Places to Visit in the Alsace Region: Mittelbergheim

Riquewihr, Alsace

Riquewihr, Alsace

If you leave Oberursel (Taunus) early in the morning, you can make it to Straßbourg within two hours. From there, via bee line, it is only another 30 km to Mittelbergheim.

On LinkedIn, I found Jean Paul Krebs’s blog post Alsace Wine Route: open wine cellars in Mittelbergheim.

Thanks to his photos, plans have been made to visit the Alsace again this summer. We probably won’t be there when the wine cellars are open, but it is still worth a visit. It has been described as a charming little town, perched on a limestone hill and sheltered by vineyards.

This photo is from our last trip to the Alsace, which took us to Riquewihr in October 2014, where we had a very nice vacation rental apartment (my review).

I do not obtain any free services or products in exchange for promoting anything here. This is just to let you know about things I’ve learned that has made travel better, more comfortable, and more fun.

Review on Les Remparts de Riquewihr Apartment, France

We had booked this self-catering studio apartment for three days in Riquewihr. With 35 qm and two adults, this was a perfect choice. Although it is located in the middle of the town, on main street, Rue du Général de Gaulle, the apartment is beautifully insulated against any noise from the street.

I’m a kitchen person, so this is usually the first place of interest to me. It had all the amenities we needed – toaster, coffeemaker, and more.

We actually had brought some wine from Germany, because we arrived on late Sunday afternoon and we were not sure about any shops being opened nearby. We learned most shops are open seven days a week and we had our grocer right across the street. This apartment is in a very convenient location.

kitchen

The sleeping area is very comfortable and leaves enough room on either side. The window also offers an interesting view onto a backyard (see below).

bed corner

sitting corner

The bathroom had one feature I disliked. More than half of the tub’s length is lined with a shower-glass protection (see the end where the towel is placed). Unfortunately, the room to climb in is quite narrow and could make for easy slips. I had to be extra careful when stepping in (I’m in my mid-fifties), but I would not advise this for much older folks, with unsteady feet.

bathroom

This apartment is on the second floor and if you don’t mind climbing two flights of creaking stairs, then this is good. Most times I tried to tiptoe up and down the stairs, to no avail. We hardly heard anyone going up and down from within the apartment, so again, it is adequately equipped even against noisy old stairs.

Room with a backyard view

Hinterhof

I can definitely recommend this apartment for a short stay in Riquewihr. There is a lot to see and do, but three days there were just right for us. Eating out is still fairly reasonably priced and if you like wine and picnics, I’m sure you will find some quiet spots in walking distance.

Links of interest:

Riquewihr Alsace Vacation Rentals: http://i-love-riquewihr.com/ (ours was the Sylvaner-Studio)

Jean-Paul Krebs (landlord and general manager) has this blog: http://best-of-upper-rhine.com/new-luxury-holiday-apartments-in-riquewihr/

I do not obtain any free services or products in exchange for promoting anything here. This is just to let you know about things I’ve learned that has made travel better, more comfortable, and more fun.

Sabai Sabai Thai Restaurant Review, Oberursel

A couple of weeks ago before our son Thomas flew back to England to resume his studies, we went to Sabai Sabai * Thai Restaurant for dinner. It was our son’s idea as he had just returned from a two-month teaching stint in Thailand and wanted to compare Thai food made for the German palate.

He now knew quite a bit about Thai food and so this seemed the obvious choice for our farewell dinner in style. The restaurant itself used to be the German guesthouse Gaststätte Stadt Strassburg, which closed its doors around 2007.

The interior looks spacious when you first come in. There’s the obligatory portrait of the Thai monarch on the wall with two big elephants underneath. The window sills are lined with orchids and other Thai decor. The ambiance is pleasing.

But for four people and four dishes as well as beverages, the tables are a bit small. We had to do a bit of moving plates and glasses throughout dinner.

Service was excellent. We enjoyed listening to Thomas’s small talk carried out in Thai with the waitress (yes, they have an authentic staff) and then ordered his recommendations.

I chose the Pat Thai which was excellent. The crumbly topping is roasted peanuts. Delicious!

Pat Thai

Pat Thai

Another dish we ordered was Gung Sabai Thai, a house specialty with prawns.

Gung Sabai

Gung Sabai Thai

Gaeng Kiew Wan is a green curry, and duck was my husband’s meat choice.

Gaeng Kiew Wan

Gaeng Kiew Wan

* The meaning of ‘sabai sabai’: very calm/tranquil/easygoing/comfortable

In Thai, one of the many ways of making a meaning similar to ‘very’ in English is to double the word (this might also apply to a few other Asian languages). This is called reduplication of adjectives, e.g ‘dee dee’ means very good and ‘arroy arroy’ means very delicious, etc.

Sabai Sabai Restaurant website: http://www.sabai-thai-cuisine.de/

Review on Atlantik Hotel in Celle, Germany

On our way home from the Baltic Sea, we decided to break up this eight-hour trip to Frankfurt by spending the night in Celle (Lower Saxony). What a beautiful town. Celle, obviously, did not get bombed during WWII. This town has the most half-timbered houses I have ever seen. Population: 71,000.

Celle Altstadt

Spending the night there was an impromptu decision and so the Atlantik Hotel was the first hotel I inquired within. The hotel director, Les from Scotland, struck me as a very friendly chap and when he showed me the Elvis-themed breakfast room, I knew we’d found something unusual.

Hotel Atlantik, Celle

Hotel Atlantik, Celle

Les’s hotel running motto stands true: “There are no strangers here, just friends waiting to be met.” I made new friends in the beer garden out back, in the breakfast room, and in the lounge.

breakfast room

room at the Atlantik Hotel Celle

I can recommend the town of Celle for a visit. The over 400 half-timbered houses had been built between the 16th – 19th century. From Frankfurt to Celle, it takes about four hours by car.

Celle is also located on the German Timber-Frame Road. This road totals almost 3,000 km in length, winding through Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Half-timbered houses in Celle

Half-timbered houses in Celle

Hotel Atlantik: http://atlantikhotel.com/

German Timber-Frame Road Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Timber-Frame_Road

On a different note… one of the hotel helpers told us how busy Celle got during the 1987 Reforger (Return of Forces to Germany) Exercise, conducted mainly in Lower Saxony. I believe he said about 100,000 visitors came.

A friend of the man we met in Celle was apparently involved in an attempt to recover 7 multimillion dollar M1 Abrams tanks, each weighing about 60 tons, that had sunk into a bog.  Their efforts were unsuccessful, and the man believed that the tanks are still buried there.

Review on Holiday Rental in Maasholm

For our summer holiday, we rented the ground floor apartment called Großer Onkel in this house. There are three apartments available; one on the ground floor, the top floor and another one in the back in the back. Our apartment had the most splendid view over the Schlei Bay – you can see the sun setting light reflected in the windows.

We had our holiday before the official beginning of summer break for the German schools, so rates were decent. We paid about 1100 euro for a two-week rental.

Maasholm is a quiet fishing village and it remained quiet until we left mid-July, that’s when the first German states started their summer break.

Vacation rental in Maasholm

View onto the dining area and living room. This is a spacious arrangement and the four windows made it an airy place.

livingroom

The evening view, with the sun setting over the Schlei Bay, made it very memorable.

From our windows

From our windows

I enjoyed many evenings sitting there by the window with the last rays of sunshine. A good book, my feet propped up, and the stillness of the evenings made my holiday complete.

By the window

This fire place was an added feature, which of course, we did not use during the record breaking temps of 32°C while we were there. But it made the place cozy, nevertheless.

fire place

This was my favorite spot every morning. Not with the wine bottle, but a cup of coffee. 🙂 As the sun came around in the morning till early afternoon, this was a sunny place to spend my time reading.

Terrasse

The things I missed in this place were a toaster and internet connection. I got pretty good at toasting bread in the frying pan and for internet connection, I used the hot spot at the Maasholm Yachthafen (a two-minute walk away).

It was a perfect holiday – the location was beautiful and quiet, the restaurants served good food, and people were very friendly. This was the first time ever I thought to myself, “I could stay longer”.

We found this rental on HomeAway: http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p773513?uni_id=2129832