Wednesday, July 26, 2017

48 Hours of Slow Travel in Colmar

 Freiburg (im Breisgau) wasn't my final leg of my trip in the South-Western part of Germany. The aim on my four-day trip was far beyond the borders of Germany: my beloved France, this time for discovering a little town everyone is talking about during the winter but which looks charming soaked by the summer sun, Colmar. From Freiburg, you can arrive there within an hour and half, with a train until Breisbach followed by a bus a couple of minutes later which arrives in the front of the generously decorated Art Nouveau train station. 
I visited Alsace several times in the previous non-blogging years, but most of my travels were around Strasbourg, which is one hour away by train from Colmar. This time, I wanted to spend as much slow-travel time as possible in this little town, with its delightful little colourful half-timbered houses.
The Alsace cuisine - a most detailed post about the savour discoveries I made coming up next - is a mixture of French and German cuisines, with the savory dishes infused by meat mixtures and a lot of kraut, and the desserts made of  the finest French pastry. While walking in the historical center, the naturally sweet tarte pommes canelle at L'Essence du The reminded me of my neverending love for the elegant French cuisine. 
With so many beautiful streets and houses to discover, step-by-step, no worries that I am overindulging. Most of the houses look as diverse as a perfect setting for a Romantic fairy tale. Where do you hide, my Prince?
There are also works of modern architecture and squares which bring you back to our times, but in a grandiose way that reminded me of the biggest flowers' park in Nantes, a place that I had the pleasure to explore a couple of years ago.
My heart is with the old buildings and their historical secrets though. Koifhus, a former douane near the Petite Venise and a couple of steps away from the traditional winter market, a famous destination during the winter, offers an architectural journey through the centuries, with its Gothic and Renaissance additions.
Museums lovers are offered some alternatives, starting with the famous Museum Bartholdi on 30 rue des Marchands, dedicated to the French sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty. Or the Toy Museum, or the Contemporary Art Space Andre Malraux
Another attraction is The Village of Hansi and his Museum, dedicated to the local artist Jean Jacques Waltz, situated on the opposite side of the streets where another local wonder is situated: The House of Heads - Maison des Têtes. This 17th century building is noteworthy for the 106 grotesque heads covering the vertical directions of the construction. In 1898, the wine exchange moved here and August Bartholdi added the cooper on the top.
However, nothing compares with the fame of the Little Venice - La Petite Venice - an intricated water labyrinth that can be explored by gondolas lead by French gondolieri. The bridges covered by colourful flowers add a special intimate vibe to the ride. The perfect ingredients of a Romantic afternoon, navigating through the water alleys borders by colourful houses and outdoor restaurants to be tasted eventually much later in the evening.
When the evening arrives, it seems that the busy groups of tourists disappeared miraculously. The streets are almost empty and the restaurants buzz with the Babel of languages and people. The old streets are wrapped in smooth lights and the blanket of silence uncover secret layers of human history.
My visit to Colmar was one of those calm, uneventful and agenda-free trips, when I enjoy the good life and easily becoming familiar. After all, I always feel at home in the French language, and despite all odds, it looks like an unbreakable love. Time to consider more trips to France over the next months, maybe? 

14 comments:

  1. that´s awesome. I recently was in Colmar, too and took almost the same pictures. At least same motives. Great write up! Do you mind if I use the link to this post as reference for my trip to Colmar? I plan a post about my trip to Baden-Baden and could link yours into the Colmar section.

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    1. I am glad we both enjoyed it! Feel free to link it to your post! PS: I've been also to Baden-Baden...and loved it! Happy travels, Pia!

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    2. Thank you! I love it too.

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  2. This looks like something out of a Fairy Tale, this is definitely added to my wish list.

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    1. Thank you! Definitely a good choice! Alsace is an interesting area to explore!

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  3. Lovely photos, brought back memories ! I also visited Alsace several times. Whatever the season, this region is beautiful. I really loved the winter time with enchanting Christmas markets especially in Colmar, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. For me, if Strasbourg is a revelation, Colmar is pure fantasy. This city takes all of the beauty of Alsace, make it even more colorful, and distill it into a small town filled with canals :-)

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    1. Thank you! I visited Strasbourg several times, but I wanted this time to see something else, and Colmar was a rewarding travel adventure! Alsace is definitely a good idea, especially if you are living in Germany...

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  4. Wow! The village sort of takes me back in time and stirs the writers soul within me. It's inspiring. Definitely adding it to my list.

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    1. Colmar is always worth a visit, especially when it is not that busy, as during the winter months or the high summer season! Hope you can make it soon!

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  5. Looks like a lovely place to just go for a stroll and take it all in. That architecture!!

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  6. What a beautiful and quaint little town! I could walk around these cobbled streets for hours enjoying the beautiful architecture.

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    1. I hear you! It is a beautiful corner of France, one of the many.

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  7. It's always refreshing to see experiences outside of the usal places. I hadn't heard of Colmar until today and it looks like a quaint place to visit.

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