A Good Reason to Travel

In February 2020, we took our last trip before lock-down started in Germany by mid-March. Our trip had taken us to my hometown area in Franconia (northern Bavaria). Instead of visiting family there, we decided to spend a few days somewhere else. This was somewhere, where nobody knew us.

Visiting family is nice and entertaining, but it is not meant for relaxation. I get bombarded with information about people I’m supposed to know, and whom I have long forgotten about. Do you remember Klaus? No? He’s the one who married Hans’s daughter. Who’s Hans? He is the one who had bought the property next to Günther. Do you remember Günther..? He is the one who had left his home to so and so…. Hour-long conversations like this can be exhausting. I don’t care to remember. I’ve been gone for more than 40 years.

Soon, we will again visit my side of the family for a couple of days . I’m sure our heads get filled with news, which need to be flushed out with some good beer while there. 😉

Soon after, our summer holidays will take us to Dambach-la-Ville in Alsace. We had spent a few really quiet days there in the fall of 2019, and just fell in love with that place. This little town, or rather village, has a population of about 2.100 residents. When we were out and about, it felt more like 400.

This time, we will spend our summer holidays there. One week of quiet bliss, and nobody knows us.

So, heading two hours east to Franconia means a very lively visit (four siblings with families).

Heading three hours west to Alsace means a quiet and relaxing time for us.

Dambach-la-Ville, a beautifully quiet town in the Alsace

Between Strasbourg and Colmar, there are quite a few pretty little towns and villages. On our way to Dambach-la-Ville, we stopped in Obernai, which was roaming with visitors on that Saturday afternoon. We did not stay very long.

A fountain dressed in yellow flowers caught our eyes in Obernai.

Obernai

Dambach-la-Ville is known for its quality wines, and lies on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains with a population of around 2200. Its finest wine is the Alsacian Grand Cru.

The first thing we looked for though was our abode, a renovated barn, which we had rented for the weekend.

This barn has been turned into an upstairs-apartment (on the right), and it was perfect for us.

When we weren’t walking around the town, vineyards, or exploring restaurants, we enjoyed spending our time in the inner courtyard.

This is a very clean little town, and its residents take a lot of pride in it.

We explored our neighborhood while it was getting dark already. This is just one of the many roads leading to church.

Dambach-la-Ville in the Alsace

The yellow containers are used for the grape harvest.

We found a restaurant by the town square, where my husband enjoyed a good meal of Schweinebäckchen (pork cheeks). I stuck to wine tasting.

Dambach-la-Ville in the Alsace

On our way back to Oberursel, we stopped for lunch in the village of Dambach-la-Ville (about 10 minutes from Sélestat). It was Sunday, and very quiet. The only people we saw were a handful of tourists like us heading to the restaurant opposite the church.

This must have be the quietest place on earth. No voices (from neither people, nor animals), no car traffic, no sounds coming from any of the homes. It seemed the residents had all left for the weekend. This was the case on an early Sunday afternoon in late February.

The village (based on all the signs we saw) offers much wine-tasting, hiking routes, and places to stay overnight. Next time, we’re heading to the Alsace, we will spend a few days in Dambach-la-Ville. The village lies on the eastern slopes of the Vosges, and offers quite a few hiking trails.  I’ll even try it – the shortest one is a one-hour trail. I can manage that.

This is one of the many half-timbered homes in the village.

The roads in this medieval wine village were deserted on this Sunday in February.

 

To learn more about this village, visit Dambach-la-Ville, Alsace.

Sights to See in Selestat/Schlettstadt in the Alsace

Sélestat is a relatively small town of about 20.000 residents. We spent many hours just walking around, and most of the town (so it seems) is an array of historical buildings, half-timbered houses, towers, etc. The church tops in the center of town gave us a good sense of orientation. Without them, we would have gotten lost once an hour. At least.

This is the Ritterturm (Knights’ Tower) in 2019.

and many years ago…

This is an usual view of the St.Georg Church (from left to right), the empty facade of a half-timbered house, a residence with laundry hanging outside, and a very modern glass addition on the Maison du Pain d’Alsace Museum.

The Witches’ Tower in 2019…

and a long time ago…

We had dinner at the ‘Brasserie Chez Youpel’ and my husband actually managed to eat all of his Choucroute platter.

 

Historical Postcard of Hotel Cour du Corbeau in Strasbourg

We have stayed at the Hotel Cour du Corbeau in Strasbourg a couple of times. Just a couple of weeks ago, I ran across this historical postcard, showing the building in its former stage.

It might be safe to assume this postcard is from around 1930, because this was the year the Cour du Corbeau was listed as a historic monument.

Cour du Corbeau, Strasbourg, ca. 1930

For more about its history, visit MGallery Cour du Corbeau

For a more contemporary one, you can read my blog post: 24 hours in Strasbourg

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