Last week, I spent three days in Strasbourg. Along with seven other Instagrammers, I had been invited by the European Parliament to come see where some of the EU politics is made. It was an interesting experience; what a huge place it is, endless amounts of people walking the halls, talking in little offices, clutching important papers and doing interviews. We walked around, went up to the roof, and sat down to see a plenary debate about the global gag rule reinstated by Trump.
The entrance was this huge round square which is intentionally 'unfinished' in its architecture to reflect that the EU will always be 'unfinished'.
It was fascinating to see the politicians at work. Every speech was translated into all the languages represented at the EU and you could listen along on earphones.
We were allowed up on the roof - something that had been forbidden for several years - and it was spring and sunny and gave an impressive view over Strasbourg:
We were eight instagrammers from Germany, Poland, El Salvador and Denmark. We were five Danes and naturally had to take a band photo up on the roof.
The city of Strasbourg was very beautiful. It's the main town in the region of Alsace and is situated close to the German border. It's been going back and forth between Germany and France before ending up in the latter. So the city was a great mix of the two cultures with German-sounding names and dishes and French atmosphere.
Those old wooden houses killed me!
The day before going to the parliament, I hadn't met the other instagrammers yet so I wandered around on my own. I hadn't slept much because I had to catch the early flight from Denmark so it suited me well to just take things slow and get lost in the old streets. I sat down by a riverside café and read my book, enjoyed the warm sun on my face and ate pâté with my café au lait while a homeless man played heavy metal versions of old songs on a boombox nearby.
Later, I spent a long time in an English bookstore and felt strangely at home in all the French - I spent my first six years in France and haven't been back since I was in Paris in 2007, so it was so so so good to be in France again. Just recognizing stores like Habitat, Naf Naf, Jacadi and Fnac was an experience, and speaking French again was heaven. More on Strasbourg tomorrow! Also, just to specify, the trip was sponsored by the European Parliament. I haven't received any money, and everything I write and photograph is of my own responsibility.