Sunday, May 10, 2020

Route des Vins

On our third day we hiked the route des vins to see some of the Alsace villages.  This was Katherine's favorite day of the trip, I think, and was one of my favorite.  It was a first (very mild) hike between towns definitely!  The route des vins flows past (many) vineyards and connects the different towns and villages to each other.  It runs through 60 villages and is flanked by the Vosges foothills making for some beautiful views.


Riquewihr
We caught a bus in Colmar and reached Riquewihr, our first stop, by 830.  We wandered a bit to take deserted town photos 






(Toy storks)

(a stork sign!)




(gourmet--sets the price of wine.  Seems like a nice job to have in town...)





and sat on a bench in the sun overlooking vineyards for a bit, until 930 when some stores (grocery at first) slowly began to open.  





We bought a munster covered bretzel with bacon pieces on top to eat for breakfast.  Pretzels are a big deal in Alsace (bretzel is how they spell it). 





Tourists had just started arriving and by ten most of the stores and churches opened.  





(inside the Protestant church)

(Catholic church)



After checking out the two churches in town and some of the stores, 







we were ready to head outside the town walls to start towards our next stop by 11. 









After a thirty minute walk (5 to 10 minutes of which was way too uphill) through vineyards,









we came upon Hunawihr.  
Hunawihr



This town was very small, with a sixteenth century fortified church, Church of St. Jacques le Majeur,  shared by Catholics and Protestants.  




Once outside we noticed the skies were getting very ominous so, after a few pictures in the walled cemetery, we headed down into town.



(grapes on the cross)

We breaked here for lunch...a small goat cheese salad with a French ham.  



So good!  We were like the only two tourists in town and had the restaurant all to our selves.  It had just started to rain, too, so it was a very fortuitous restaurant find.  



Next about 30 minutes walk through vineyards to our last village of the day, Ribeauville. 





Ribeauville


The ruins of three castles look down into the town from the surrounding hills.  


The road took us into the center square of town and from there it was off to explore.



I loved the pretty spring decorations!




First we headed away from the bus stop towards the churches at the edge of the old town area.









(Traditional Alsatian headdress, but also a salon de the!)







From the churches, it was back down into town.



(Stork sighting!)


At 445 we caught a bus back to Colmar just outside of town.


Colmar

Once back, we went up to the room for a little bit, before heading back out. We went to dinner early for France at 7 on the canal behind our hotel (most photographed spot in the city probably).


(our hotel from the restaurant's terrace where we ate)

 I had a meat  torte and salad with Muscat wine (Not a big fan, too dry).



I finished with a specialty of the area, a kugelhopf glace, an ice cream with light cake shell with fruits, almonds and cherry liqueur.



While sitting on the canal, we saw muskrat we think!  After an evening walk to take one final look at Colmar and some night pics,





it was back to the hotel to pack.


Tomorrow, we move to our next city.

Trip Tip 1:  The bus schedule was more for workers than tourists, so there were relatively few buses out of Colmar and they tended to be way earlier than a tourist would need to leave.  For example, we walked to the gare (train station) to catch a 740 bus.  That just means you can see whichever village you decide to visit before the rest of the tourists descend!  

Trip Tip 2:  We did ask directions in the TI (tourist info office) so we knew which way to walk out of Riquewihr, and they also gave us maps of the towns with more information about the buildings, etc.  They also double checked the bus schedule for us, which ended up being very helpful since we were ready to go from Ribeauville earlier than I had anticipated.  

2 comments:

  1. This was my favorite day of this particular trip-- everything went smoothly and was just SO completely picture-perfect. I would do this again in a heartbeat (or pick a different section of the Route des Vins).

    Randomness:
    • You did not give yourself enough credit for (single-handedly) figuring out the confusing bus schedules. I still remember waiting at the bus stop in Colmar at some ungodly early hour of the morning with a handful of commuters and hoping the bus would come... and it did!
    • Your photo of the cheesy pretzel in Riquewihr made me remember our slight disappointment that it wasn't hot, LOL. And trying to ask if it was possible to warm them up and the shopkeeper not understanding us AT ALL. Oh well, it was tasty anyway.
    • I think the uphill portion of the hike was probably only about the length of a football field but it was deceptively steep and we kept stopping every ten feet and questioning whether we had the stamina to continue, haha. SOOOO glad we did though, because it was such a nice, easy stroll when everything flattened out.
    • MY BELOVED GOAT CHEESE SALAD!! The most perfect goat cheese salad of all time!! Which I have tried unsuccessfully to recreate on every trip since (although the first one I ordered in Amsterdam wasn't bad). I'm so glad I get to see it again!
    • You definitely took way more photos in Ribeauvill√© than I did. I love them!
    • Also, despite the lack of photo evidence from BOTH of us, one of my clearest memories of Ribeauvill√© is eating ice cream while waiting for the bus and watching hordes of just-freed schoolchildren pass by.
    • Ugh, I really wish I remembered what I ordered at that restaurant. I need to start documenting this (discreetly, LOL). Wasn't this also the restaurant where they made the waiter practice his English by serving us?

    CONTINUING TO LOVE THESE POSTS, CARRIE! They are the highlight of my sad, boring Blursdays!

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    Replies
    1. Forgot to add that I especially love Photo #29. It is perfect.

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Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)