There’s a lovely park called le Jardin des Deux Rives that spans about 150 hectares along the banks of the Rhine River. This is the Rhine.
The thing is, the count of 150 hectares comes from both banks of the river. And as the Rhine separates France from Germany, well, this is an international park, connected by a pedestrian bridge appropriately called le Pont de l’Europe (the bridge of Europe). And so I walked from France to Germany, and then back.
While traversing le Pont de l’Europe, if you look to the west it is possible to see the tip of the famous Cathédral de Strasbourg in France, but if you do a 180 you’ll see the Black Forest of Germany. You’ll hear German spoken on the French side, French children playing and laughing on the German side, and foreigners like me speaking whatever language they choose.
Au revoir, Strasbourg.
Can you imagine? Less than 70 years ago France and Germany were opposite sides of a deadly, terrible war (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go stick your head in a history book). Today, you can walk across a bridge from Strasbourg, France, to Kehl, Germany. Without a passport, without border control. Just take a step forward or backward and marvel in this clear symbol of Franco-German peace and friendship.
It blows my mind.