Tag Archives: Gewurztraminer

Gérardmer Lac, Vosges, Tuesday 16th July 2013

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The very pleasant Lac de Gerardmer

The very pleasant Lac de Gerardmer

 

 

Since leaving Cornée de Réchicourt on Sunday morning, we’ve been making our way south following the Alsace Wine Route or Route des Vins d’Alsace, with just one stop at the very convenient and attractive aire at Niderviller, still on the Moselle department, right on the Port de Plaisance. We found this a bit pricey at 10 a night plus €2 electricity, but it did include toilets and showers, which operated by a swipe card, to be had for a further deposit of €20. We weren’t at all surprised to find mainly German motorhomes here, as we don’t think the French would pay this much for an aire. We were happy to pay, though, as we had already enjoyed a couple of free nights and a very cheap campsite at Givet previously. So we had a very relaxing day there, as we arrived by 10.30 am and even enjoyed a swim in the canal to cool off, for it has been very hot every day.

 

Port de Plesance at Neverville

Port de Plaisance and motorhome aire at Niderviller

 

 

On Monday morning, we went back towards Sarrebourg to join the N4 east at junction 45 and then south on D1044 and D422 towards Molsheim and D35 to Obernai, where we stopped for the day at the Vallons d’Ehn municipal campsite to start our tour of Alsace, in the Bas Rhin Department. The campsite is very pleasant and with plenty of shade, very much needed this time of year, as well as the usual high standards of maintenance of grounds, shower blocks, etc. It also has a very convenient little shop and they sell fresh baguettes and croissants every morning without needing to order them the night before. There are also various take-away vans that supply the site on different days of the week, like pizzas or roast chicken. The very reasonable daily price of €18.60 also includes wife access, of which we made good use to update FB pages, etc.

Following the Alsace Wine Route

Following the Alsace Wine Route, Obernai

 

The town of Obernai itself is another fairy-tale picturesque town, typical of the Alsace region, with its stunning timber-framed and pastel coloured houses, bursting with geranium window-boxes and original shop signs. Like in Kaysersberg last year, we fell in love with the place and decided to go out for a meal in the evening as a belated wedding anniversary treat. We opted for ‘Le Dime’ restaurant to enjoy a typical Alsace meal and very nice and hearty it was too! We started with an onion tart and green salad for myself and escargots (snails) for Adonis, followed by a beef, pork and lamb stew and a rib of pork respectively. We both struggled to finish our main courses, as the portions were very generous indeed. I reckon mine would have fed 2 people at least! So much so, that I could hardly manage any breakfast this morning and just had an apricot and a coffee.

The incredibly beautiful and picturesque Obernai

The incredibly beautiful and picturesque Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

 

 

Enjoying an typical Alsace meal

Enjoying an typical Alsace meal at Le Dime restaurant, Obernai

 

My very generous and filling hot pot

My very generous and filling hot pot

 

We left the campsite just after 9 this morning and continued south on the sublime Route des Vins d’Alsace on the D422/1422 out of Obernai, past Sélestat and on to Ribeauvillé on the D1083 south of Sélestat, D42 and D1b. We were there for 10.30 am, so we went for a gentle stroll to admire yet another gorgeous town and where we bought 2 bottles of Alsace Gewürztraminer to enjoy later on. We didn’t really like the aire to stop for the day, so we continued on south west, past Kaysersberg on D415 and admiring the view every kilometer of the way. This is really stunningly beautiful countryside, with all the steep vineyards on the wooded hills and I kept taking pictures as we travelled along.

 

Hill vineyards in Alsace wine route

Hill vineyards in Alsace wine route

 

Rebeauville

Ribeauville 

 

 

Ribeauville

Ribeauville

 

 

An original front of house in Ribeauvillé

An original front of house in Ribeauvillé

 

The road got a bit steep and windy by Col du Bonhomme (over 900 meters high), but eased up after Fraize on the same road. From there we went south on the D8 to Gérardmer, where we stopped for the rest of the day at the motorhome aire near the town centre and only a few minutes’ walk to the beautiful lake.

Lac de Geradmer

Lac de Geradmer

 

We enjoyed a couple of hours swimming and resting on the shore, as it’s been another scorcher of a day, so swimming and shade are a must.

 

Entertainment for the young at Lac de Gerarmer

Entertainment for the young at Lac de Gerarmer

 

The motorhome aire is €4 a night, but there is no electricity and there’s a €2 supplement for water. There are, however, free toilets that ‘clean’ themselves automatically after each use!

The very spacious motorhome aire at Lac de Gerardmer

The very spacious motorhome aire at Lac de Gerardmer

 

High street at Lac de Gerardmer

High street at Lac de Gerardmer

 

Tomorrow we’re heading further west to Corre, in the Haute Saone Department, where we are hoping to stop at the aire on the river leisure centre or Fluvial Loisirs.

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

St Martin, Tuesday 9th August 2011

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St Martin's Stellplatz

 

We are at a charming little Stellplatz amongst vineyards and roses, overlooking the Pfälzerwald Forest and the village itself.

We spent 4 days in Oedheim and enjoyed several swims in the lake, good dog walks and fishing for Adon.  We also had Currywurst in the site’s restaurant, where we met a couple of young Dutch students touring France and Germany on their bikes on their way to Vienna.  They turned out to be very friendly and funny and good company for the evening.  Their English was also very good, which helped matters.

 

 

The weather was mostly hot, but we had a couple of storms and the last day was a bit too windy for my liking.  Adonis didn’t catch any fish at all, so that spoilt it slightly for him and, apparently, there is not as much fish in the lake as there used to be, according to one of the German fishermen who spoke to Adonis.

St Martin

 

 

It was nevertheless a very welcome break from the road and I had a chance to finish sewing ‘teddy mouse’ – whom I’ve christened Herr Mouse – and my German book, which is good and bad in a way, as I was enjoying all the new vocabulary and grammar practice exercises.

We left this morning at about 9.15 and headed for supermarket in nearby town of Friedichshall.  We discovered that next to Lidl there was another supermarket called Handerlshof, which seemed by far the best supermarket we’ve been to so far in Germany, except there was no fresh fish counter.

 

 

 

 

We followed the TomTom on the A6 and A5 and then we took the risk of following my advice to get off at junction 64 at Speyer and follow the N9 west towards Neustadt and then the unnumbered roads to Kirrweiler, Maikammer and finally here.  It all proved quite straight forward and made it here for 12 noon.  We walked to the village and stopped at one of the wine cellars to try some local Gewurztraminer and Grauer Burgunder and ended up buying 3 bottles altogether.

St Martin

St Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Martin

 

We had lunch and siesta, Adonis took Bramble for his walk and we’re now having a coffee.  We might go out again afterwards, as the sun is shining (it was raining when we got here) and I’d like to have a look inside St Martin’s church if it’s open: it just looks different to what we are used to.

Don’t know yet what we’re doing tomorrow!

St Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Martin's Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Martin

St Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Martin

 

 

St Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Titisee, Black Forest, Germany, Friday 29th July 2011

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Soultz Haute Rhin souvenir shop and motorhome aire

 

 

We made very good progress this morning, as we left Deluz just after 8.30 am and made it to south of Colmar by 11 am, for we followed the motorway most of the way (A36) and stopped at Soultz Haute Rhin’s France Passion site to buy some Gewurztraminer wine and look at gifts, but only got one tea-towel and some chocolates to go with wine!?

 

 

 

One of our first views of Germany

We decided to carry on our way to Germany following the D1b and D2 to Neuf Brissach and then the D415/D31 to

Freiburg.  We used the tomtom to get us to campsite and were here for 1.30.  I honestly don’t think we would have found

it without the sat. nav., so for once I was happy to have it, as I didn’t feel too confident reading German road map and signs on road, which I found a bit confusing.  I can’t really explain how excited I felt about entering Germany for the first time in my life.  The best way I can describe it is with the same sense of anticipation that a child has the night before Christmas.  I felt pure joy just crossing the border.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed that wonderful childish feeling.

 

 

This sign made us laugh (childish, I know)

 

Our pitch at Lake Titisee campsite

 

We registered with very friendly French young student called Penelpe and then set up, had lunch and siesta, as the weather suddenly changed and rained quite heavely for over one hour.  I took Bramble for a walk at 4 pm through very soggy wood and then had very welcome shower in immaculate block.  After some fiddling about with passwords, we got internet connection and have been on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family.

We’ve enjoyed quiche and Adonis’s just gone to bed after a long day.

 

 

I spoke to Pepo earlier: he’s very happy to have Fred round for company and to do the cooking.  All is good with us.  Gute Nacht.

Lake Titisee and Black Forest in background

Lake Titisee