After spending a week in Switzerland we headed north to the Alsace region to Verdun and then Paris. Alsace is known for it’s German influence and pork!
We rented a gite in Andlau and the owner was also a winemaker so our apartment (connected to the house) overlooked vineyards. It also had a pool and was very close to the main town. Andlau was a lovely town with a few good restaurants which made it nice to dine out. No worry about driving home. We did have a rather funny incident, though.
Certainly one of the highlights and features of the Alsace is the wine. White wines are prominent in this area: Reislings, Tokay, and Gewürztraminers but you can also find Alsatian Pinot Noirs. As you will see listed below, many well known wineries are located in the Alsace.
Some of the towns we visited were:
- Barr-large pedestrian area
- Mittlebergheim-we were there during their Fête du Vin so there were lots of events like local dancing. It’s a small town but definitely worth visiting.
- Gertwiller: if you like gingerbread, you’ll love this town. I visited it a few times to purchase their “pain d’épice”. I often ran here from Andlau (about 7 km one way)
- Strasbourg: loved taking the boat tour (just over 1 hour) that navigates through the city. It isn’t big, but it is pretty
- Soufflenheim: known for pottery
- Ribeauville: fairly large town with a big pedestrian area that goes higher and higher. The winery Trimbach is located here.
- Colmar: known for its picturesque old town
- Eguilsheim: went to the Leon Beyer winery
- Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg: visited for about 2 hours. It was very crowded but very impressive
- Riquewihr: lots of beautiful architecture but lots of tourists too. Winery Hugel et Fils is located here
We drove to and stayed in Nancy so that we could attend the free concert in Parc de la Pepinière. French singer, Patricia Kaas performed for a couple of hours. This parc is located very close to Place Stanislas where we went for a drink after the concert. It’s a big esplanade that has a number of cafes surrounding it. It actually reminds me of Versailles.
We drove to Verdun sot hat we could see some of the World War I monuments such as the Citade, Fort de Douaumont, and Douaumont Ossuary which is where the bones of over 130000 unidentified soldiers are buried. Its haunting and moving to see some of the skulls and bones through the windows.
Returning the car in Paris was a nightmare because we could not find a parking space to leave the car. We went the Avis location at Porte Maillot and then La Defense. We then headed to Trocadero to have a drink. We needed it!
We spent the rest of our time in Paris walking around. Usually I’ll go from the Louvre all the way down the Champs Elysée to the Arc de Triomphe, then head to Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and then the left bank to Boulevard Saint Germain.
Finally we did one of the best things I’ve ever done in Paris: take a bicycle tour of Paris at night with Fat Tire Bike Company.
The tour ends with a cruise on a Bateaux Mouche….with vin rouge, of course!