France - Gingerbreading in Colmar with a side of Germany
After we left Beaune and Auxey-Duresses in Burgundy we set off for Colmar in the Alsace region in north-eastern France in our rental car. I was thankful that my brother was at ease driving in France as the car was such a pleasant way to get to the next destination. I thought I would want to drive in France, but I got intimidated by all of the roundabouts and the fast cars. Maybe next time.
We arrived safely in a little gingerbread town after driving through the narrow streets and found our apartment. At first, we were both thrown off by the different appearance of this region. The buildings were very cute, but all the half-timbered houses threw us off a little. We could see the German inspiration here and it didn't seem very French. The apartment we stayed at was very cute and on a nice quiet street with a little courtyard. We went to the supermarché, decided to eat at home and had a lovely picnic of cheese, a baguette, strawberries, apples, jams and wine. It was the perfect night in.
My brother went for an early bike ride and I slept in and took my time getting ready. When he came back we decided to take the car to Germany and have lunch. I wasn’t sure if we would need our passports to cross into Germany, I don’t cross into other countries by land often. We took them just in case, but when we crossed from France to Germany, we went over a bridge from one country to the other with no check point in sight. We both found it commical that we thought we would need our passports, but better safe than sorry. The little town of Breisach was only a thirty minute drive away. I found a restaurant that looked good that was on the Rhine for lunch. I am a vegetarian and there were three options on the menu. I had no idea what I was ordering and no one spoke English or French. I hoped for the best and got the Spatzle and asparagus soup, it was fantastic! The Spatzle was the German version of macaroni and cheese. The noodles tasted homemade and there was an abundance of cheese. My brother had ravioli and enjoyed it very much. We discussed that if we ate in Germany for several weeks we were sure to gain a significant amount of weight. After lunch we went into the little town and walked up to the Romanesque Saint Stephanmunster Cathedral. Then strolled down to the town and popped into some shops before stopping for ice cream. One of my goals this year was to make it to another country. Our lovely afternoon in Germany checked this box which makes me very happy.
After returning to France, we did some sightseeing around Colmar and went to the Saint Martin’s Church, stopped at a cute café for wine and coffee, saw the Fontaine Schwendi, then walked through Petite Venice. That evening we had dinner at our apartment again, we were settling into our short life in France well.
The next day I went to lunch while my brother was riding and had a delicious omlet. I wandered around Colmar for the day and saw the Musee Bartholdi, Maison Pfister, the Roesselmann Fountain, did some shopping, found a little café with a strawberry tart and went back to Petite Venice to see when the boat tours were for our evening. After meeting up with my brother later we went out to explore for one last evening. At the end of our street was a wine bar that we would recommend, L'un des Sens, they had scrumptious small bites and my brother enjoyed the wine. The staff were very friendly and the outside seating was lovely. We did some shopping, then took a boat tour in Petite Venice. It was very cute here, not a huge area, but cute nonetheless. There were wooden boats that took you up and down the little canal, when you would go under the bridges you were told whether or not you needed to duck. At one point there was a swan that followed the boat, I am sure the boat guides have food for them or something, but I have never seen a swan up close and I have to be honest, they are a little creepy. They are a very strong bird and their wings stick up from their body, it seems that it was always ready to be on the move. It kept pecking at the back of the boat and was quite menacing. I enjoyed the short ride in Petite Venice. Once our boat ride was over we had dinner on the canal in a cute restaurant, it was a great way to end our time in Colmar.
While I could never see myself living in this area, I am happy to have made it to the Alsace region as I have been curious about it for some time. The next day we would be traveling by train back to Paris for one last evening in France. My fortieth celebration and time in France was about to come to an end, I was not ready.