Published: June 15th 2012June 12th 2012
At one of the castle ruins which dot the hillsides here.
It was hard to leave Germany, so our stay in Alsace was a lovely transition with its French language and food with German overtones and architecture. It also gave us a welcome pause midway through our trip. But in typical fashion, no sooner had Louise arrived than we were off to see as much as we could. Alsace rewards the traveller at every turn with charming houses, ancient churches, lovely countryside, quaint villages set in vine clad hills, tempting cellar doors, town squares with statues and fountains and of course cafés.
And then there is Strassbourg! A beautiful city with a wonderful cathedral, and lovely canals, bridges and streets-a version of the dream we hold of what Paris should be like.
The museums are also interesting. We particularly enjoyed the Unter den Linden in Colmar, which has the amazing Isenheim altar piece (google it!) as well as a wonderful Historical collection of Alsatian life (clothes, furniture, glass & china, toys, farming equipment etc) and a glass organ! The cathedral in Strassbourg has an amazing mechanical clock that is fun and worth the entry fee. There is also a museum about the cathedral which is interesting to those who like
Lunch in charming Petite France area.
architecture and sculpture. The Bibliotheque de l'Humanisme in Sélestat is also a fine small museum-cum-library. (See my blog post on Libraries)
Mont St Odile is a set high on a mountain cliff that overlooks the Rhine valley. It's origins are Merovingian, and although it is not strictly a museum but a working church complex with a hotel and tea room, the whole ensemble is wonderful- cloisters, two ancient chapels, and the amazing views across the Rhine Valley to the Black Forest.
Our apartment in Obernai was near a vineyard called Domain Clos Saint Odile. They make a good white. It was also on a hill near a look out from which we could just see the church complex on the horizon. The look out is also a memorial honoring the memory of the more than 200 people from the 10 villages of the Obernai district who were forcibly taken to Germany during WW2 and who did not survive.
There are more photos below