Alsace Wine routeJuly 25, 2017 in France
It was fine and clear as we left the carp pond and headed for the famous Alsace Wine route which would take us up through spectacular villages very close to the German border. Here you can see the Germanic influence in the buildings and the locals tend to have their own dialect which seems to have a slight German sound. The names are definitely different to other parts.
Before we got there though we managed to find one of the supermarkets which had a laundromat in the carpark so we put our washing on and did some shopping!
The wine route is 170kms long and has close to 100 villages and as it says in the advertising it looks like a "living postcard with well kept vineyards rising over the foothills, villages around ruined castles from the Middle Ages and flower-decked streets". There are also plenty of fountains in the villages dating back to the Renaissance. This region has changed from being controlled by France or Germany several times over the centuries and 4 times in 75 years in recent times. Their language and culture reflects this.
By pure chance we stopped for the night at one village called Eguisheim which was voted as one of the prettiest villages in France and we can certainly see why. We wandered around the village- simply stunning with all the beautiful flowers, half timbered buildings which sometimes seem to be on a slight lean. Every corner you turned was wow! We are also back in stork country as we saw several nests up high on the buildings and birds flying back and forth to their chicks. In the 1980's the population of storks had dropped to only 2 breeding pairs but with help they are now back to about 400.
Dinner tonight had to be in a restaurant in this beautiful place and with its German influence there was sauerkraut on the menu which was delicious. On to more villages tomorrow.Read more