Adventures in Alsace (3)

One of the things you must do when in this part of the world is take a trip to Haut Koenigsbourg castle. The road up there is a bit of a roller coaster with sharp turns, steep drops and mad people hiking, cycling and jogging to the top. Having me singing “I’m on the top of the world looking down on creation…” at the top of my voice in your ear will make the whole experience even more enjoyable.

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg
Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

We parked the car and walked to the castle, stopping to take photos every couple of seconds. The views over the Rhine Valley from this vantage point are nothing short of spectacular.

On the way back, we took a spin to Colmar but, it being Sunday, practically everything was shut due to the French doing whatever it is they do on a Sunday – or any other random day.

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Still, we had more important things to think about. Ireland and Germany were playing that afternoon and we had to hightail it back to Ribeauvillé to find somewhere to watch the matches. In Berlin, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Every bar, restaurant, café and even Döner stand has a TV set up so you don’t miss a minute of the action. The only place we could find that was showing it was Bar Streng, our saviour yet again.

Allez!
Allez!

We made it just in time for kick-off, ordered some wine and settled in for the afternoon. The French were out in full force to cheer on the home team and cries of “Allez les bleus!” rang out from every corner. I waited for a pause before loudly interjecting, “Allez les garçons en vert!!” After a brief stunned silence, the French took it in their stride and some good-natured banter sprang up. I guess they knew that the Irish were never going to be any real threat… Sure enough, they won it with relative ease and I didn’t have to take on a bar of angry French football fans. Phew.

If this had been Ireland or Germany, the bar would have been packed for hours afterwards, but the French cleared out tout de suite. In fact, by the time Germany kicked off, there was only me, Manfredas and one other guy left. Still, we didn’t need much company to enjoy watching Germany hammer Slovakia. At least one of my home teams was through.

Since the town was pretty dead, we picked up some takeaway and headed back to our little garden for a chilled evening of wine and conversation. I must be getting old.

The next morning, we found the one patisserie that was open – maybe the French had continued celebrating in their own homes? – and popped in for breakfast.

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I ordered a pain au chocolat and a cup of tea and Manfredas, a coffee and a couple of croissants. This was clearly too complicated for the girl behind the counter. She proceeded to painstakingly write everything down, longhand, then look up the prices for each item and add them up on her piece of paper, carrying the one wherever necessary. While it was a little embarrassing to watch, we got our order in the end.

Yum :)
Yum 🙂

On the agenda for our last day was a trip to Kaysersberg, another ridiculously pretty town not far away.

The French are pretty chilled about road safety
The French are pretty chilled about road safety

We passed through glorious countryside along the way and finally rolled into town about an hour later.

Pretty, pretty
Pretty, pretty

We spent a wonderful few hours strolling through the town, marvelling, yet again, that places like this still exist.

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Sadly, after some lunch, it was time to hit the road and head back to the airport. But, not without accomplishing one of my dreams along the way. Yes, we stopped in the baddest of all the BAD towns – Baden Baden.

BAD hotel :)
BAD hotel 🙂

The town itself is quite lovely but the crowning moment for me was this one:

BADASS!
BADASS!

Merriment achieved, it was time to head to the airport. Karlsruhe-Baden Baden is probably the only airport I’ve been to where there were no queues and you could practically sit on the runway while enjoying a last glass of wine.

Note the extraordinarily relaxed man in the hammock
Note the extraordinarily relaxed man in the hammock

Thankfully, this time round, our flight existed and we were soon airborne, waving goodbye to all of the prettiness below and wondering how we were ever going to readjust to being back in Berlin…

A bientôt!
A bientôt!

We coped.

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50 thoughts on “Adventures in Alsace (3)”

  1. Between you and Anna, I now have to go to Alsace (my wallet hates you), which was never on my radar before! These are lovely photos and despite it being French, it looks like you were able to get by just fine (which means I will be barely able to order a croissant), and what a wonderful weekend trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could have but I don’t think anyone is that afraid of the Irish football team 😉 If I’d been cheering for Germany, it might have been a different story!
      And you’re right, the whole area is just gorgeous 🙂

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  2. Only you could find something even better than a plain old BAD car… BAD AS is excellent!!

    It’s so hard to find a cafe in Basel that’s open on a Sunday afternoon… and that’s in a relatively big city! They really take their Sunday rest seriously. There are a few places that do brunch though, including an Irish pub. One day I will make it there for a full Irish breakfast…

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  3. Oh, what gorgeous photos! Oh, if only I were independently wealthy … (okay, maybe I don’t need to be wealthy to travel but I need a wealth of patience given some of the snafus befalling some of our US airlines (I’m looking at you, Delta!)). When my husband and I moved to this (god-forsaken) part of the US too many years ago, one of our first experiences with culture shock was the dearth of open eateries on a Sunday morning. In San Francisco, we had developed the Sunday habit of making a thermos of coffee, going to the corner pastry shop (Just Desserts) for scones, picking up the Sunday paper, and then meandering over to Golden Gate Park to read and munch and feed the ducks. Here, in the armpit of Florida, the only place open might be the Waffle House near the interstate; all else would be closed until after … church. The best we could do was an early lunch at a cafeteria, providing we got there before 11 am; otherwise, it was a hell of a long line of people dressed in their Sunday best. We’ve adapted, though. These days my husband makes breakfast and we read the travel section in the NY Times. I do so appreciate being able to travel vicariously through you, especially since you can drink more wine than me and still have a conversation 😉

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    1. Ugh, that does sound a little depressing! But at least you’ve found a solution 🙂 Even in my little town here, there are at least 3 places doing delicious brunches and 4 or 5 other cafes where the Germans go to get their weekend bread rolls – breakfast is a serious business in Germany! I could actually crawl to my closest brunch establishment if I were that way inclined 😉 Funnily, it’s called the Surf Inn, even though there’s no surf for hundreds of miles 😉 Still, brunch. 🙂

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  4. At last, a Post with Pastries. And they do look lovely. To this American, the little town of Kaysersberg is like something in a fairy tale. It’s so stunning that I had to look on Google for more pictures (of which there are plenty). And I love it that the inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois.

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    1. Oh, I didn’t know that! I think that might just trump Viennese as my new favourite thing 🙂 I like that you capitalised Post with Pastries – I can sense how much you were waiting for this one! Reckon we were a bit late though – they were only open for another hour so I’m sure a lot of stuff had already sold out!

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  5. I was told by all the locals that if I had one more day in the region, a visit to Kœnigsbourg castle would be a must. I did see it from the train to Strasbourg though, and it looked spectacular. But could you really see to the Rhine valley from up top? Seems a bit far… I love the whole area so, so, so, so much!

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  6. Sigh… My home from home. The Haut Koenigsbourg was one of my favourite haunts – well worth a visit when they have people dressed up in medieval garb and flinging rocks with catapults.
    Sunday is a serious day off in the Alsace family, walking the dog, and eating. Lots of eating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah, I’m sure they were all in their sunny little courtyards eating their heads off! It’s such a nice way of life there. So chilled out. But flinging rocks with catapults also sounds like fun – do they let tourists partake?? 😉

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        1. Yes, in these little places, I can sort of understand but the big cities? Although I guess Germany pretty much shuts down too! It’s only us island monkeys that stay open on Sundays and I find that a bit depressing now!

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