So many possibilities for Beginning. In the end I went for this one, which is a modern window commemorating the first Protestant community in Colmar. Unlike other parts of France, Alsace was allowed to retain some freedom of religion even in 17th-18th century, so this really was a beginning and not a false start for Protestantism in the area.
This is an architect, the man who started to build the great church in Colmar. He's included himself on the doorway (the guy with the set squares - he also has a tiny inscription, so we know he was called Maester Humbret). I suppose technically church buildings begin with the idea and the money, but he was the one who got out his medieval tools and began to plan exactly where it would be and how it would look.
And this is my not-very-good shot of the West front of Strasbourg cathedral - where every tourist begins. With their mouths open, because you just have to keep on looking upwards at this amazing delicate stonework.
This is for dance. Weird, huh? It's a statue at Breisach am Rhein, virtually at the border of France and Germany. The bit I understand is that the statue is meant to be symbolic of peace between the two countries and in Europe. The bit I don't get is why that's symbolised by a bull coming up through the pavement with a semi-abstract dancer on its back. Bull leaping or dancing was an ancient Green thing (Minoan, I think). Europa was seduced by a bull. Other than that, I have no mental picture of what this means or why. But I *love* the paving stones arranged around it to make it look dynamic.
This is for platter! A dessert for one, but got up like a feast for many. This was a beautiful restaurant in Obernai (www.le-freiberg.com if you happen to be passing!). Lovely presentation of everything, but not all snooty and formal in service. (It's a good test of a restaurant how they treat single diners. These people passed with grade A). The dessert is 'kougloff glace', which is basically ice cream, though they've added cream, custard and sauces here! The 'kougloff' bit is the shape, which is the same as kougelhopf cakes sold in this area. I think you use the same mould for cake or ice cream. Tasty!