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Fairytale houses in Alsace.

Fairytale houses in Alsace.

Alsace in eastern France has to be one of the regions in the world with the most cute villages. Even if the region was heavily bombed during the second World war, the villages in Alsace is full of cute little villages with well preserved houses that looks like they are right out of a story from the brothers Grimm.

Beautiful house facade in Kaysersberg.

Beautiful house facade in Kaysersberg.

I actually worked in Alsace when I was young. Back in 1988 I was picking grapes there. And I returned a couple of time to the region in the coming years to help again with the wine harvest. I also worked inside one of the wineries after one of the harvest, packing and labelling the wine bottles. So when I returned to the Alsace region recently, it was a bit of a flashback to my early years of travelling.

I used to work as the Kuehn winery in Ammerschwihr.

I used to work as the Kuehn winery in Ammerschwihr.

I had just been to watch a football game in Basel, Switzerland. A fantastic game, where Denmark drew Switzerland 3-3.

A tired looking Swiss coach with me in the background.

A tired looking Swiss coach with me in the background.

But instead of returning back to Denmark right after the game, like most of the danish fans, I decided to go for a walk. And you can actually walk from Basel to Alsace. It’s only about 5 kilometers from the center of Basel to the French border. And then you are are suddenly in the Alsace region of France.

I used the excellent train service from the Swiss border to Colmar.

I used the excellent train service from the Swiss border to Colmar.

Alsace has been part of Germany for some periods in history. And the german influence is obvious there. Alsace is a really charming mix of French and german culture. Did you know that sauerkraut is the most famous dish in Alsace for instance? They call it choucroute in French. But also use the German word for it.

House facade in Alsace.

House facade in Alsace.

Kaysersberg is beautiful.

Kaysersberg is beautiful.

I spend a total of 3 days in Alsace. Mostly walking around the region. My first day I was in Colmar. Colmar is a fairly big town, with around 70 000 inhabitants. It has a very nice city center with a lot of old charm to it. And it’s also the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi who created the statue of liberty in New York.

Colmar.

Colmar.

What I really like in this region though is the villages that surrounds Colmar. Back when I was a very young man, I was working in one of them. It’s the village called Ammerschwihr. I was working at the excellent winey called Kuehn. It’s still there producing fantastic Alsatian white wines. April is super low season for wine producers, so I did not see anyone as I walked past it this time. But hopefully I will be able to see some of my old work colleges, the next time I walk past Kuehn.

Ammerschwihr in Alsace.

Ammerschwihr in Alsace.

After Ammerschwihr, I walked to Kaysersberg, which is possibly the prettiest town in all Alsace. This is really a fairytale villages right out of a Hansel and Gretel story. The old buildings are extremely well preserved there and this is one of the ultimate cute village kicks you can have in Europe if you ask me. Albert Schweizer, who among many things, won the Nobel peace prize, was born in this little village as well.

Kaysersberg, where Albert Schweizer was born

Kaysersberg, where Albert Schweizer was born

I continued to the small town of Kientzheim, which is not visited by nearly as many tourists as Kaysersberg. But it comes close to rivalling Kaysersberg in cuteness. And they are only 2-3 kilometers apart. So do yourself a favour and pop by Kientzheim too, if you are in the area.

Village houses in Kientzheim, Alsace.

Village houses in Kientzheim, Alsace.

Where did I stay in Alsace?

In Colmar I stayed at a hotel called “The originals Colmar Gare”. This is an older hotel that is at the moment being turned in to something better, from what I could see. But despite having a standard that was a little lower than what I usually have (my room was like a 2 star hotel) I was quite happy there. Especially because the two ladies manning the reception desk were extremely welcoming and service minded. Very nice when people treat you in a way that makes you feel welcome.

My room at Hotel L'Oraye in Ammerschwihr.

My room at Hotel L’Oraye in Ammerschwihr.

I also stayed at a hotel called L’Oraye, just outside Ammerschwihr. This was a quite new and very nice hotel. I truly enjoyed the place and my room there. Staff was also friendly and the location was perfect. Right in the vineyards and just 2 minutes walk from Ammerschwihr.

Getting to Alsace.

Alsace has a fairly big airport named Euroairport. It’s located in France, but also serves as the airport for Basel in Switzerland and for Freiburg in Germany. The airport has several airlines flying to the airport. Easyjet in particular has a lot of flights to the EuroAirport from all over Europe. Wizzair is also quite big there.

People actually live in these fairytale houses.

People actually live in these fairytale houses.

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1 Comment

  1. It does indeed look like something from a fairy tale – so pretty!

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