Thursday, February 23, 2017

A River Runs Through It

Pont Covert

Today was so sunny and warm that we decided to take the Batorama, or boat tour.  The hour tour encircles the Grand Ill and ventures into the European quarter.  There are two locks on either side of the Ill that carry the boat up and down river.  While in the lock, the boat attracts onlookers who are fascinated by the technology.  People bring the crew coffee and chat while the boat elevates/descends.  On the western end of the Ill are the three Pont Coverts and four towers.  The bridges are no longer covered but maintain the name.  Built in the third century as a defense fortress, the coverings offered protection for the guards.  Close by and upstream is the Barrage Vauban, or dam, built by Louis XV which has 13 arched openings with locks in each.  During war the locks were lowered flooding lands south of the city and making them impassable to the enemy.  Woe to those who lived south of the city.  

The European Quarter is very modern and quite a contrast to the Grand Ill.  The Parliamentary building was named for Louise Weiss, Alsacian journalist, writer, feminist and politician.  Glass is the predominant material for the European Court and the Parliament.  

Following the Batorama Tour, we spent time in the Archeology Museum at Palais Rohan where the boat docks.   The history of the area is dense with tracings from the Neolithic period to stories of the Nazi occupation. 

We ended the day with a Gyro that had been on Wayne's mind for days since passing the restaurant.  

Apologies for the pictures on flickr that are effected by the glare of the boat.