Sunday, November 23, 2008

The home of the white stork

Parc de l'Orangerie is located on the outskirts of Strasbourg, not far from the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. This is a wonderful place to visit on a hot summers day. Here you may wonder in the shades of large beautiful trees and get a glimpse of its most famous inhabitant - the white European stork

July 7th was a rainy day in Strasbourg. We decided to leave the city centre and visit Parc l'Orangerie.

The roots of this park goes back over 300 years. It was laid out as a French garden by the famous French gardener Andre le Nôtre (1613-1700), and later remodeled into an English garden for Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), wife of emperor Napoléon Bonaparte.

It is a beautiful place to take a stroll. From the strict flowerbeds and large gracious date palms close to the Pavilion Joséphine, the small beautiful palace in the park, to slightly curved walkways in the shade under tall old trees.

When you are through with your walk you may visit one of the two restaurants in the park.

We settled for a dripping cold weissbier, Edelweiss enjoyed sitting under cover in a restaurant. At this point of our trip it had really started to rain heavily.

As we sat down, we spotted the large white European stork. It was surprisingly relaxed and walked around in the park, among us humans. I followed its motions and got my fair share of snapshots as it walked close and far away from us.

If you would like to enjoy some finer dining, try Le Buerehiesel, an excellent gourmet restaurant. The head cook Edward Westermann offers a large menu of starters, meat- and fish dishes, cheese and desserts.

Le Buerehiesel is located in a charming Alsatian farm building from 1607 that was taken down and transported to the park piece by piece for the international industrial exhibition of 1895.

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