Canoe Vibes with Anny Osabutey: a piece of Strasbourg

Canoe Vibes with Anny Osabutey: a piece of Strasbourg

In the heart of the farmland of Alsace in France, a sea of ​​poppies beckons passers-by. The famous flower, which has become a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who fought in wars that left them breathless, stood in the heart of thousands of lush green vegetation. The red flowers looked innocent and waved their heads, thanks to the direction of the wind, creating a serene scene for visitors entering Strasbourg for the first time.

The attraction was so strong that my two sons could not contain their excitement. I suggested to my wife that we stop, wander through the fields and go to the apartment later. But I thought it would be ideal if we got our bags out of the car, let the kids go to the bathroom and then went outside. I agreed with her. They asked why. We gave them an explanation.

I’m not sure if they understood, but there was no protest. The drive from the fields to the apartment took about 10 minutes. We stopped in front of the apartment for the night. Our hostess, Marie, a wonderful French woman with little English speaking skills ((our French was quite variable, but we managed with the language app on our phones) welcomed us.

Her son, about six years old, was in tow. He had blond hair. His eyes were bright and captivating. He was wearing a replica jersey of Paris Saint Germain, the reigning champions of the elite division of the French league. On the back of the shirt was the name of Presnel Kimpembe, a central defender. I asked him why not Mbappé on the back of his shirt. He smiled wryly and walked into their apartment.

Perhaps he didn’t want to hear Mpabbe’s name, given the circumstances surrounding his move to Real Madrid, I whispered. The main window in our room looked out onto green vegetation. It was mostly farmland. I stood there for a few minutes. I had flashbacks of some of the Ghanaian mining towns I had visited, and the extent of the terror inflicted on the vegetation.

Sometimes you wonder how much greed runs in the veins of the so-called high-ups in our society, who continue to ruin the environment for now and the future if it gives them a life of wealth and luxury. Who cares about galamsey, when there is money to be made? The boys went swimming, got dressed again and we went to see the poppies.

We stopped for other vehicles whose occupants were already in the field taking pictures. I got out of the car, unbuckled the boys and marched them to the fields. They took off before I could even get them ready. They wandered around the fields and almost obstructed a photographer who had come there to do some work.

In the other half of the fields, a female photographer, wearing faded jeans, a brown khaki long-sleeved shirt, and blue Converse, was busy operating her camera. The subject was a young French couple. She gave them instructions on how to pose. Then she clicked away. “Another” I heard her say to the couple in French. We also did our own shoot.

We found a nearby park for the kids to play. After almost an hour of jumping from zip lines to swings, their energy levels were dropping. Back at the condo, we had a light dinner and went to bed.

We left the apartment on Sunday morning, after breakfast. We said goodbye to the smiling Marie and her son. We set off, zigzagging through the rest of the enchanting farmlands of Alsace, to Strasbourg. The Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg was our first stop. The weather was great. Hundreds of tourists had poured into the city to participate in various activities, including a visit to the cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic art. Construction is said to have begun in 1015 and was completed in 1439.

Despite the Sunday mass at the time, tourists were still queuing to feast their eyes on the aesthetics. At the main entrance, four French soldiers were armed to the teeth. Their red berets were turned to the left. Their eyes were hidden behind sunglasses. They were scanning the crowd to pick out high-testosterone criminals who were causing trouble. We managed to get inside. The mass was being held in French. I managed to take a few photos of the intricate architecture. Later, I took out my phone and placed it next to a speaker to record the blessing.

Various activities took place outside the Cathedrale. A man hawking Strasbourg-designed merchandise walked through the crowd hoping to get a customer. In the distance, a French lady serenades bystanders with a harp. Dressed in baggy jeans and a thick gray jacket, a nose ring to compliment her artistic look, she stroked the strings with immense patience.

Everyone who was touched by her performance dropped some euros as a token of appreciation. She then looked up and said “Thank you”, as she moved on to the next part. She dedicated the final performance to praising Strasbourg’s enchanting medieval history of imposing architecture, gastronomy and multiculturalism.

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