Thursday, September 1, 2022 @ 9:30 PM in 2022 Germany and France
We took this morning easy since we weren't in a rush to get to Colmar. Yesterday I had bought some yogurt, granola and bananas to have for breakfast so we wouldn't need to eat out. It made a pretty good alternative (at least for a day or two), to pastries and sweets. Around 9:30 we started to get ready to catch the 10:21 train. Sam wanted another coffee so we went around the corner and got a coffee from Dreher, a small bakery and coffee shop.
I tried buying our tickets to Colmar but every time I used the kiosk, it kept rejecting my card. I tried another card and got the same problem. We didn't want to just hop on the train without a ticket and risk getting in trouble, so I pulled up the SNCF website (the train system here in France) and bought our tickets there. Fortunately I was able to do it with about one minute to spare before the train left.
The train only took about 30 minutes to get between Strasbourg and Colmar and passed by some really cool mountains with castles on the tops of them. There were also a ton of corn fields and farms stretching between the towns. The Colmar train station wasn't too far from the town center and was an easy walk. We stopped at the Parc du Champ de Mars where they had a couple big water fountains before making our way into the old town.
Colmar is full of half-timbered buildings similar to Strasbourg but I'd say Colmar is a lot more compact of a city. The St. Martin's Church was our main destination and we found a big area of it fenced off. They were doing a huge archeological dig on an old cemetery dating back to the 1300s (more info here). The crazy thing is they were excavating the skeletons a few feet away from the crowds. Lots of people were watching and it was interesting to see how they were working.
We walked from there over to the Little Venice area via an artist market and the Schwendi Fountain . The fountain was surrounded by a lot of the half timbered buildings and was a neat little spot. Little Venice was beautiful with the half timbered houses lining the canals that ran through town. It wasn't a huge area but was still neat.
Not really sure what to do for lunch, we ended up getting Poke bowls which we convinced ourselves were probably healthier than Alsace cuisine. We'll have plenty of time left to eat more of it before we head off to Nice. After lunch we walked through the Little Venice area again and then got a raspberry and creme eclair for a post-lunch dessert. The eclair was really light and tasted great.
We passed by St. Martin's Church again and watched some more of the excavating. The guy driving the little earth mover seemed to be recklessly driving over stuff we thought might be important and then digging holes without any sort of caution that there might be bodies underneath. I guess they know what they're doing but it still seemed odd.
Our last stop in town was to a wine shop to pick up a local bottle of Riesling produced in the area. We've got it chilling down now and will drink it later in the week. We got back to the train station and bought another ticket for a train departing a few minutes later and headed back to Strasbourg. Back at the station we figured we'd walk back to the Airbnb instead of taking the tram. It was a pretty nice walk through a part of the city we hadn't been to before.
Back at the Airbnb we relaxed for a little while before breaking out the baguette, cheese and beer. I opened the bottle of Cantillon first. It's a really well known beer as being one of the best examples of the lambic style. The bottle I found for 10 euros would easily go for $40-60 in the states. The beer was very nice with a huge amount of cherry flavor and not much tartness. While a very delicious beer, I would have been disappointed had I paid $60 for it. After that, we finished off the last of our wine from last night and then heated up some leftovers for dinner (the veggie/couscous mix from last night and some salad and tart flambee from yesterday's lunch).
With a couple hours to kill before bed, we set out and did another aimless wander around Strasbourg. This time we found some really packed areas full of packed restaurants. We then crossed over the river and walked around some of the newer part of town. This seemed a lot more geared towards locals with a lot more packed restaurants and bars.
Back at the Airbnb we're kinda planning what to do tomorrow. I think the plan will be to buy the Deutsche Bahn regional pass for Baden-Wuertemberg for 31 euros. This will give Sam and I unlimited travel for the day in the state (which covers everything near Strasbourg) and we'll head to Freiburg. There's a little bit of hiking, some beer gardens and some sights to see there which should be neat. It's going to take a little longer to get there so we might need to start earlier in the day.
Posted from: France