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  • Day34

    Christmas in Colmar

    December 25, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    After a bit of a rough night in which we were all woken up by what sounded like either an explosion or gunfire at 12.20am, we had a slow start to the day.
    Considering where we are and the history of terror attacks last year in a nearby town the large blast certainly gave us a scare. Add to that the yelling we could hear it took a few minutes and another blast for us to realise it was random fireworks. Still it got our hearts thumping and made it hard to get back to sleep so we were all thankfully for the relaxing late start to our Christmas.

    After chatting to the kids we had missed the night before we checked to see if Santa had managed to find us... and he had. Brad received a beautiful Italian leather satchel, perfect for travelling, and I got spoilt with a lovely embossed Italian leather wallet and a few other treasure “Santa” had collected so far in our trip. I felt very spoilt. Santa didn’t forget Peta and Errol either leaving them with a bottle of French red wine.

    Brad and decided to venture out to see if we could get some more of the delicious croissants we had yesterday to add to our cheese and ham but all the pastry shops were closed. There were still quite a few people out and about enjoying the quieter streets.

    Brunch/lunch was a meat and cheese platter made with produce we had sourced from the food market yesterday with our homemade vin brûlée, or vin chaud as it is called in France. We made sure to take our cheesy Christmas photos in front of our live Christmas tree, in our matching ugly Christmas sweaters, although they weren’t as ugly as some I had seen.

    It was a lovely way to spend the day, chatting with each other and when possible FaceTiming with family from home. It is a very different experience being on a different time zone to home where they have all wrapped up their Christmases as we are starting ours. I’m not sure I want to be this far away again as I am missing the kids and their partners, and our grand puppies, a lot.

    After a very relaxing morning/afternoon Errol roasted up the fresh veggies, heated up our beef Wellington and made some red wine jus for amazing Christmas dinner. It was so tasty especially paired with our French wines, Vodka beers followed with Caramel vodka shots.

    Feeling very full and a wee bit merry we decided to spread our Christmas cheers with the revellers in the streets (which was a good excuse to get another vin chaud on our way out). We walked the cobblestoned streets, admiring the Christmas light displays, chatted to a couple of heavily armed police, and even had a ride on a carousel. What a fun Christmas night.

    We returned to our apartment for our delicious Christmas dessert, listened to some music and just enjoyed these amazing moments we are having with our very special friends. We are so lucky to have them in our lives and it has been a privilege sharing our first Christmas away from home with them. Friends are family you choose yourself and spending the day with Peta and Errol helped ease our feelings of homesickness. Love you guys.
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  • Day33

    Road Trip ... Alsace (#3)

    June 5, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Our determination to avoid quaint villages, half timbered buildings and cobbles took us to Colmar ... the 'capital' of the Alsace region. Guess what we found there ?!?!

    We checked the tourist info, found 3 things that we thought might be nice to see and tracked them down. Tick, tick, tick ... then we found a fantastic cafe and had a very very long lunch.

    Interesting fact ... the guy who designed the Statue of Liberty was born in Colmar.
    Interesting sight ... there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Colmar in his honour.
    It's in the middle of a roundabout and we're much better at negotiating the roundabouts in the wrong direction now so we went looking for it.

    An afternoon drive through the countryside in a easterly direction brought us to the banks of the Rhine River. We promised the hire company that we wouldn't take the car outside France so we only got to look at Germany across the water. We didn't immediately spot any half timbered buildings, maybe Germany is the place for us 😀
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  • Day36

    Fortified Church of Hunawihr

    December 27, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    We made our way through the town up to the Church of Hunawihr. The 10th century church is surrounded by the town cemetery which was just as interesting as the church. I’m not sure our tour guides expected us Australian tourists to be so interested in tombstones.

    The other interesting feature of the church is the clock on the bell tower. The hands of the clock are decorated with vine leaves, illustrating the importance of the vineyards to the economy of the village, with one of the clock faces displaying the hour while the clock face on the side of the tower shows the minutes.

    The church interior is simple in its decoration with the stain glass windows being the main feature. It was interesting to learn about its history and the history of the town.

    Hunawihr is a beautiful and quaint village and one we could have spent more time in but it was on to our next stop.
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  • Day31

    Road Trip ... Alsace (#1)

    June 3, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    This morning we picked up a hire car in Strasbourg and everything seems wrong. The steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car, all cars are driving on the wrong side of the road, everyone drives around a roundabout in the wrong direction and the road signs have the wrong words on them. We have some adjusting to do ... and quickly 😀

    Our plan is to tour the Alsace region for a couple of days. Our expectation is a plethora of charming villages full of half timbered houses on narrow cobbled streets ... with tubs, pots and window boxes full of flowers. And wine, lots of wine.

    Day 1 absolutely met those expectations. We walked around some villages and poked our noses into their business, others were drive-through tourism with pics taken from the car window while our feet recovered from the cobbles of the previous village.

    The weather wasn't kind to us in the middle of the day but we avoided the heavy rain while having a long lazy lunch inside.

    After leaving Strasbourg this morning, we crossed Obernai, Barr, Mittelbergheim and Andlau off the village list before checking into our accommodation at Ammerschwihr. This is base camp for our Alsace adventure.
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  • Day32

    Road Trip ... Alsace (#2)

    June 4, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    A day of Alsace touring, after a lazy morning and a very slow start. Similar to yesterday we explored some areas on foot and were drive-by tourists in other areas.

    After rummaging around in Riquewihr for a couple of hours and then gawping at Haut-Koenigsbourg castle we buzzed through the villages of Bergheim, Ribeauville and Hunawihr before heading to Kayserberg for dinner.

    There's lots to see and everything is pretty, scenic, lovely, etc etc but by the end of the day we'd had our fill of half timbered buildings. And cobbled streets ... enough of them for a while too.

    We're going to expand our horizons tomorrow and range further afield than the quaint villages.
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  • Day36


    December 27, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    Today we decided to do a half day tour along the Alsace wine route, including stops at three smaller villages along the way. It was an overcast and wet start to the morning so it was nice to be driven around and not trying to master the trains and do it on our own.

    Our guides for the day, Ana and Erik, were fabulous and gave us heaps of interesting information along the way. It was amazing to learn that the wine route through Alsace covers 170km of vineyards and includes 4200 wine growers and 900 wine makers. There are strict governances in place that ensure the wines from this region are made from the seven different types of grapes and that they are not mixed. Riesling grapes make Riesling wine, Pinot Gris grapes make Pinot Gris wine etc. I did make note that I should be asking for Pinot Blanc when ordering wine in France as it sounds like one I would enjoy.

    First stop for the day was the small town of Hunawihr, a typical Alsatian village with a population of less than 600 people. Being very close to the German border it’s history has it changing hands numerous times before finally becoming French once more. Listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, it is renowned for its fortified church perched on the hill, which is both a church for the Catholics and the Protestants.

    The village of Hunawihr has some beautiful half-timbered houses in the Renaissance style called “Maisons de vignerons”, vine growers’ houses. It was very interesting to learn about the building processes and materials used, as well as the myths behind the chosen colours. It is a lovely quaint town and one we could easily spend the day in.
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  • Day27

    Bonjour et au revoir France

    August 27, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Bevor es zurück geht noch mal schnell unseren F-Nachbarn einen Besuch abstatten. Schon praktisch so ein Dreiländer-Eck.
    Heute Abend geht's dann zurück nach Hamburg.

  • Day16

    A rainy start

    September 5, 2016 in France ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    So Illy and Dave opted for public transport options today...
    For the rest of us...we spent first part of the day riding in a rainy drizzle alongside the canal (which runs parallel to the river). Lots of birdlife on the canal (and apparently some large rodents (rat/wombat)- which I didn't see)
    Not being a fan of being wet and cold I didn't find the morning section that enjoyable but others in the group quite liked it
    Easy (flat) riding today
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  • Day4

    Tag 4

    May 9, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Hüt hei mir 2 Landesgränze überquert🇨🇭🇩🇪🇫🇷 Nach emne kurze aber intensive Wolkebruch heimr d Velos vou Sand gha u üs scho Sorge umd Gsundheit vo de Schaltige gmacht. Aber ufm Camping i dr aute Festigsstadt Neuf-Brisach heimr d Velos chönne absprütze😌 Zum Znacht hets Hamburger vom Gaskocher gä🍔Read more

  • Day16

    Nuef Briasch

    September 5, 2016 in France ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    So onwards to Nuef Briasch for the night...
    We took a slight detour as we missed our turn off.
    Met Ilona and David at the accommodation.
    We did 65km today.

    Nuef Briasch is a cool town. It has a wall, and was designed as fully fortified. Went for a bit it of an explore around the wall and the town itself in the arvo/eveningRead more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Département du Haut-Rhin, Departement du Haut-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Alto Rin, Uwer-Elsass, Alto Reno

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