Tag Archives: Obernai

Chavannes-sur-l’Etang, Haut Rhin, Sunday 27th December 2016

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Motorhome aire in Chavannes-sur-l’Etang, La Porte d’Alsace

 

I am happy to report that Christmas dinner was a great success and that the chicken cooked perfectly well in our Andrew James multi-cooker, even if I had to cover it with some foil before placing the lid on top. It only took about 90 minutes and this was followed by the roast potatoes and parsnips, which only took about 15 minutes. On the vegetable front, I boiled some sprouts and carrots and even managed to to make some gravy with some Bisto granules I brought from home. It all turned out rather well and we have proved that it can be done without great difficulty and just a little bit of organisation. The pumpkin soup we bought from the Traiteur was also very tasty and we had this with some fresh pretzels we bought from one of the bakeries in town. Not bad for our first Christmas in the van!

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Preparing Christmas dinner in Hymer

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Chicken looking good in Andrew James multi-cooker

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Enjoying Christmas lunch in festive Hymer

 

The weather was sunny and bright, around 12°C, and that made the day even more special. The night before Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a lovely view of the full moon and all the other motorhomes decorated for Christmas around us. The temperature dropped yesterday and we needed our hats and scarves to walk into town, but it was still sunny and bright: just perfect for this time of year. It dropped even further last night to freezing temperatures and there was frost on the ground this morning at last!

 

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Full moon on Crhistmas Eve

 

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Other festive motorhomes and full moon at Obernai’s Camping Municipal Le Vallon de l’Ehn

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You’ve got to love some people’s festive spirit!

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icicles formed overnight above wheels!

 

The veal pie we bought in the same shop as the chicken was also very good and we still have some left. This was a bit trickier to warm up in the multi-cooker as it was very thick and compact inside and, as I didn’t want to burn the crust, I cooked at No 3 for 20 minutes, but this wasn’t enough and I then tried again for another 15 minutes at No 4; the crust at the bottom burnt a little, but the rest was lovely and hot. Next time, I will cut the pie into quarters and see if that works better.

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Reception area at La Porte d’Alsace on a frosty morning

 

We left Obernai this morning after finding out that barrier at campsite needed a magnetic card to exit, which we didn’t have, and had to wait until someone turned up with one, which thankfully didn’t take too long. That must be a problem for people who wish to leave early in the mornig as, if they have a card, there is nobody to give it to. Being a Sunday, Reception didn’t open till 10am and we were ready to leave for 9.30am, as we had paid the day before. There is a slight flaw in the system, me thinks.

Finding an open supermarket today was our second challenge of the day and we decided to leave the A35 motorway at junction 28 south of Colmar to try our luck in the villages along the national road N83 to Belfort, as we are only about 10 miles east from there. We found no supermarkets open, however, but were lucky to find a bakery on the south sid of Cernay where we bought some orange juice and water, as well as the daily baguette.

 

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Map with walking tours at La Porte d’Alsace

 

We got here at La Porte d’Alsace for 11.30am and it’s been a lovely sunny day again, reaching 12°C outside and 26°C inside, so no heating needed. We are the only ones here, so it’s been very quiet except for the traffic on the D419, which has been quite busy today. The motorhome aire is open, but the electric hook ups and the water taps have been turned off. Still, it is a lovely spot.

I enjoyed my walk with Beano around the field adjacent to the motorhome aire, except for the final 100 metres or so, where there is no path and, as I didn’t want to walk on the busy road, I stayed on the field and my trainers got clogged up very quickly, making it very difficult to walk. Thankfully, it wasn’t far to go and I rinsed the mud off when I got back to the van: the trainers are as good as new!

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Bautiful frosty landscape at Chavannes-sur-l’Eetang

 

The sun’s going down, as is the temperature, but still blue skies all around. Adonis is putting the windscreen cover on the outside for the first time this holiday, as forecast is 0°C tonight.

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Frozen Chavannes-sut-l’Etang in glorious mornig light

 

I might cook a Spanish omelette to go with the rest of the veal pie tonight and tomorrow we are heading for Baume-les-Dames, about 40 miles south west of here on the way to Besançon.

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

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.