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Days 4 & 5

Colmar is amazing! When I first laid eyes on this picturesque town, my jaw dropped in disbelief at its quaintness. It is literally charm on charm on charm! Buildings in the old town are various colors and the half-timbered style is quite appealing. The German influence is strong, being so close to the German border. Alsace actually changed hands between French and German rule several times over the years, but has been part of France since the end of WWI.  We started our visit with a walking tour around the city with our local guide, Muriel. She was entertaining and taught us the word "coucou", a warm and friendly way to say "hi" to close friends.   

We went on several outings while here in Colmar. We toured the famous Unterlinden Museum, a mountain-top medieval castle, and a lovely little village much like Colmar. We got a close-up look at grapes growing on the vine as we walked through a vineyard, then got to taste the end result. You'll see them all below.   

  Our hotel in Colmar was Hotel Le Rapp. The view from our window was more of the local charm. We overlooked a cobblestone alley, and a stone's throw away on the other side were adjoined homes of varying pastel shades with faded green shutters and flower boxes in the windows. Another fairytale view!


The look of Colmar is delightfully unique with its photo-worthy canals and interesting architecture. For me, it was love at first sight. This was one of my favorite towns!  


 I got my first taste of a roesti here, a specialty of the region that I had been hearing about. They come in a number of flavor combinations. Mine was veggies, potatoes and cheese. It was really good! The food in this Alsace region has a heavy German influence, being so close to the German border. Sauerkraut, sausage  and pretzels abound. Another dinner we had typical of regional foods was schnitzel, salmon with cream sauce, boiled potatoes and slaws.  


Unterlinden Museum

We toured the famous Unterlinden Museum, housing Matthias Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece. The colors and detail are brilliant.  The photos really speak for themselves. So impressive! 

Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg

Day 5 was "Route du Vin" day.  We took the 90-mile route through wine country. But first, in the morning, we set out for Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg, a big, medieval castle at the top of a small mountain in the Vosges mountain range. This castle has been around since before the Middle Ages and was rebuilt in the early 1900's. What a way to step back in time to see what life would have looked like hundreds of years ago.  And the view from the castle of the villages and fields below is beautiful. 


After taking in the regal amazement at the castle, we made our way to the nearby town of Kaysersberg for lunch. Another very charming place, like Colmar, where you feel it must be a movie set, couldn't be a real town where people live. But of course, it is. It was once the home of the great humanitarian, Dr. Albert Schweitzer. For lunch, another first for me, a Tarte Flambée, like a pizza with paper thin crust and very tasty. Gingerbread is a specialty here, too.