This winter we went to visit a friend of my step father, who lives in Alsace.
Alsace is a region in the north east of France, that shares some cultural similarities with Germany, since the two zones have been in contact and sometimes in conflict during hundred years. It’s a place that’s kind of different from other french regions because of this, and it even has its own language, some people actually speak Alsatian dialect here.
We were there around the beginning of winter, so it was pretty cold already. But we still definitely enjoyed our stay ! We were staying at a hotel in Colmar, next to local vineyards all around. my step father’s friend is actually a winemaker, so he works in his very own vineyard.
We stayed at Le Rapp Hotel for two nights, and if you’re ever looking to stay in Colmar I highly recommend it ! They have a swimming pool, a sauna, a massage service, and very tasty dishes at their restaurant.
Plus : they give out Clarins soaps and shampoos (a very good quality french beauty brand) which are so vivifying to use after a good morning swim.
+ WALKING AROUND COLMAR
We only got to stay 2 short days here in Alsace, so we had to choose two main activities. The first day we arrived after noon, so we decided to visit the city and wander around. While walking in Colmar, and in Alsace in general, there’s something you just can’t miss : there are colorful half-timbered houses EVERYWHERE ! I think this is my favorite characteristic of Alsace, and why I love to visit here. Even during winter, the gloomy weather seemed more cheerful thanks to the colors ♥
There’s also this “village” vibe that you get from many cities in France, thanks to all the historical architecture. The streets are mostly small with lots of charm, it feels like walking through a cute fairy land, even as a french person.
In Paris, lovers used to put a padlock on le Pont des Arts, a bridge made famous because of the numerous padlocks that are on it. It seems that this little custom has reached Colmar ! You can see some padlocks on the bridge of La Petite Venise, a district that looks a bit like Venice with a canal flowing through it.
+ FOODS YOU NEED TO TASTE
With such a strong cultural identity, you’d bet that Alsace has many delicious local foods to taste ! We didn’t have time to eat a lot in two days, but here’s what I recommend you to taste if you stay in this lovely region.
A Flammekueche (pronounced “flam-kugh-sh”) or Tarte Flambée, is a thin salty tart, a bit like a very thin pizza but without the same ingredients. This one was made with goat cheese, lardons (basically bacon cubes), cream, and onions.
Regarding pastry, the Kougelhopf is very typical too (pronounced “coog-lhof”). It’s like a type of brioche, with raisins or chocolate chips inside, but it can also be salty with some lardons and nuts.
+ Alsacian Wine
If you had to taste only one thing in Alsace, it’d be Alsatian wine. Unlike the rest of France, Alsatian wine is almost only white wine not red, and often sweet. I can’t lie, it’s my favorite kind of wine !
These tasty sour dough knots are really to die for !
I think this is the first time that I ate an actual pretzel, not the dry cracker appetizer version we get to eat in the rest of France. It was so flavorful and soft, and also warm ! You should definitely check out the food market of colmar just to buy one of those.
+ CHILLING IN FRENCH WINEYARDS
On the second day, we enjoyed the swimming pool on the morning, and then we rode towards the vineyards. As I said, my step father’s friend, Claude, is an Alsatian winemaker. He very kindly received us for a long lunch (3h… that’s the french way !), before showing us his place of work.
I’ll let you enjoy the pictures of the Alsatian countryside 🙂
This village here looks just like Hobbiton, it’s so picturesque :
We got to taste “pre-wine”, it tasted like sweet grape nectar ♥
And of course… I took some of this delicious Alsatian wine with me 😉
Here’s the winemaker’s info if you ever want to visit his vineyards (sorry it’s in french !)
We went back to Paris the next day in the morning, and we had to go through a pass. It We got a little surprise on the road there : it snowed so hard !
We had a little snow fun before continuing. Look how white it was :
How did you enjoy this sneak peek into Alsace ? 🙂