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Report 373: Alsace in Slow Motion

By Kaydee from Tennessee (USA), Spring 2003

Trip Description: Our family's walking tour in mountains, vineyards and villages of Alsace (May 2003).

Destinations: Countries - France; Regions/Cities - Alsace

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 3-4 people; Adults and Young Children

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Page 1 of 9: All About Alsace

photo by Kathy Wood

Alsace

In December 1999 we spent about 20 hours in the Alsace region of France while traveling between Salzburg and Paris. We arrived in Colmar after dark and had a few hours to tour the town on foot the next morning. Then we traveled by car about 40 miles from Colmar up the “Route du Vin” to Strasbourg, working our way through storybook villages and vineyards. From Strasbourg we took the train to Paris for the millennium New Year’s celebration. We were captivated by our short visit to Alsace and put it on our list for a future extended trip. In May 2003 we were able to return as part of a two-week trip to France. But this time we didn’t have a car — we did a six-night/five-day 50+ mile self-guided walking tour, concluding our week in Alsace with an overnight stay in Strasbourg.

Alsace is a province of France that borders Germany; at various times in its history Alsace has been part of Germany. Because of this, Alsace looks and feels as much German as it does French. (You might well meet “Pierre Mueller,” and most locals speak both languages.) Hitler ruled the region from 1940 to 1944 and although it wasn’t evident to us, many areas were badly damaged. Sixty years later our walk took us through the natural beauty of vineyards and woods, by the ruins of ancient castles, through picturesque walled villages bedecked with flowers.

What didn’t we see? Many Americans. Perhaps other Americans were staying away during the height of concern about the French government’s position on Iraq… but we suspect this is also a region of France somewhat undiscovered by the typical American tourist who rushes to Paris or Provence.

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