For the first time in months my hiking team consisted of a family member again! Tania, my sister, was visiting me from Colmar to Strasbourg.
As mentioned before, I think Colmar is one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) towns I have ever been. I couldn’t let me sister arrive here and start walking the same afternoon, without her having seen it. So we decided on another rest day (read: wine tasting day) in Colmar. Marvelling at all the beautiful buildings and tasting wine for just 2EUR per glass. Hotels were pretty expensive in Colmar, we hadn’t decided on where to sleep that night. We talked to the owner of Air Bagels in Colmar, Romain, and he spontaneously offered to accommodate us in his apartment! He was very helpful, having traveled a lot himself, telling us which route to take tomorrow and even set us up with friends in Sélestat for the next day.
The next day we didn’t take a straight road to Sélestat, instead we went into the hills, to Ammerschwihr, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. The three of them beautiful wine villages in the hills of the Alsace region. We had already learned in Colmar that we especially liked the Muscat wine, so we needed to try that here. In the beginning the road was not particularly nice, we even walked along a mayor road with heavy traffic until Ammerschwihr. But from there on we followed the wine road, a small road mainly for cyclists and the touristic little train, through the wine fields. We stopped for lunch in Riquewihr and eventually made it to Ribeauvillé. Romain’s recommendations proved to be very good, we had a fantastic day. At night we stayed with a family in Sélestat, who cooked a wonderful dinner for us.
Thanks to our hosts, Hester and Jean, in Sélestat, we followed some cycling paths through the corn fields. Slightly less beautiful than the day before, but luckily without traffic. We saw loads of storks, the regional birds of the Alsace region. Unfortunately in all the small towns we passed no restaurants or bars were open. When we, exhausted and hungry, finally found one. They told us, in their very friendly French way (not!), they were closing soon and we would have to leave. We couldn’t even get a glass of water or a tiny bit of food, despite us walking for over 6 hours without having eaten anything. Bloody French. We eventually hiked on, cursing everything that was remotely French, to Benfeld, and from there made it to Strasbourg.
Strasbourg was beautiful as well. But since we had already visited Colmar, it couldn’t really make that much of an impression. Colmar is just more beautiful. We did get some good food and beer and watched the semi-finals of the World Championships. Which France won, so there was a big party in town. Cars honking, French flags everywhere, it was fun.
Today we have a rest day in Strasbourg and tonight my brother and Loek and Marina arrive, to hike on along the Rhine river.