The kiddies area at Strasbourg HippodromeAt times Strasbourg is so full of coach parties – it seems that the entire population of the city has decided to spontaneouly divide itself into, and move about in, groups of 54.

It isn’t uncommon to find the traffic being held up by 54 German pensioners crossing the road at the same time; the entrance to the Cathedral being blocked by 54 Italian teenagers going in at the same time; or Molly Malone’s (oh yes) bursting at the seams while 54 Brits try and buy a beer at the same time.

It is for this reason that each party’s tour guide is faced with an almighty problem: how to keep their group together. The usual trick is to hold something aloft. Common favourites are a brolly, European flag or (my favourite) a brolly with the European flag on it.

More unusual solutions include – a large freshly cut rose; getting everyone in the party to wear yellow baseball caps; or simply speaking Japanese perpetually and volubly (this works particularly well for the Japanese coach parties).

I’m entertaining the idea of marching through the city holding aloft a European brolly, wearing a yellow baseball cap and yelling “Sashimi sushi”.