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We walked into the Petite France section of Strasbourg along the river. Half timbered buildings mingled with traditional French and German architecture. Strasbourg is along the German border, and the Alsace region of present day France was part of Germany for long periods of its history. There are still Lutheran/Protestant churches in the city, and one of them, St. Thomas, had a noon day scripture and music devotional. The church was begun in the 700s and is very large. Its pipe organ was built by Silberman, the great pipe organ builder. Albert Schweitzer played on the instrument. The music was meditative and the pastor had chosen hymns that were definitely Thanksgiving in character. How appropriate for us! We were able to sing along since some sang in French, some in German, and some in English as the words of each language were printed out. It was a good moment in time as we thought of family and friends back home. We were thankful to God for our many blessings.
Our Thanksgiving meal was eaten in a striking restaurant all decked out for Christmas and in a quaint half-timbered building set along the river. Everything was quite French. I believe my Camembert fried in a sesame cream and Randy’s meat dish in a French pastry won the prize for great French cuisine. Not a typical Thanksgiving meal, but it was for us a memorable one. The local beer was also quite good.
It is a grey day with intermittent rain, but the Christmas lights are bright and cheery. In the mid-afternoon Kathy and I returned to the apartment for a short rest while Randy and Melisa went on exploring. They returned to the apartment to fetch us because they had found the largest Christmas market in Strasbourg. It is one we had not visited. Lights and stalls abounded. It seems as if stores compete to see which can have the most festive display. All of this in a beautiful old town on its own right, festooned with Christmas joy. It is an almost surreal experience.
We ended our day with traditional gluhwein (a liquor and hot wine concoction) and a huge white bratwurst. We also called family to say, as I do to you, “Happy and blessed Thanksgiving.” WEG