In the far off days of the late 1980’s when I was new to full-time employment and my managers wanted to know more about me than they had observed they got me to take a personality test. One of the things it showed was that I am not a completer/finisher. Whatever strengths I may have, the patience to see something through to its completion, before some new project grabs my attention, it said is not one of them. This view was shared by later employers and from the middle of the 19990’s was something I tried to work to change I like to think that completing the visits to every European capital last year was one of the biggest and most public manifestation of this.
Well this week I finished something, I have now travelled the full length of Strasbourg’s Tram system. Despite visiting Strasbourg at least four times a year for a few years at the beginning of the last decade it wasn’t until a visit at the end of February 2007 that I first went on the tram here. They just didn’t go where I wanted to go so I didn’t use them. The first picture was taken on that first tram ride. It was from where the ‘Airport Navette’ met the tram as Baggersee to the stop nearest to our hotel, Port de l’Hôpital.
When I moved here it took a while for me to use the tram as I went most places on my bike. It is easy to see why Strasbourg is France’s most cycled and cycleable city as its flat and it has more metres of cycle routes than any other city in France. Once I did start using the trams, initially for the purposes of work, the first line I travelled in its entirety was line D, with the Rotunde at one end, which has the bus stop to get to IKEA and the restaurant of the same name where the ESC Alsace used to met when I first got involved with them, and Aristide Briand at the other which is where the bus stop is to catch the bus over the border to Kehl and into Germany. Line A was completed in the search of culture with the stop for the Zenith concert hall at one end, where I’ve seen Bob Dylan amongst others, and the stop nearest to the Illiade, where I saw Grand Corps Malade. Lines B and F pass in front of my home and are ones I’ve used some of the longest although it was only on getting a contract in Bischeim that I went to the northern end of B and I travelled all but the last two stops of when coming back from working at the Université de Strasbourg but I have to admit that those last two stops were visited last year for the purpose of getting the line finished not in the normal use of the tram. Route F was introduced last November and most of the route was that of the old C so that one end is half way along route B and the other was a few extra metres and a new station which I caught a tram straight home after teaching someone. Tram E has only three stops not used travelling on the other routes. The first two I travelled frequently as it goes to the Council of Europe but it was only late last year that I went to the last station, again returning from work. Which leaves line C.
Last week I had to go to the port area of Strasbourg. The story of that day is for another time but to get there I had to take tram C to the terminus at Neuhof-Rodolphe Reuss. So, management at the former Berkshire County Council Education Department, as well as visiting all the capital cities of Europe, I have now travelled the full length of the Strasbourg tramway. Say this boy is not a completer-finisher now!
Just a word about the pictures. Apart from the first and the last they are the attempts I made to take my picture and include a tram and the Neuhof-Rodolphe Reuss tram stop sign.