le grand froid

On Wednesday I worked in the northern part of Strasbourg, Robertsau, which has its own micro-climate. I have gone there at times when there is no snow elsewhere in Strasbourg and snow has been falling there. One person joked that it is the fall out from the paper factory which used to be in the area. The weather in the area was the same as in the rest of Strasbourg ‘le grand froid,’ cold. As you can see from the first picture the Canal de Marne Au Rhin is frozen solid in this stretch. The first of the houseboats is also a clubhouse for Strasbourg’s motorbike club. Another belongs to a friend. The bridge behind the boats, Pont Pierre Brousse, just about obscures the massive lock behind it which leads out  into the northern part of Strasbourg’s port and from there onto the Rhine.

The second photo shows the ice had been broken and then re-frozen, in this instance the piece of wood and the light making it into a nice pattern.

The third picture shows the Parc De l’Orangerie across the Canal. The tree in the middle, with the light shining through it, has been pollarded and in about a month each of the branches will offer a base for the nests of a family of storks. There is a zoo in the park and their work to preserve the bird of Alsace has seen the numbers increase significantly in the period I have lived in the city. Just to the right of the tree is the spire of the Cathdrale and next to that the chimneys of the pavillon Joséphine, which in Summer also have Storks nesting on them.

I have written before about the prevalence of Coypu in Strasbourg. The fact they have no animal which preys upon them means there are a lot of them around the city and you often see them, They are also amazingly tame and unafraid of humans. This one looked a bit fed-up that, because of the ice, it could not be swimming in the canal.

The next picture is of the Euro-district in Strasbourg. From the right there is the Agora administrative building of the Council of Europe,(CoE) then the Lord Rogers designed European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) building. Facing them across the canal is the old ECHR building, which now hosts the IT department of the CoE, which was designed  by B Monnet, J Aprill, Papillard Architects. The CoE building designed by H Bernard is just visible before the block of flats which houses one of Strasbourg’s finest institutions, Chez Franchi. Between the ECHR and CoE the building of the European Parliament can be viewed in the distance.

The final picture shows the ECHR with the eponymously named tram stop in front of it. In front of that is someone with a case before the court who is living in a tent, not something I would fancy in the weather.

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