Road trip: Route des Vins D’Alsace

I’m going to start this post with the assumption that everyone reading it (love you) has seen Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. We all know the opening scene where Belle walks through her town singing, “There must be more than this provincial life” and neighbors pop out of their shuttered windows singing, “Bonjour! Bonjour!” I know, you are all singing it.

I found that town. You’ll see in the pics.

After a brief visit to the Lorraine region, we traveled down to the Alsace region. With a little research (ie: reading travel guides in the car), we learned that there is a wine road that stretches through the region called the Route des Vins. It’s 170km long! That’s a lot of wine. Had to control ourselves and only drink at night when we were done driving for the day. So hard! We started from Marlenheim at the north end and weaved through the rolling hills of absolutely breathtaking wine country (The French win) to Colmar. That is not the entire route, but we had to move on. We easily could have spent the full two weeks here. Main stops were Obernai, Ribeauville, Riquewihr (Belle’s town, I swear!) and Colmar. Just lovely. Like a fairytale. I have few other words to describe it, hopefully the pictures do it justice.

One thing about the local food: We had a delicious lunch in Obernai at La Cloche‘s charming sideway patio. Have you ever heard of a Kentucky dish called a Hot Brown? Jaro has suffered through one before, and similarly, I should probably tell warn you that spatzle baked in munster cheese is the best worst decision of your life. Read: a French Hot Brown. Both the spatzle and munster are local specialties, so we considered that to be the megatron of Alsatian cuisine and as a result, we were all over it. While Jaro clogged his arteries with that, I had the not so much more reasonable spatzle with mushroom sauce. Could not get enough spatzle. Anyway, here are a few pics.

One other thing about food: This was my first extended time in France outside of Paris and something I immediately noticed was that everyone was carrying a baguette (or three). Under the arm, while riding a bicycle, poking out of the windows in their cars… so just plant that pleasant little image in your head. (Again, the French win.) But good luck trying to buy one after noon. Every shop, grocery, market, you name it, was sold out by then. Thankfully, our campsites sold them fresh every morning. Yep, that’s right.

So, I love France. Is that obvious?

Ahead: The Swiss Alps & why I hate Switzerland…


Road trip: The French Lorraine region

I’m so excited to share this trip with you. It’s different from any trip we’ve taken. As you saw from the post yesterday, we just went on a impromptu road trip through Europe. And as you saw, we were very ambitious. In fact, I wish there was a stronger word for ambitious. Oh wait, there is: CRAZY.

Once everything was settled with our decision to move to Sweden, we thought we should seize the day two weeks and just explore wherever we felt like pointing the car. With our tent (yes, a tent!), a pile of travel guides and open minds, we set out from Amsterdam… and immediately hit traffic in Belgium. And it was raining. Hooray.

Our first stop was Luxembourg, where one of my besties studied abroad. Since it was raining and since we were super delayed from the congestion around Brussels, we were there for about 20 minutes. Looked pretty though.

We got back in the car and headed to the Lorraine region of France, southeast of Champagne. We visited Verdun where there is a ton of WWI history, including the largest US military cemetery in Europe. I have a thing about visiting cemeteries. I find them so fascinating.

Next, we headed to Metz, which has a similar feel to Strasbourg, with wide canals and beautiful Parisian architecture. Loved both. So charming and friendly. In Metz, Soupes a’ Soups was perfect. We had a lovely lunch there and I promised our adorable server we’d come back someday. Also, the French countryside wins. It’s the best in the world, I’m convinced. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Ahead: The French D’Alsace Route des Vins.


Walking on a dream

Happy October everyone! I, for one, cannot believe it’s already October. What happened to September? My life has been a bit of a tornado lately…

Speaking of tornadoes, we just got back from an epic two week road trip through Europe. No plans, just a sense of adventure.  Here is a little photo montage I put together of it. These are edited down for time, but as you can see we take LOTS of pictures. Will be sharing specifics soon, but I thought this was a fun way to sum it up. What is your favorite part? Mine a tie with the gondolas in Venice (love how Jaro shot that) and those kraut fries. Haha. Let me know what you think! Might start doing this with all our trips.

Have a good Monday, pals.