A nice day for a bike ride

A beautiful sunny day for  the Toussaint public holiday – I’ve never understood why there is a public holiday in a nominally secular country for such an important Catholic day as All Saints, but hey who’s complaining we’ve got a day off work.

JTO went to the centre of Strasbourg to see the laying of wreaths at the memorial to the liberation of Strasbourg in 1944.  After which we got on our bikes and rode along the canal du Rhône au Rhin (wiki) which heads South out of Strasbourg.  The name is actually incorrect as the canal joins the River Ill in Strasbourg just around the corner from where we live but Canal du Rhône au Ill doesn’t sound as impressive.

As you can see from the first picture the trees looked wonderfully Autumnal in their golds and reds and with the leaves that had fallen into the water and the reflection it really was a bright canal.  We passed the Strasbourg hotel pictured, known locally as the Maison D’Arrèt, separated from the canal by Autoroute A35.  On the opposite side leaving Strasbourg is the Zone Artisanale De La Plaine des Bouchers.  It got the name Plaine Des Bouchers as it was where the cattle, destined for slaughter at the butchery in Strasbourg, were left before their final fatal journey.

Roads cross the canal in a number of places and on this bridge there was some graffiti, ‘Elsass forever’.  Elsass is the name of the region, Alsace, in the Alsatian dialect of German and means ‘seated on the Ill‘(wiki) the river that runs through the Alsatian plain before joining the Rhine North of Strasbourg.  So I can understand an Alsatian nationalist writing Elsass toujours, or if an anti-French point was being made Elsass fur immer or dauernd but forever?

Our destination was Fort Uhrich at the Souhtern end of the Strasbourg connurbation.  It was built by the Germans after they took Alsace from the French in 1870 and named by them after the General who captured Strasbourg, Generalleutnant von Werder.(wiki)  When it failed to keep Strasbourg from the hands of the French they renamed it Fort Uhrich after général Uhrich, the person who organised the defence of Strasbourg in 1870.  It was one of fourteen forts built around Strasbourg to add to the defences of the city.(Plan)

On the way back home we passed one of the city’s rowing clubs.  In the Summer there are often classes of young people in the water but, despite being a warm sunny day, there were not any people around to be seen.  There was also no-one using the new climbing wall which was intalled only this Summer.

Seperated from the rowing and climing club by the railway to Germany is the new Mosque pictured here, or to give it its full title, Mosquée du Heyritz.  When I first moved to Strasbourg construction on the site had stopped at the concrete shell of the building until May 2009 when construction started again as I wrote here.  In the last year there has been considerable work to the site.  I am still no further forward in learning what will happen to the existing Mosque on the industrial estate in the Plaine des Bouchers as I wrote almost a year ago here.

The last photo is of the former rowing club.  When I moved to Strasbourg this site was then a rowing club and I regularly saw people taking boats out onto the river from here.  Mind you it is on one of the main routes into Strasbourg and you had to cross the road to get to the river so I was not surprised when I stopped seeing people carrying boats, then saw it demolished and these flats built in its place.  With a view onto River Ill some o the higher up flats would be a great place to live – ah if only my lottery ticket had won on Saturday.

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One Response to “A nice day for a bike ride”

  1. The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] Eighteen months ago I posted about the Grand Mosquée de Heyritz had remained unbuilt from the time I arrived in Strasbourg in September 2007 and looked like work had not taken place there for some time. Then in May 2009 work started again. During a bike ride I posted a photo showing progress with the building here. […]

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