Alsatian Folklore Museum in Strasbourg

On our most recent trip to Strasbourg, we stopped at the Alsatian Folklore Museum, a.k.a. the Musée Alsacien, and we loved it. We viewed most of it in an hour, but it was so interesting, we could have easily stayed longer, had it not been for having to return to our hotel in time for check-out.

There are many sections to view, such as traditional rooms, costumes, paintings and historical Alsatian tools, glass paintings, and masks.

What caught my attention were these Kleiekotzer or Mehlkotzer (the one puking flour) or in proper English: flour mill spouts. The term Kleiekotzer dates back to the 18th and 19th century, when these masks were used by millers to let the flour pass through the masks’ mouth into the troughs.

 

In 1903, the antique dealer, Robert Forrer, donated this large collection of carved wooden flour mill spouts to the Society of the Alsatian Museum in order to obtain its membership. His donation back then included 20 mill spouts, 20 chairs, and 30 cask bungs, but today this museum room only houses his flour mill spout collection.

24 Hours in Strasbourg, France

We usually go to Strasbourg once a year, and our highlights remain staying at the 4-star Hotel Cour de Courbeau, and then visiting the flea market on Saturday morning. Again this year, we got there on Friday around 3pm, and left the city on Saturday shortly after lunch. It is enough time to pack in quite a few things, such as a visit to the Alsatian Folklore Museum (about a minute walk from the hotel), visit a few restaurants, shop at the flea market, stop for some coffee and a pain au chocolat, and much more. We usually park at the Austerlitz Car Park, which is a minute from the hotel, has clean facilities, and the rate for one day is just under euro 20.

This is always our first stop – the bridge overlooking the River Ill.

Boat touring the River Ill

This is an ad for the city’s upcoming plans – to build a floating jetty, across from the Historical Museum.

Floating jetty for Strasbourg

This is the courtyard of the Hotel Cour du Corbeau. Built in 1580, it has served as an inn (or hotel) for most of its time since then.

 

View from our room onto the balcony. Last year, we were able to sit on the balcony late in the evening. This year, a Siberian wind made it impossible.

Some of the interior was renovated to reflect its original half-timbered building style.

This is what I found at the flea market – a sewing table, with a painting by Louis Bollinger (a.k.a. BOLL or BOLI).

Hotel Cour du Courbeau in Strasbourg

We left Germany on a dreary Friday afternoon and arrived in sunny Strasbourg three hours later. We got really lucky with the end of February weather.

We had booked the Classic Room online at half price for one night at the Hôtel Cour du Courbeau in Strasbourg. This hotel is most impressive: authentic 16th century on the outside, and completely 21st century on the inside.

Hotel Cour du Courbeau

This photo was taken from our room, looking out on the balcony which stretches along the whole front of the building. The thin wires are to keep the pigeons off.

We had a pleasant evening sitting outside on the balcony, gazing at Orion’s Belt. We moved the room’s little bench outside, and shared a bottle of wine on the balcony. This was so pleasant. For smokers, there is an ashtray on the wooden railing for your convenience.

We skipped the € 24 per person breakfast (offered by the receptionist), and headed to one of the cafés nearby for a smaller breakfast version.

This hotel is centrally located, next to the canal and very close to the cathedral. We only had to cross the bridge, and found ourselves at the Saturday farmers’ market, with the flea market right next to it. The flea market takes place Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

We found a few interesting articles at the flea market, ranging from a wooden spice box with pewter labels spelled out in French, an old postcard from Germany, a hand-carved wine bottle topper, etc.

Here we stopped for a second breakfast of croissants and coffee. In the back, you see parts of the farmers’ and flea market area.

We will do this again sometime soon. It was nice to get away for a couple of days.

Review for Vacation Rental in Biarritz

On Homeaway.com, we booked our vacation rental for the most recent holiday. Our vacation home, a renovated fisher home, was in the best location we could have hoped for.

We had the one with the blue doors and shutters. What might look like weeds in front of the houses are actually wild flowers. They do look prettier on sunny days. There is a little sign above the door – Suliko (little soul) – which is the name of the house.

Everything was in walking distance – the beach, the town centre, the market, and cafés and restaurants. Sitting on the little terrace, I only had to turn my head around the hedge to see the ocean across the street.

Biarritz beach – one minute away from 9 rue Cité Cany

Our landlady, Anne, was most forthcoming in everything we needed. And she was still kind after we had to report a minor damage caused by one of our children. She was most helpful in helping settling this, like a friend.

The home had most amenities except a hair dryer. I guess we could have asked for one. We had good internet connection, plenty of coffee and wine on our arrival, and the house, though centrally located, is in a very quiet neighborhood.

Parking is a challenge during this time a year. We flew into Bilbao/Spain and had to get a rental car. The rental car lady tried to sell us all kinds of stuff, such as an upgrade to a station car (we could hardly find one parking space in Biarritz, let alone two!), she tried to sell us navigation for 99 euro a week (by golly, we are on holiday, I do not need to know where I am going) and she tried to sell us full-coverage insurance (we had the car parked 12 out of 14 days).

We used our legs most of the time. There is a lot of up and down walking and we felt it in the evening. Free exercise.

A couple of evenings, my husband and I grabbed a bottle of wine and just walked across the street to the beach to enjoy the sunset. There is nothing better than that.

Biarritz is a lively little town and actually, I could have stayed a bit longer.

For more photos and information about this rental home, visit Homeaway.com. Highly recommendable.

Things to do on Sunless Days in Biarritz

Mornings on the Biarritz coast are often overcast with some rain showers. With a bit of luck, the sun comes out during the afternoon. Yes, you should have sun glasses and an umbrella with you at all times.

But there is plenty to do around here even on sunless days.

Children enjoy fishing with a net.

Others are surfing at all times.

Water surfing in Biarritz

Some just enjoy the view. There are plenty of benches everywhere.

Biarritz promenade

Others still go for the beach.

Biarritz, La Grande Plage

Yesterday afternoon was also overcast, so we went to the Musée De La Mer (euro 45 for two adults and two students). Along the way, we enjoyed crêpes and ice-cream, sat on benches, took photos and had all the time in the world.

One of the many specimens we saw at the ocean museum was the seiche (cuttlefish or Bobtail squid). All explanatory signs around the museum are in French. I had to note the French names of the more unusual ones, so I could look them up later.

Bobtail squid

There is plenty to do and see around here, even on bad weather days.

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