Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Tuesday, April 16, 2019 08:58:49|
France,Germany 2019: 2 - Riquewihr to Colmar, France
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
We breakfasted from our stash of food we bought yesterday, something we would do for the whole trip as breakfast as known in North America isn't big here. After saying goodbye to the people at the
excellent St. Nicholas hotel and headed for Colmar, stopping a huge Cora indoor shopping plaza in the town of Houssen, not far from Colmar, to build up our breakfast supplies. Marilynn also bought a SIM card for her phone.
The GPS got us to the excellent Hotel St. Martin in the centre of old Colmar, which dates back to 1361. A hotel employee accompanied us to where they have parking, 700 meters from the hotel. There is little parking in the hotel area, and what there is has a maximum time of 2 hours. It was raining fairly hard when we were walking back with our guide, so we opted to explore an indoor market after getting instructions to find the hotel. The market was a good find, with lots of fresh fruit, baking, many small eateries and two bars – one of which we promptly patronized. The rain had let up a bit when we walked to the hotel.
The room we have is on the third floor, so we were delightfully surprised to find the ancient building has an elevator, good news for my knees. The room is great, with all kinds of extras including fridge, safe and heated cloths drying rack at a price of 70 euros per night. (about $75). While enjoying a huge dinner at a popular restaurant nearby we had a lively conversation with a couple from Luxembourg. I've been getting into the excellent sauerkraut dishes in this area. On the way home it was a nightcap in our local – a small, friendly Irish Pub two doors from the hotel.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
A very lazy morning. After a breakfast of fruit from the market we strolled to a boat dock in an area called "Little Venice" - the canal runs alongside the buildings. There are a lot of waterways running through Colmar – our open boat cruise was 25 minutes, fortunately with no rain. Back at the hotel we extended our stay here by another two days. It is a wonderful place.
In the evening we attended one of the concerts for the Music Festival. They are held in different venues – last night it was was a chamber music string orchestra featuring a trumpet player and piano held in an ancient converted church. Back at our local pub we were immersed in more culture – they had squeezed a three piece Irish band into the narrow bar. The place was packed. Lisa, the bar maid, spotted us and got us to some stools in the back.
Everyone was shouting, singing, banging their hands on the table or clapping in time to the music. We soon got to know a couple of local businessmen beside us, and then came four members of a German motorcycle gang, complete with tattoos, chains and deaths head jackets. We were soon all partying together, with hugs all around when we finally departed for our hotel a little before 1 AM – fortunately it was a short stumble home.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Today we had a mediocre lunch before exploring the huge, ancient cathedral. We joined a little train on regular wheels that drove tourists through the area, explaining the history of some of the buildings. We must have looked needy, as they let us on without charge. A super market very near our hotel was a good find for breakfast. Almost nothing is open in the morniing. Marilynn's lunch included bacon in her salad, and an egg, so I asked if a plate could be put together with fried bacon and eggs. The idea was greeted with horror – most definitely not possible.
Pre-dinner drinks in our local pub were with a couple who are living here – he is from Honduras and she was originally from Quebec, but both now in the US. He is supervising a major construction project, working under contract. Dinner was at a fabulous restaurant we found on our way to tonight's concert. An amazing meal. The music festival offering tonight was a jazz quartet with piano, trumpet, saxophone and drums. These guys were the best I have ever seen, each an incredibly talented musician and together the sounds were breathtaking. We both felt we had run a mile after listing for a couple of hours.
The people we met earlier at the pub were there again tonight, so once again it was after midnight when we found our way home. We are really getting into this bohemian life style of late to rise and late to bed!!
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Lunch was shortly after we arose and got ourselves together at JYS, a two star Michelin restaurant on the bank of the canal in Little Venice. Hotel staff had made reservations for us. The food was amazing, as was the selection of wines and service. We had a number of new taste experiences over the many course lunch, and the price was less than the one star in Riquewihr.
One the way back to the hotel we strolled through an open market, then crashed for a siesta. Marilynn didn't make it up again, but I went back to our local pub in the evening for a nightcap or three.
Sunday, April 14, 2019
We wandered through the parts of the city we had not visited. Not great for shopping for Marilynn, as few shops were open. After a great lunch at a tiny, well done restaurant, quite a few more stores were open – they open at 2 PM Sunday. Later in the afternoon we went into the restaurant adjoining our local pub for drinks – it has the same owner of the put. Lisa was there, and we met two of her young brothers – it turns out her dad owns 3 restaurants besides the pub and she is being groomed to take them over next year.
When the pub opened we decided that their specialty mojitos would be a good idea. When four people came in, all from the US, one stationed in Germany in the military, we recommended the mojitos and soon the party was in full swing. Another couple from Quebec in Canada came in and joined us. The crew from the US were planning to be there for the day but decided to stay, so I took them next door to our hotel where they got rooms. All 8 of us drank copious amounts before heading off together for dinner. It was a longer crawl home at the end of the evening!!