Peck's personal Web site
2002 swooped in fast, blasted by over our heads with an acrid smell, and disappeared
over the horizon. Mr Peck, for a very large number of work-related reasons,
was unable to plan any holidays from 2001 right all the way through 2002, and
probably well into the spring of 2003 for that matter.
Ms Marlowe Tyson Peck was able to take time from her busy schedule to come over
for a two-week visit in mid- to late August 2002, during which time she camped
on Mont Tendre, hiked in Italy, and went to see Colmar and Strasbourg in nearby
France. And played computer games.
may not find this interesting unless you're included here, so this is a good time
for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the
sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
has a stunning old city, several acres with a solid 16th and early 17th century
look to the architecture (half-timbering and jettied floors over the narrow streets),
and a presentable cathedral.
Marlowe and traveling companion Lisa viewing the sights in Colmar, August 2002
and Dad thinking about lunch
important 16th century merchant's house, with the cathedral over on the right.
and friend Lisa strolling round town for an afternoon
of heads" (maison des têtes) - a gazillion little heads stuck all over
the front of the house, quite creepy.
Djerba restaurant (far, far from Tunisia).
and Lisa, after dinner, recreating a scene from a 1950s surrealist movie.
got all that European Parliament new-monumentalist-gothic stuff, of course, luckily
in another part of the city, and the Old Town is compactly drawn up around the
cathedral, similarly doable in a nice afternoon of strolling all about.
and Lisa counting up how many euros they've got left (left), strolling down a
street of closed-up shops on a Sunday (right).
square, from the front door. The Strasbourg cathedral has got one of the all-time
tourist wonders, the "Strasbourg clock" tucked away in a Mary chapel
near one of the side doors -- constructed to the plans of a local mathematician
in 1574, this enormous mass of interconnected machinery calculates just about
everything scientifically known at the time about planets, suns, earth, the whole
universe, and in the later 17th century became a metaphor for the emerging empirical
views of a causal "clockwork" universe that brought science and technology
out of the Middle Ages.
the admission line for the clock went half round the cathedral, nearly as far
as all the fake gypsy beggars on the front steps, so Marlowe didn't get to see
the clock on this visit.
best discussion of the Strasbourg clock as a metaphor in 17th century debates
about the nature of the universe is Franklin L. Baumer, Religion and the Rise
of Scepticism (Harcourt, 1960), chapter 2.
Strasbourg cathedral looming over buildings in the
a few hours drive from the Geneva area past Bâle and Mulhouse, Colmar and
Strasbourg are fine places that really need to be visited by Pecks more often
than they have been heretofore.
with better timing -- the art museum in Strasbourg had been turned over to a temporary
exhibition of some doofus Fragonard knock-off and all our favorite Old Masters
had been huddled into a few rooms of just one wing and, worse, the basement.
Colmar in 2010
Strasbourg in 2011
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative,
rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 27 October 2002, revised 19 March 2011, 10 February 2014.