Driving across the Rhine River from Germany into France, I noticed an immediate change: the cornfields have wide strips of flowers planted between the road and the neat line where the orderly rows of cornstalks begin. Germany has its own beauty, but to me, these flower beds are quintessentially French. Of course French farmers would consider it worthwhile to give up twenty or thirty feet of perfectly good corn-growing soil in order to have purple, pink and white flowers swaying in the breeze.
Strasbourg is in Alsace, the most German area of France. Of course this lovely and productive land has been hotly contested over the centuries, between France and Germany. The outcome of the Second World War decided the issue once and for all.
Most of the rest of this trip will be in southern Germany, with forays into Austria and maybe Switzerland. But I’m glad to have had a couple of days just across the border in la belle France, land of impractical beauty for its own sake.