cocktail list surprises us when our friend starts reading the names given to the different drink. Non-alcoholic ones are named as disease and alcoholic names are even stranger: from Dracula to Poudre d' escampette, this last one is defined by the owner as the perfect cocktail for those who want to escape fast after a night spent with a stranger who said "you were awesome last night". Although the definition has nothing to do with us, we surprise Coralie ordering two Poudre d' escampette while she does the same by selecting the Malaria cocktail whose ingredients (grape , peach and sparkling water ), as she explains to us to change the look of terror in our faces.
Already seated in a comfortable table, the talk focuses on travels, as indeed might be expected with three lovers of discovering new places and cultures gathered around weird named drinks. Coralie is an expert traveler and we all share those feelings and emotions that take over the travel from preparing to leave everything behind until there are only memories. Being away from home makes its meaning acquires an unknown importance to really learn what is home. Among confessions, Coralie decides to give us two of her secret places in Strasbourg: the banks of the Rhine, an ideal place to wander and think, and the railway station with its large square, a spectacular site and an ultra-modern building that brings back many memories to our friend thanks to her trips.
Once we have checked that the name had nothing to do with the taste of our cocktails, we return to the streets of Strasbourg while the sun slowly begins to descend. In the city, full of young people due to its University, it is easy to notice an energetic atmosphere with people coming and going, meeting friends in every corner. We are approaching another landmark of the city and turning our steps to the Cathedral, Coralie stops at an establishment called Christian, with big kind of cakes arranged in their windows that undoubtedly draw our attention. In this bakery or pâtisserie they are experts precisely on these desserts, Kouglofs, that can be sweet or salty and which are famous together with bretzels, the major deserts of the region. According to our friend the bretzels, however, work better with a local o German beer in the late afternoon, something not quite difficult to find, as Strasbourg is located few kilometers away from the German border.
The afternoon has passed quickly and our eyes meet with Coralie’s, knowing what lies ahead. Framed in the beautiful and typical picture of Kléber Square, our friend opens her arms to warmly greet us again, this time for a new departure. The laughter and the memories come back to our memory to coalesce and move on our way to the modern railway station that has given many moments to Coralie. From the center of the square, she dismisses us with waving her hand and with a big smile that speaks from her silence about the next meeting, hopefully sooner than we expect. With the melancholy feeling of farewell we leave Strasbourg, thinking that at the end, life is based on those afternoons flying between laughter and moments that make everything worthwhile.