Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alsace - 07.06-07.09

On the morning of the 6th we woke early to catch the early TGV to Colmar. I'm not sure how fast this line runs, but it took about 2.5 hours to get to Colmar from Paris that morning. Judging from when the train was near highways, I'd say we were probably going about 150mph. Although it did not seem fast at all.

We arrived in Colmar and headed straight to the Unterlinden Museum. Like many European museums, it used to be a private space (in this instance a convent) before being turned into a museum. There were some nice pieces of artwork, and cool artifacts there.

After a lunch, where Jennifer had the Tarte Flambee and I had what was being called a rosti, but was more like a tartiflette. We checked into our hotel, which really is renting a room at a winery. This was the least expensive digs on the trip, but some of the best. We had a large room with kitchenette and couch. It wasn't well stocked with soaps and extras, but was really nice. There was even a computer with free Internet in a public space in the building. After checking in, we explored the town a bit before heading to dinner at one of the fancier restaurants. I had one of the local specialties choucroute, which was good, but a little too much pork (like 2 lbs!) for me in one meal. It also didn't smell as good as the choucroute from the restaurant we had lunch at.

The next day we rented bikes and rode a bit of the Route des Vin d'Alsace. We rode through Ingersheim without stopping and then onto Turckheim where we explored the town a bit and then stopped for a tasting at the Cave de Turckheim. (Turckheim Cellars, which appeared to be a cooperative for wine makers in the area.) After the tasting we headed off to Equisheim which is supposed to be one of the most quaint towns on the route and birthplace of Pope Leo IX.

Upon stopping in Equisheim we got a Onion Tart from the local Charcuterie. (Which is mostly like a deli with meats, baked goods, and bottled goods.) After eating the tart, we walked the town and enjoyed the scenery. There were plenty of storks there and we got to see many on the roof tops. (Storks are a symbol of Alsace.) We hit one organic winery for a tasting, and then started to ride back to Colmar. It rained lightly at times, but at least the temps were not so high as to be unbearable.

Back in Colmar we ate dinner (where this time I had the Tarte Flambee and Jennifer the "Rosti.") We then walked the town to the "Little Venice" neighborhood and enjoyed the heavily floodlit town.

Pics are here.

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