Tag Archives: Alsace

Obernai, Bas Rhin, Alsace, Thursday 24th December 2015

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Pretty Obernai

We made it to Alsace for Christmas as we intended and we are certainly not disappointed with our choice. We loved Obernai when we came here in the summer a couple of years ago and we just knew it would be beautiful at Christmas. The whole place’s got a very special atmosphere, all made possible by the Christmas market stalls, the street and houses decorations, the festive people and, of course, the mulled wine!

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Our first view of the town

We arrived at the Camping Municipal Vallon de l’Ehn yesterday morning and, after hooking up and giving Beano a little walk around the campsite, we set off to explore the town and soak up the spirit of Christmas, so beautifully done here. We loved the whole thing: the various wooden huts selling all kinds of goods, the Manger with life size figures and real sheep and donkey, the train ride and carrousel for children and seeing everyone enjoying themselves sipping a glass of mulled wine and munching on roasted chestnuts, which added to the seasonal atmosphere with the lovely scents.
We bought a couple of bottles of Crémant and Cordon Bleu Snitzels for tonight and came back to the van for lunch and Beano’s afternoon walk.

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The life size Manger with real animals

 

We returned to the town in the evening to see it all lit up and enjoy a glass of Bière de Noël and, of course, the ubiquitous mulled wine to make time for dinner.

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Beautiful and original Christmas decorations

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The town in full swing

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One of many lovely seasonal stalls

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You just have to love this!

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We tried a couple of restaurants, but they were fully booked, but struck it lucky on our third attempt at La Halle aux Blés, where we had a hearty meal of spare ribs and chips for Adonis and Escalope Viennoise for me, all accompanied by a lovely pitcher of Riesling. We were delighted with our choices and the generous portions and felt a bit too full for pudding, which we decided to leave for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

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Wreath over our heads at La Halle aux Blés

So we staggered back uphill to the campsite and had a good night’s sleep with just the slightest threat of a headache that, thankfully, didn’t go full blown.

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We sat here on our way back to enjoy atmosphere before bed

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This morning, we took the bus into town and bought a chicken for tomorrow and a veal pie for Boxing Day. The idea was to buy an already cooked chicken, but as we hadn’t seen any outlets yesterday and we didn’t want to risk going without on Christmas Day, we bought a fresh one from the local Traiteur, only to find later on that the full-on market was on with no less than 3 outlets for ‘Poulet roti’!!! We had a good laugh about that and now we know for next time.

It’s a lovely sunny day with blue skies today and, although it is not frosty, it is just perfect for Christmas. We’ve just taken Beano for a long walk along the stream and are enjoying a refreshing beer in the sun.

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Aire at Catillon-sur-Sambre

The drive here went without a hitch, stopping at a very empty Wissant aire the first night, by the canal at Catillon-sur-Sambre east of Cambrai on D643 on Saturday and 2 nights at Stenay, the first night by the Capitainerie, as there was no-one to give us the code to enter the proper aire, but the guard came in the evening and gave us the code for the next day after paying our €9 fee. Stenay was also cheerfully decorated for the season.

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Parked by Capitainerie at Stenay

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Festive lights at Stenay

Finally, we stopped for one night at Harskirchen by the Port de Plaisance, all very quiet and peaceful and free this time of year.

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Aire at Harskirchen

Kaysersberg’s aire, Alsace, Friday 13th July 2012

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Kaysersberg as seen from the castle

We finally found some sun and warm weather at this extremely beautiful and charming town of Kaysersberg.   The aire is very large, with room for 70 motorhomes, clean toilets emptying facilities, clean water and rubbish and recycling bins.

We spent 3 very relaxing days at Villey-le-Sec campsite, but the weather was changeable due to the strong wind, so we had some very hot sun, but also heavy rain.  Our Lillypad windblockers really proved their worth here and I’m very pleased to have invested on this very efficient piece of equipment.

I really enjoyed my cycle ride along the opposite side of the Moselle river and stopped several times to take pictures of scenery and campsite, with Adonis fishing and our Elddis motorhome parked so close to the shore.  It was a very hot morning and I took well over an hour to soak up the peace and the sheer beauty of the place.  But, unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse and the afternoon was windy and showery.  We spent one more cloudy day on the site, with more fishing and crocheting and decided to move on the next day.

Typical house at Kaysersberg

The drive to Kaysersber was pretty easy via Toul to avoid the steep climb back to the A31, as it was recommended on the campsite washing facilities block.  We joined the motorway at J14 towards Nancy and the A33 at J18 southeast to Luneville and the N59 to St Die-des-Vosges and finally the slightly windy and very interesting D415 towards Colmar, with some staggering views and steep climbs to Le Bonhomme at 949 metres high!  Well worth the time.

A typical street in Kaysersberg

We arrived at Kaysersberg for 12.30 pm, paid our €7 fee for the motorhome aire and went for a stroll in the town, which reminded me strongly of the German towns of Bacharach and Wangen: it really felt more German than French!  We took lots of pictures of this fairy-tale place with chocolate-box pretty houses and decided this was a fitting place to celebrate our wedding anniversary (if a week late!) in the evening.

Kaysersberg

So after lunch and rest in motorhome, we ventured again to taste the local delicacies of this delightful Alsace region, including the local

Kaysersberg beer, a visit to a cave to purchase some Gewurztraminer (my favourite wine) and a delicious 3-course meal at the Vieille

Kaysersberg’s castle

Forge Restaurant, with superb service and very cosy and romantic atmosphere.  I had the Tarte d’oignons douce for starters, the 7-hour beef and the lemon sorbet with Gewurztraminer sauce and Adon had a beetroot salad, duck steak and Crème Brulee: a wonderful meal to celebrate our wedding anniversary and the perfect way to end a beautiful day.

I must also mention the small celebration organised by the town hall to welcome the cyclists from Belgium, which was a pleasant surprise outside the Hotel de Ville and Tourist Information Office at Place de la Mairie.  They had erected a marquee under which they were offering various local wines, pretzels, local cakes and fruit all for free: a lovely touch!

 

Storks’ nest at Kaysersberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaysersberg

Kaysersberg high street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance of the motorhome aire at Kaysersberg

 

We also got a leaflet with information about the town, which dates back to 1227, when Henri VII, son of Frederic II of Hohenstaufen, bought the Kaysersberg castle and it became an imperial town in 1293 thanks to King Adolphe of Nassau.  It later flourished as a trade and craft centre, exporting its wines across the Rhine.

It’s the eve of Bastille day, so a firework display has been organised for tonight from the grounds of the castle, which we also visited before our meal.

It feels now like summer has really begun!

Storks at Kaysersberg

steep vineyards at Kaysersberg

Pont D’Ain, Wednesday 27th July 2011

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Pont d'Ain

 

The weather turned cloudy and overcast this morning, so we set off on our way again, following the motorway A51 and 48 for a while to junction 10 and the the D1075 north.  Not a bad road, except for some roadworks and uneven surfaces in some places.

 

 

 

 

 

We got here at about 12.30 pm and found a lovely spot right on the shore of the river Ain, where we are parked for free, but there is a lovely campsite just a few meters down the path from here. It’s been a very relaxing

Camping wild at Pont d'Ain

afternoon and we have planned our route for tomorrow to go to Alsace and hopefully stay at a France Passion site before crossing the border into Germany on Friday.

Enjoying lunch by the river at Pont d'Ain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pont d'Ain