17 January 2014

Colmar, France | Alsace Region

During our road trip to the north at the end of the year we spent a day in Colmar, a quaint French city in the Alsace region, a bit south of Strasbourg. Goodness. It's nearly ridiculous, the quaintness and charm of this place. Add in the Christmas decor and the markets, and, well, I don't know that there are too many places that can top this charm.  You can read a bit more about the history and culture of the city here.

We didn't plan much for this trip, opting for Richard's "Show Up and Explore" mode of travel instead, so I can't tell you much about about "must sees" in Colmar. This time, it was enough to amble, take photos, enjoy each other and the Christmas atmosphere.  I especially liked the Christmas markets in this town, where many seemed to feature Alsatian artisans and where I did pick up a "souvenir" (read: pottery) or two, something I've mostly stopped doing during our travels.

We skipped the restaurant recommendations of friends (Eh, we didn't make reservations!) and headed to the indoor market area for a light lunch. I think I could have quiche and salad with a glass of wine for lunch for the remainder of my days and live a completely fulfilled life. How lucky...that's exactly what we found inside the market. And the cheese. For the love of the cheese! 

It was in Colmar that a Frenchman chuckled upon seeing Richard coming up the street and then stopped him to tell him to turn his beret around. Richard and our friend Dale got those Kangol hats years ago from a shop just off the main piazza in Cortona, Italy, long before the movie put the town on the "must-do" tourist map. Of course we had all read the book and had visited a friend in the area for years before it became a major stop on the American tourist circuit. Unfortunately, we don't make it there much anymore, which makes us all rather sad, tourists or not. The hat does look nice backwards, I swear...just not in France, where it's a source of humor. But I digress...

One interesting piece of trivia:  Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty was born in Colmar in 1834. A small replica of the statue greets visitors in a traffic circle on their way into town. That was a neat thing for our kiddo, who just visited Lady Liberty in NYC for the first time this summer and saw the statue in the D'Orsay in December 2012. I wonder where we should look to find the next one? 

Happy Weekend! We don't plan to venture too far this holiday weekend, but I sure do wish we were headed to France ;)