This is how we roll … Switzerland/Germany / France
This how we roll! No half measures for Rob and I … Our last train ride in this leg of our travel. Two trains legs. A whole 7 mins to jump off one train change platform, which involves hefting bags down and the up station stairs to jump aboard our last train. We started our 6 hour train leg in Munich Germany. We ended our second train leg in Basel Switzerland. Then we caught a bus to Mulhouse Airport in Switzerland. We walked across the board inside the airport to France where we picked up our brand new lease car. Rob new red roadster which he named Rouge. Rob was eager to get back behind the wheel. He has missed driving and I am a little more settled with European driving. Italian and Spanish driving always made me fell tense!!!! I used to get out of the car feeling stiff as a board looking like Flat Stanley a children’s story book character.
We were happy with the timing of picking up our car, as if we had have been 2 weeks earlier the roads would have been covered in snow and to tell you the truth we were slightly over snow as it can make you feel trapped and limits what you can do. Skiing was definitely OUT with Rob’s knee and my lower back injury. We did really well in the dead of winter leg, we only had 2 full home days where we were confined to our apartment.
Anyway picking up our lease car went like clockwork. The only documentation they wanted was a passport. No drivers license or international drivers license was required from Europe Car. We had a nice smooth half an hour drive to our French pretty country town of Colmar. Colmar was just a joy to the eye. A feel good town as you immediately are transported back in time. Rob chose the perfect accommodation situated in a quaint part of the old town. Our veranda doors opened out onto a picturesque cobbled square facing exquisite historical timber houses and the food market hall filled with local fresh produce was situated at the end of our street. The whole place is just breath taking and our Airbnb host was very helpful and she made use feel very welcome. She was a happy spirit who loved where she lived.
The next day we were very eager to explore Colmar on foot. The charm of the character colourful timber houses set on a canal made me feel like Dora the Explorer! We wandered down narrow quaint lanes like kids in a candy store.
The market hall which was stocked full of local produce was in our street. Fresh delicious Baguettes sold here for 1 euro which became a daily ritual for Rob and I.
We found a great gourmet beer shop that stocked local cheeses and ham the owner was very chatty. He told us the chequered history of Colmar and the surrounding Alsace region. The ownership of this small wedge of France has had an interesting and telling past of those families who have lived here for many generations. A tug of war like a tennis match German, French, German, French. He told us of moving times during his grandparents time during the war. A very compassionate moving story. Let’s hope we live in a world which is more compassionate and respectful to all. On a more up beat note our purchases the spiced Christmas beer, cheese with herbs and freshly sliced ham were amazing.
Colmar is a picture perfect town set on a narrow canal that winds through the town. We knew that a highlight here was to take a quaint boat ride through the canal system but we thought we were going to be unlucky as we couldn’t see any boats floating along the canal. We just spotted a few boats tied up full of water. By chance we asked in the Big Cock Restaurant which looks out onto the pretty canal. It was our luck day. He showed us to his boat and we got a personalised canal tour to ourselves as it is low tourist season. Great for us as in peak season you would have to queue for hours and be squished in a tiny canal boat.
What a tranquil and scenic ride floating under tiny bridges where you have to make yourself flat as a tack to fit under.
Serenity is the word as we float down stream in our tiny boat with nature surrounding. Even a mother swan became territorial when we floated to close to her area of the canal. She fluffs up her feathers and sped over to the back of our boat. She tracks us zig zagging back and forward until we are out of her nesting territory.
The slightly overcast day allowed the canal to have a picture perfect reflection off the water. Looking into the water was like looking into a mirror. This added to the ambiance of the mix of nature and historical colourful timber buildings that lined the canal. What a treat this simple canal trip was.
A small version of the Statue of Liberty stands tall in the middle of the road as the Statue of Liberty was designed and built by a man from here in Colmar.
To add to the ambience of this timeless town the church bells ring out to signal the hour during the day and night filled hours.
We really had fun exploring the historical area of Colmar. A perfect and well planned leg of our stay by Rob in the Alsace region. We used Colmar as a base to explore the tiny nearby villages, forest and wine regions of rural France.