We didn’t realise how much exercise we’d been getting in Strasbourg until we slipped uptown today, a mere five minute walk along smooth paving.
It’s been barely a year since we’ve been here, and in our wanders through the newly paved square we had a feeling that something was missing, but we couldn’t quite put a finger on what that might be. There was a certain absence of people for sure, now that the holiday season is over and today being a non-market day. The towns emblem, a unicorn, was still where it should be or at least its brass effigy was. As an aside the unicorn’s horn was apparently found in the ruins of a castle nearby but the town’s documents declare as if to have a bet each way on the probability of unicorns ever existing, that it is more likely that it was the tusk of a narwhal. How bad must the poor narwhal have felt having come so close to fame only to lose the contest to a mythical beast to which it had leant its tusk.
Narwhal’s not withstanding, it was only on our return visit that the penny dropped. There’s a subtle diminution of colour in the place now that autumn is in full swing. Normally every ledge and window on the buildings in the main street are festooned with flower boxes. While some still exist, the majority have magically disappeared, no doubt eventually to be replaced with some sort of festive decoration until the temperature is once again deemed appropriate to keep flowers as happy as those in the tea houses and cafés below.