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.

A Weekend in Ribeauvillé, Alsace

We spent the first October weekend in Ribeauvillé, Alsace.

Over the years, we had been to several places in the Alsace, and this time we chose Ribeauvillé. I was surprised by its size – a long main street with plenty of shops, many restaurants, and to my husband’s pleasant surprise, we discovered a whisky bar (Le Saint-Ulrich) as well.

Ribeauvillé, Alsace

Ribeauvillé, Alsace

I had seen steep vineyards before, but never quite like this.

Vineyards around Ribeauvillé

Vineyards around Ribeauvillé

One of the best things in life is a little uphill walk, with your husband carrying the picnic makings in his backpack. We enjoyed the view, the wine, and our own company.

Ribeauvillé

grapesThe weather in early October is often fairly nice, or we might have been just lucky over the years. We hope to do this again next year.

Riquewihr Holiday in October

This is what Riquewihr looks like in the early morning at around 6:30. An hour later, a sprinkle of tourists are coming down the road to go to the bakery, with delivery trucks and repair trucks coming through. By 9am, it gets lively with tourists.

We had rented a studio apartment in the yellow house on the left.

Riquewihr 6am

Repair was done on this house (good restaurant inside!) at about 7:30.

Au Tire Bouchon

The town boasts to have 30 restaurants and this could very well be.

Riquewihr

The steep vineyards are a special sight to see.Steep vineyards

Urlaubslesebuch – Travelling Book in the Alsace, France

This travelling book is yours to keep. The Urlaubslesebuch contains 29 clever, funny, romantic, and moving short stories by famous authors such as T.C. Boyle, Ilse Gräfin von Bredow, Catherine Clement, Bianca Döring, Umberto Eco, Jostein Gaarder, and many other good story tellers.

29 short stories in German

The book will be released on Rue du Ggénéral De Gaulle, the main street of Riquewihr, later this morning of 6 October 2014.

When you are done reading it, do like I did – send it on its merry way. Feel free to share under the comment section where you left it.

Sunday Morning in Biarritz

Biarritz, a French vacation resort on the Atlantic coast, is a busy little town. There are so many people out and about to do their shopping on Sunday morning. Germany, in comparison, looks like a ghost town around this time of day.

In France, all centre ville shops and markets are open until 13:00. I had almost forgotten how much fun shopping in France can be, in every sense of the way.

Lining up at the pâtisserie in Biarritz

Pâtisserie goodies

Sunday morning shoppers

At the market in Biarritz

Mozzarella wrap with greens and dried tomatoes

Fruits confits – wonderful display at the marché

Dried peppers – a local specialty

Most shopping is done on foot and beware of parking difficulties when coming to Biarritz.

Hard to find a spot and when you do, use your feet around town.