Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A quick tour of Alsace

France is one of my favourite countries - I might be slightly biased because we lived there a few years ago, but it truly is beautiful and I don't think I will ever tire of visiting there. The Alsace region, right on the French/German border is a part of France that we had never been to and so Mitch and I decided to take a quick tour en route to Switzerland. It took us about 5hrs to make it down to our stop for the night - the cute little medieval village of Obernai. I really had no idea what to see in this region so just randomly picked a few places recommended online. Obernai was, well, cute. It was tiny and the buildings were all the typical Alsace style I was expecting. There were lots of bakeries selling yummy treats (we enjoyed various flavoured coconut macaroons which seemed to be common in the area, although I was most disappointed not to find their similar sounding but dissimilar tasting counterpart - the macaron), a few shops and lots of nice little streets to wander around. We had fun trying out our French again and discovered that although we don't speak much Dutch, the little we know is well and truly ingrained in our brains - the second I hear a foreign language, I automatically respond in Dutch now so there were lots of ja and nee and alstublieft flying out of our mouths when we should have been saying s'il vous plait. Oopsies.

After a breakfast of some mouth watering croissants and pain au chocolat the next morning, we set off on our journey to Saint-Maurice in Switzerland - via a few more places of course. Not far from Obernai, Mont Sainte-Odile was a mountain top convent with lovely views over the vineyard filled region.

We then headed further down to a castle, one a little different in appearance to the other French chateaux we have seen in the Loire Valley - Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg. It closes over lunch and by the time we got there, we couldn't go in - but we still managed a nice walk around the castle walls through all the pretty autumn leaves.

Once we were off the motorways and on the quieter country roads, there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. Naturally, we stopped so Mitch could snap a photo or two - if only we had more time for some wine tasting though...

Riquewihr, another medieval village, was our final stop in Alsace before crossing back into Germany and then down to Switzerland (where I discovered that there really is border control over here - driving through customs was a whole new experience, one in which we narrowly avoided a 200 CHF fine for having our motorway sticker stuck up with stickytape - oops). Riquewihr was my favourite out of the villages - the buildings were gorgeous, there were heaps of wine caves for tastings and we enjoyed some delicious French food. I really enjoyed our brief getaway in Alsace - it's a region that I could have easily spent more time exploring and I'm sure that with all our trips to Switzerland over the next couple of years, we'll be back.


  1. Looks lovely Lu! A great roadtrip!! Love lots, Martine

  2. Oh! you've been to Tom's country! glad you loved it!
    and thanks for the blog Lu, it's such a great pleasure to read you!

  3. Thanks Laurianne :-) I was actually thinking of you guys while we were there, I remembered it was Thomas's part of France. Hope you guys are doing well


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