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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Alsace, France

Aug 30, 2019 - An interesting day

Since we had gotten to Heidelberg, and more specifically, had been late finding our hotel, we decided to spend the morning of today in Heidelberg. We had a nice continental breakfast (plenty of food and drink for the 6 Euro charge) at the hotel, and then set off to use the funicular railroad to see the top of Heidelberg--meaning in this case the mountain and not the town--and then the Schloss Heidelberg--the famous castle. We walked about 800 meters to the funicular base station, bought tickets, and were on the next train uphill. We went...

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Jun 19, 2019 - Strasbourg, and more

Wednesday, June 19 In the morning we visited Strasbourg. On the way into town, we went through an area where many storks nest on the rooftops. We also passed the building that houses the EU parliament. It is designed to resemble the coliseum in Rome, complete with broken top. Here we did go into the cathedral. Very impressive! It is like Notre Dame in Paris (before the fire). Except it only has one spire--they never finished the other one. Inside there is an astronomical clock built in the fifteenth century--it allowed them to...

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Dec 28, 2018 - 60, the ‘burgs’ (Freiburg and Strasbourg) and Basel

My 60th birthday was spent in two countries - the morning in Colmar, France and the evening in Freiburg, Germany. To celebrate that I’m still a child at heart (!), I went to the toy museum in Colmar; it had a great exhibition of space-related toys and games, mechanical toys (remember those wind-up cycling monkeys?) and my favourite childhood toy, meccano. On my birthday, I also saw two groups of the ‘yellow vest’ protestors who continue to demonstrate against the French government. Arriving in Freiburg, I was warmly congratulated by the...

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Dec 17, 2018 - Strasbourg

Today we were in Strasbourg. There was a lot of discussion given the shootings last week, but we were assured that we were safe. Old town Strasbourg is really beautiful with churches and buildings dating back to the 1300s and 1400s. We took a boat trip on the Ill, a tributary of the Rhine that goes through Strasbourg. It was a fun trip and a great way to see more of Stasbourg. We walked into the old town and found Xmas markets in multiple places. Their Xmas decorations are amazing and we saw all the lights that would be on at night. We...

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Dec 16, 2018 - Kaysersberg

This morning when we woke up (3:30 a.m.) it was cold and drizzling. It took a while but eventually we had a cold but clear and nice day. We watched the ship go through a couple of locks this a.n. The captain said we will be going through 14 altogether. After a "light" breakfast and "light" lunch we were taken to a little town in France named Kaysersberg. It was a charming little town with a lot of original architecture and a lovely Xmas market. Each market is different and has food and drink and handicrafts local to that area. Always the...

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Oct 6, 2018 - Strasbourg

Light rain got us underway for our easy drive on to France and except for a few areas the traffic was light although motorbikes became more noticeable to the point of making us envious. That envy was short lived when temperatures dropped to 6C. Suddenly we were quite happy to sit back with the heater on, enjoy our situation and hope that the bike riders had heated grips and seats. Vineyards dominated most of the drive especially around the Rhine which we crossed unexpectedly. The slopes and valleys were full of grapes and looked...

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Oct 6, 2018 - Strasbourg

Near perfect autumn weather was the order of the day as we set out to explore more of Europe west of the Alps. And we got it in spades. Fresh, sunny and around 23C. We were spoilt again with great rural roads and almost no traffic. Travelling on Saturdays is by far the best time but not always possible. It wasn't long before we were in the champagne region and Gilli was salivating.

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Sep 13, 2018 - The Pearls of Alsace

Sept 13: today was a day for a side trip, a tour with 5 others and a guide to several villages in Alsace as well as a castle. All were located along what they call the Route de Vins, a trail of over 100 small wineries and postcard-perfect villages chocked full of tourists from around the world. Our guide, Julia (pronounced “Zhoolia”) was really knowledgeable (reminded me of niece Molly) and very funny. Four of the others were American and one was Australian, so Julia did the whole tour in English, which was nice. I am tired of using...

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Sep 12, 2018 - Free Day in Strasbourg

Sept. 12: A whole day to explore the treasures of Strasbourg. What luxury. Today was my day to visit the cathedral, an edifice begun in then 1000s and completed over the next 500 years. When you see the intricate stone carvings covering every inch of the exterior, you can see why it took so long. Generations after generations of stone carvers handed down the rights to continue working on the cathedral. It towers over the city, always letting one know which direction one is heading relative to the giant spire—second in height only to the...

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Jun 26, 2018 - Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg was our destination this morning for a 3 mile “do as the locals do” walk through the old part of the city ending up at the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral (note – almost every large town/city as a Notre Dame Cathedral – I always thought the one in Paris was the only one). The buildings in the old part were from the 13th through 15th centuries. The amount of timber on the front of the house indicated how wealthy the family was. We stopped for two “tastings” - the first was at a gingerbread shop where the lady makes 27 different...

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Jun 25, 2018 - Kayserberg & Riquewihr, France

Today we visited two small villages in the Alsace region. This region with the Rhine River running right through it has been both German and French over the past several hundreds of years. It has changed nationalities 5 times in the past one hundred years although the two countries finally agreed on a settlement about 20 years ago. The result is sometimes confusing names for the towns. For example, the two villages we went to (Kayserberg and Riquewihr sound very German but are now in France!! Both towns were established in medieval times...

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Mar 25, 2018 - Winter Break with my Parents

After my visit to Cambridge (see the previous post), I returned to France, where I was able to spend the rest of the week with my parents. (and to try to impress them with my French-speaking abilities!) Despite worries about strikes, we got through our travels just fine in the end and it was a delight to be able to see them on the other side of the Atlantic. I spent a day with each of them separately in Aix (they came and left on different days due to work schedules), and in between, while we were all together, we visited Marseille and...

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