Bob - our man in Alsace
Belle France rep Bob has recently returned from a jaunt to Alsace. We invited him to tell us about his trip.
Alsacez-Vous! I recently spent a few days in Alsace, a surprisingly beautiful and interesting region.
Our cycling holiday starts in Strasbourg, a colourful city with charming old town around the cathedral and the Petit France district along the canal. You start with easy cycling south along the level Rhine valley to Colmar and return through the wine villages in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains.
The central old town of Colmar is a delight and worthy of an extra day to explore. Here the Unterlinden Museum has some fascinating artefacts from stone age to eighteenth century and houses the famous Issenheim altar triptic paintings by Grunewald in 1510 . Whether or not you have religious beliefs these paintings are a marvel in their content and colour. Colmar hosts an annual classical music festival in June.
A little further south at Mulhouse is the fantastic Schlumpf collection of more than 500 automobiles, now the National Motor Museum following the history of the automobile and particularly the Bugatti, with two Bugatti Royale limousines on display. Also in Mulhouse is a superb Railway Museum and in July there is a three day Automobile Festival – brilliant for any petrol-heads out there.The Vosges Mountains are beautiful and terrific walking country. Many of the local wine villages in the foothills are picturesque with medieval half-timbered houses crowding narrow pedestrian streets. Food and wine have German influences due to the history of this region and in Riquewihr and Eguisheim we sampled some Grand Cru Reisling and the aromatic Gewurztraminer.
Don’t overlook this region for an interesting holiday and Colmar apparently enjoys more days of sunshine than anywhere else in France.