Colmar, France

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 5.10.26 PMSwitzerland snuggles right into the middle France’s east side, making a trip from Zürich to Colmar (near Strasbourg) an easy 2-hour train ride. When our brother-in-law told us that he was going to be in Frankfurt for a conference and had a few days to meet us somewhere after the conference, a quick look at the map suggested Colmar and the Alsace region of France as a terrific mid-point. He booked a rental car, we booked an AirBnB and bought train tickets for a 2-day rendezvous.

The Alsace region, known for its wine (dry Rieslings and Gewürtztraminers), is a mélange of German and French culture, having been claimed by both empires at various times throughout European history. What a pleasant experience to wander the Old Town as well as Petit Venice (a canal runs through this section) and just enjoy the half-timber houses with unique tile roofs.

We were happy to hear German spoken by many (and with such a clear accent) and to read signs in German as well as French.

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You can hardly get through town without seeing stork nests on top of tall buildings, stork souvenirs, paintings on walls featuring storks, etc. Nearly 30 years ago the iconic storks of this region had dwindled to about 9 nesting pairs, but have since made a comeback.

Colmar is also known as the hometown of Bartholdi, the man who created the Statue of Liberty.

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For our first meal, I ordered the traditional sauerkraut (which tastes much less pungent than what we think of with fermented cabbage) which comes with five meats. Throw in a few boiled potatoes, and I had plenty to share with H and M.

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