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ManVanNoPlan’s Motorhome Alsace Road Trip

ManVanNoPlan’s Motorhome Alsace Road Trip
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This blog post details the Alsace section of a 2022 road trip to Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. You join the blog as we have driven eastwards from the Chablis area of France…

Tuesday 18th of October.
Eguisheim (48.040613, 7.309332)

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of Eguisheim, we hadn’t either before researching places to visit in the Alsace region. We’ve never been to the Alsace before, so, as you do, we watched a lot of travel vlogs on YouTube and it looked incredible, so that was the mission for today, drive two hours to Eguisheim.

Alsace borders onto Germany and Switzerland is within easy reach too. You could be forgiven for thinking you are in Germany as the architecture of the buildings were all of a sudden looking as if we were in the Rhine valley.

We stopped for lunch in a layby on the D83 with our destination of Eguisheim only four miles away and the major city of Colmar within view. As The Navigator rustled up lunch I walked into the vineyard at the side of the road. The grapes for this year’s harvest had already been gathered in but some small bunches of black grapes had escaped being picked.

We headed into Eguisheim and easily found the Aire (48.040613, 7.309332) where about fifteen vans were already parked. The centre of the town was only a few hundred yards away, so after buying our ticket (€ 16) and plugging in our electric cable, we headed off for a wander. You can see from the following map just how close the motorhome Aire is to the town centre. I had seen a YouTube video of this amazing place, but The Navigator had no idea what lay ahead.


To say Eguisheim is pretty is a massive understatement. Obviously in the middle of October the flowers on the window box of every building are past their best, but there were still enough in colour to give the impression what this place must be like in the summer months.

The village is picture-perfect and as you wander along the cobblestone streets of Eguisheim, you can see why it was voted the Most Beautiful Village in France in 2013. This charming typical little Alsatian village features brightly coloured medieval houses with pointed roofs and timber-framed facades.

As we entered the town, we noticed that the sign over a pharmacy read 24 degrees Centigrade or 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


Slightly further on a sign pointed us left for a circular walking tour and within a few steps the buildings looked amazing.


Every one of the buildings seemed to have a different design and colour but what they all had in common was how well preserved they were. As you walked along the narrow cobblestone streets a few shopkeepers were standing at the door of their premises offering samples of local delicacies and we tried nettle cheese and a cake which The Navigator described as ‘claggy’ which for non-Scots reading this means sticky or gummy.

We ended back in the main square and took in the large Renaissance fountain of octagonal shape called the St. Leon fountain (1557). The statue of Pope Leon IX was placed atop the fountain in 1842. Legend has it that Pope Leo IX (1049-1054) was born here, hence the statue. Apparently the fountain is beautifully decorated for Easter, flowered in Summer and brilliantly lit at Christmas.


It was hot and thirsty work walking about so we sat in the main square and tried two of the local wines, a Pinot Gris and a Gewurztraminer and delicious they were.

Back at Bessie we sat out in the shade of the van and later chatted to our recently retired Swedish neighbours who were heading on to Spain on their first ever long road trip. They were particularly interested in our experiences of Spain and Bessie’s Gaslow refillable gas tanks which we demonstrated for them.

Wednesday 19th of October.

This Aire is in such a good location we decided to stay another night. I had published the first blog of this series yesterday and this morning started the task of formatting the next blog while The Navigator busied about.

By lunchtime we were hungry and decided to walk into town to see if there was a reasonably priced meal of the day but with no luck, so we had a snack which turned out to be delicious. I had the sausage smothered in local cheese open sandwich with a glass of Pinot Gris and The Navigator had a ham, cheese and tomato open sandwich washed down with a cup of the local Alsace cider.

After that we headed off to walk the circuit of the town we did yesterday, but this time in the opposite direction to give a different perspective to the town and the view of the surrounding vineyards. It was still warm but cloudier than yesterday and where the sign over the pharmacy read 24 degrees as we passed it, today it was only showing it was 17 degrees.

Yesterday we had passed a tiny cheese shop and we sampled some of their wares so today we returned to actually buy one of the varieties we had sampled as it’s a style of cheese we’ve never had before as nettle cheese is not to be found in our local Argyll supermarkets so we had it vacuum packed so we can enjoy it with the family at Christmas.

When we had our glasses of wine yesterday in the main square we were looking over at the castle/church, but we never actually went over to look at them so today we made the effort to visit the church. Chapelle Saint-Leon IX to give it is full name is located in the heart of the town and is rather attractive with a colourful interior and interesting stained-glass windows. The church, which was built in 1894, is dedicated to Pope Leo IX who came from Eguisheim and was Pope from 1049 to 1054. These historic churches are always worth visiting as they as they are a window into life hundreds of years ago.


There were two huge stork’s nests on top of the church and castle, but we never saw any storks on them, although we did see storks flying past the Aire yesterday. The castle was built by the Counts of Eguisheim and taken over by the Bishop of Strasbourg during the 13th century. An episcopal bailiff occupied it until the French Revolution (1789). The enceinte was surrounded by a moat which was filled in by the 18th century. Houses built in the castle courtyard and against its walls were destroyed by a fire in 1877 which also damaged the castle – it was left in runs for many years.

We bought a couple of delicious pastries at the patisserie and headed back to Bessie to enjoy them with a cuppa. Amazon Prime had quite a few Premier League games on, and we managed to see most of the Liverpool v West Ham and Manchester United v Spurs games.

Thursday 20th of October
Eguisheim to Kaysersberg (48.1358207, 7.2628423)

Our destination today is all of sixteen minutes away so there was no need to get up at the crack of dawn. We serviced the van before we left as I wasn’t sure if there were services at Kaysersberg.


Kaysersberg is another historical wine town to the west of Colmar. Its name is German for Emperor’s Mountain and the high fortress that dominates the town serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and warlike past. The town was first mentioned in 1227, when the German emperor Frederic II gave orders to build the castle. In 1648, the city became a part of France, although most inhabitants continued to speak German. From 1871 to 1918 and (again from 1940 to 1944) Kaysersberg belonged to Germany. In 2017 Kaysersberg was voted the Village préféré des Français (Village favoured by the French).

So, with that pedigree, we were looking forward to visiting Kaysersberg although the weather forecast was not looking good, with rain on the way. The drive from Eguisheim only took twenty minutes through field after field of brightly coloured vines – even on a dull morning. The Aire at Kaysersberg is really just a big flat area for Motorhomes to park with the usual services, except electricity, and that is why it was only €10 a night.


After parking up and paying for a ticket, we headed straight into the village. To me it’s big enough to be called a town, but the official designation is that of a village. There is one main street that winds through the village and there are quite a few shops selling local Alsace regional products like wine, cheese and souvenirs featuring storks as most towns and villages in these parts have massive stork nests high up on buildings.

As soon as you enter Kaysersberg you find the main square, which is surrounded by lots of painted half-timber buildings, and a very pleasant main street.


The town is in a very picturesque setting, in a valley surrounded by vineyards and forested hills rising above the town.


As you walk down the main street and reach the river this is where the town becomes really lovely. Along the edges of the river there are numerous brightly painted half-timber houses, and the Weiss River is crossed by a lovely 16th century fortified stone bridge further adding to the charm of the place. Another notable landmark within the town is the 13th-15th century Church Sainte-Croix. The front facade is among the oldest parts of the church, and you enter the church through the ornately carved doorway to see the impressive 16th century altarpiece.


We wandered about taking in all of these sights before returning the short distance back to Bessie for lunch. We later returned to the main street, but it started to drizzle so we headed back to the van just in time as the rain became much heavier.

The site filled up as the evening progressed and there were several nationalities now parked up, but no fellow Brits. In the evening we watched some YouTube videos and Manchester United making incredibly heavy weather of trying to beat a very average Cypriot team.

Friday 21st of October.

It was forecast to rain heavily today and that’s exactly what it did. Torrential unrelenting rain all day so our planned trip by bus into the nearby city of Colmar has had to be postponed.

I only left the van once today between the rain showers to buy a parking ticket to extend our stay for another day. Apart from that I wrote up the second blog of this trip but can’t post it online as I need to do that from my laptop, and that needs to be plugged into electricity, which we don’t have here.

We watched a few YouTube videos in the evening but when we came to watch a film on Netflix, we had to give up halfway through as the rain was so loud on the roof just above us.

The forecast for tomorrow is better so we will be going into Colmar a day later than originally planned.

Saturday 22nd of October.

Colmar is the largest city in this area of north-eastern France and its close to the border with Germany. The old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. The Gothic 13th-century, Eglise Saint-Martin church stands on central Place de la Cathédrale. The city is on the Alsace Wine Route, and the local vineyards specialise in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.

On Thursday the lady in the Kaysersberg Tourist Office supplied us with the bus timetable and details of where to get the bus for a visit to Colmar. It was a fairly early rise for us as the bus left at 9.26 am for the forty-minute journey into the centre of Colmar.

The bus turned up a few minutes early and the driver informed us that he could not take the €8 fare from us as it looked like this was a replacement bus and it didn’t have a machine to issue tickets.

We arrived in Colmar just after 10 am and headed for the centre. It was difficult walking about as the sun was so low that it was blinding, especially for The Navigator as she is still struggling with her vision. The Cathedral was not open which was a bit of a disappointment, not just to us but the large groups of tourists being walked round the city centre by guides.


We continued walking around the impressive city centre until we found the indoor market which was designed in 1865. It is a food market predominately but there were a few stalls offering refreshments, so, as I was € 8 up on the day, I treated The Navigator to a coffee as she didn’t want an alcoholic drink this early. I had no such reservations on that score and tried a ‘verre’ of Pinot Blanc.


The indoor market is in the Krutenau district of Colmar, one of the oldest parts of Colmar and it has a village atmosphere that is typical of traditional Alsace. The half-timbered houses look onto a stream, the Lauch, which earned it the name “Little Venice of Alsace”.


The lauch was traditionally used by the market gardeners, fishmongers and tanners who passed through this district in small, flat-bottomed boats. Today this type of boat is used to give tourists a short trip.

By now it was lunchtime, and we chose to have an Alsace speciality that’s served everywhere, ‘Tarte Flambe’. At first sight it looks like a thin crust pizza, but it is more like a wrap with a topping which consisted of a local cheese and a topping like mushrooms, smoked salmon, ham etc.


It was a glorious afternoon now and the really warm sunshine encouraged people to sit out and have lunch and drinks and we remarked on the contrast between today and yesterday’s torrential rain. There were a few English voices to be heard but as the German border is so close there were a lot of German tourists and day trippers here. A few years ago, we visited the historic city of Freiburg in Germany and that is only 23 miles from here.


We wandered about fairly aimlessly for the rest of the afternoon and the city had come to life with people either sitting outside cafés or shopping in the upmarket shops. You would not guess in a million years that there was a ‘cost of living crisis’ happening in this part of the world anyway.

By way of killing time before our bus, and to rest our feet, we sat outside a patisserie in the shade with a refreshing latte and a tea before heading for the bus stop and it was here we saw a noisy demonstration being well marshalled by the police.


No such luck with a replacement bus service on the return leg and we paid our fare of € 8. There was another British van parked near us when we arrived back at the Aire, the first we’ve seen in a long time.

We were still feeling full so had a light snack then rested on the bed, The Navigator to watch Strictly and I typed up this day’s activity. Tomorrow, we move on to another historic wine village about twenty minutes north of here.

Sunday 23rd of October.
Kaysersberg to Ribeauville (48.190803,7.329737)

Today’s drive was going to be all of twenty minutes from Kaysersberg to Ribeauville but we had to be off the Aire we were on sharpish as our parking ticket expired before 9am as we had renewed it at that time yesterday before getting the bus to Colmar.

We had enjoyed Kaysersberg even though the Aire was no more than a car park with no electricity. To our right had been a Dutch campervan and when they left it was a British camper van that was beside us now so as we both started to get our respective vans ready to move on, we started to chat.

It turns out the couple were on their on their way south to Andalucia eventually, while we had turned the corner and heading northwards. We have seen a lot of campervans recently and their Auto-Trail seemed to have the ideal layout for a couple. We were invited in to have a look and conceded that if we ever downsized a lot of our “stuff” would have to be sacrificed.

It was another lovely morning and the short drive to Ribeauville was scenic through vineyards and a few small villages. We were on the Ribeauville Aire by 10.30 am and it exceeded our expectations as if you look at the satellite view on Google Maps it just looks like a piece of waste ground but it is probably the best laid out Aire we’ve been on in France.


Once parked and plugged into the electricity I finished off the last blog ready to be uploaded once The Navigator cast her beady eye over it. There was no real point rushing to see the town as on the drive here we saw people entering churches in the villages we passed through so thought the shops etc in Ribeauville would not be opening until the afternoon.

After lunch we headed off for the short walk into the town.
“Located on the Alsace Wine Route, between the vineyards and mountains, half-way between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, Ribeauvillé is an attractive town which has combined its historical heritage with modernity. The town and neighbouring hills are dominated by the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre. The Grand-Rue (main street) and its picturesque neighbouring streets, lined with 15th to 18th century buildings, are scattered with Renaissance fountain-decorated squares”.


Don’t Visit France Without A Good Journal…


The Grand Rue was busy and most of the tourist shops and restaurants were open and doing good business. The buildings were attractive, as all seem to be in this part of the world, and although we were here between the colourful summer season and the winter Christmas markets it was still a lovely place to visit. The town is dominated by vineyards leading up a steep hill to three medieval castles which can be visited by younger, fitter, tourists than us!


Monday 24th of October.
Ribeauville to Obernai (48.459718, 7.485230) via Sélestat (48.253695, 7.448252)

We’ve read about the heavy rain back home over the past few days with up to a month’s worth falling in a day in some places, well the rain caught up with us here last night with accompanying loud thunder and intense lightning strikes. That said, by the time we were ready to leave it was another lovely morning.

Where yesterday, we chatted to our British neighbours and slightly overstayed our parking ticket, here we had to set the alarm this morning as we must be off before 10.30 am as we have to enter a code to get through the exit barrier, and even if we are a minute overdue, we would be charged for another full 24 hours. The next place we planned to stay at was less than twenty minute drive away, so we set off, and before too long, noticed that the countryside was given over more to crops than vines. The drive was easy enough on good roads, so it wasn’t too long before we were pulling into one of the biggest Lidl’s we’ve seen in France in the outskirts of Sélestat.


After a ‘big shop’ we headed for the Aire in Sélestat and noticed that there wasn’t another van in it but that there were five motorhomes in a nearby car park, so we joined them, thinking it would be more secure to be with other motorhomes than on our own in the official Aire.

After lunch, we had a walk into Sélestat to find it like a ghost town with very few people walking about and most of the shops shut. There were a fair few ancient buildings, but it didn’t have the feel of the medieval towns and villages we’ve visited since arriving in Alsace.

The two imposing churches in the centre were both being renovated on the outside but the insides were pretty impressive as you would expect.


It was also noticeable that Sélestat was not a ‘wine town’ as it didn’t have vineyards surrounding it and no producers offering tastings or selling their wares. You might by now be getting the impression that we were disappointed with Sélestat, and you’d be right, so we made the decision to move on to the next town on our list to see, Obernai. Another factor in this decision was that The Navigator thought the people in the other motorhomes where we were parked looked to be living in them full time and seemed a bit “shifty” to quote her!

“Obernai is a picture postcard pretty town with lots of delightful medieval houses lining the narrow streets and small open plazas, all set within the original ramparts of the town, as well as many notable buildings and historic monuments. Most of the highlights are in, or close to, the central square”.

We arrived in the large open car park to find about twenty other motorhomes already there, but there is probably room for over fifty vans. Parking is free, but there are no facilities at all. The moral of the story being to service your van when leaving an Aire as you never know if there are facilities at the next stopover. We had a cuppa then headed off into the town through the ancient walled fortifications. The ramparts of Obernai run right around the town. In total they are 1,400m long with 20 towers and 4 tower gates, and there is a pleasant tree-lined walk which runs all the way round the outside of the medieval wall.

The market place is a lovely square in the heart of the town. The belfry and town hall are at one end and the corn exchange at the other, and between the two there are lots of lovely half-timber houses. Many of the houses are painted in the resplendent colours typical of Alsace. Each house is a different colour, has different patterns of beams and different shutter colours. It is one of the best and most ‘traditional’ of the lovely Alsace towns and we decided to stay two nights to spend a full day exploring it tomorrow.

I finished off our week two blog and set it to upload onto the website and after dinner we were treated to another thunder and lightning show with accompanying heavy rain.

Tuesday 25th of October

We are fortunate that the rain falls during the night and so we can wake to another beautiful day in another beautiful location! We arrived in Obernai yesterday and had a walk around to get our bearings but today we would do it justice and explore it in detail.

Before aiming for the town centre we headed for the nearby railway station to check it out as tomorrow we are getting a train to yet another very famous location. We were due to take Bessie there tomorrow but it’s another city with a clean air zone and it’s not clear that the Aire nearest the centre of the city is in the zone or not. Anyway, The Navigator loves to go exploring in a bus, train or tram, and this will be the first train journey of this trip.

Once the railway station was sussed out, we headed into the main square and it was apparent right away that the town had come to life as all the shops were now fully open following yesterday’s holiday. We knew that yesterday was not a French national holiday and I think that these tourist towns take Monday as a day off after opening all weekend to cater for the weekend visitors.

We picked up a few brochures from the tourist information office and headed for a climb up to the viewpoint which overlooks, not only Obernai, but the surrounding countryside for as far as the eye can see.

On the way we went inside the impressive Church of Saints Peter and Paul or (French accent required) Église Saints-Peter-et-Paul. I don’t think we’ve been in a church or cathedral on this trip that hasn’t had the wow factor one way or another, and this one was breath taking in it’s scale.

From the church we carried on towards the Memorial at the top of the hill which was erected in 1956 by the town of Obernai in memory of the 272 victims, dead or missing from the canton during the Second World War. The viewpoint offers a superb panorama over the town of Obernai and a view of Mont Sainte-Odile and the castle on its summit.

It was a warm day which made the steep climb more challenging for two unfit pensioners, but the view from the top made the effort worthwhile. We could have taken the tractor train from outside the tourist information office, but we needed the exercise, and the €15 saved would go towards a rewarding lunch later!

After taking in the view we headed onwards to take the circular route back down to the town and in the process got a glimpse of the modern day reason why Obernai is so prosperous, the massive Kronenberg brewery, the largest brewery in France. It seems odd that a town that is surrounded by vineyards making delicious crisp white wines is probably better known for its lager!

The road takes a circular route down the hill but we found a small lane that went straight downhill and we opted for that. We did see the sign that indicated that the slope was 30% but went for it anyway. It took us quite an effort not to start running, it was that steep, but halfway down an old lady was at the roadside getting her mail from her letterbox and that gave us the excuse to stop and exchange bonjours. The Navigator asked in her best schoolgirl French if snow was a problem in the winter and the lady answered it was. Unless she had a car, I’m not sure she could have managed to get up and down to the town on foot, it was that steep.

Can you spot The Navigator above?

It was lunchtime by now and we celebrated our hill walking achievement by having a typical light lunch of Croque Monsuir and Onion Quiche washed down with a bottle of Kronenburg. After that we wandered about the town before heading back to Bessie to rest up as tomorrow will be another full day of walking and sightseeing, but hopefully without a steep hill to climb!

Wednesday 26th of October

We were up fairly sharpish as the train we were aiming for was the 9.46 am from Oberdai to Strasbourg, the largest city in the Alsace region. The first train from Obernai is 5.00 am but this being France, the ticket office did not open until 9.30 am which meant 9.35 am before the attendant actually opened the door.

There was one man in front of us in the queue and it appeared he was buying a season ticket as his transaction took for ever with a prolonged debate with the attendant. We only had a few minutes to get our tickets and get to the furthest away track via an underpass so when I was charged €28 instead of the expected € 12 there was no time to argue about it. The fare is € 7 per person each way, hence the € 28, but when I checked the times online last night the fare was shown at a discounted rate of € 3, but as we could hear the train approaching I had to accept it and leg it to the other platform.

The train was modern and comfortable and it deposited us at Strasbourg Gare just over half an hour later. The station is a massive structure as you might expect from such an important city but what makes it so impressive is the modern glass addition to the front of the building.

We were only going to be in Strasbourg for one day so we had to be selective in what we had time to see. There were two main areas we wanted to explore in the city, the area around the cathedral, and an area known as ‘Petit France’. The walk to the cathedral takes about fifteen minutes from the station and the impressive spire can be seen from a distance. On the way there the first part of the street is full of busy restaurants and cafes serving breakfast and we succumbed to a McDonald’s offer of two breakfast buns and two hot drinks for €5.

As we were heading for the cathedral we came across a fairly disappointing market, made worse by the fact that it had started to rain. I say disappointing, which may be an overstatement, but in France you expect to have mostly local food products on sale at a market, with the chance to try something new or different, but this market had no food stalls at all, although it’s saving grace was the location in a beautiful square.

Thankfully the rain didn’t last too long and our brollies weren’t required for the rest of the day. The street we were on began to get busier and what could be described as more touristy, with the upmarket shops giving way to souvenir shops and restaurants. And then, all of a sudden, you turn a corner and WOW, the cathedral is there, and the scale of it takes a few seconds to comprehend.

The single spire height is 142 metres (466 ft) and the outer dome height is 58 metres (190 ft). It is incredibly impressive and the closeness of the surrounding buildings makes it impossible to stand back far enough to get a decent picture of it.

“The Strasbourg Cathedral was originally erected in 1015, but was later destroyed by a fire. By the time reconstruction began in the twelfth century, the Gothic architectural style had begun to develop and can be seen throughout much of the church. The building was not completed until 1439.

Since its creation, it has become a significant cultural and religious monument to the people of Strasbourg. Due to its importance to the city’s inhabitants, it has often been a target during times of upheaval and unrest.

Over the course of its life, it has endured many scars and acts of violence but has always remained standing. It suffered damages in the three wars that raged around it. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, it had its choir stalls and the roof of its nave set aflame. It saw all but one of its bells removed during WWI and, during WWII, Hitler ordered its priceless stained-glass windows be dismantled and squirreled away. Luckily, American soldiers discovered the glass in a German salt mine in 1945 and returned them to their rightful home.

This cathedral is filled with breath-taking art. Two of the most intriguing aspects are the world-famous astronomical clock, ingeniously put together by a team of experts, artists and mathematicians, and a green ray of light that, due to a built-in meridian, marks the autumn and spring equinoxes when the sun shines through the green stained-glass windows.

Whether you’re captivated by the history that surrounds the Strasbourg Cathedral or the beauty that lies within, one thing is certain – this enthralling French landmark is not one to be missed”.

But miss it we did as we did not have enough time to do it justice. The area around the cathedral has some very impressive medieval buildings and as it was now lunchtime, the area was busy with locals and tourists alike. We walked past a small bric-a-brac market and I became transfixed by the guy in the red jacket, his mate and their wives who were very interested in buying this large picture, but were trying to act cool by walking away, coming back, discussing it and examining it a bit more, walking away, coming back and this went on for ages. The stall owner must have called the owner of the picture who arrived and serious negotiations began. I had to move on, so have no idea if a deal was done, but it was a great painting with a lot of intricate detail which my picture does not capture.

The Canal du Faux-Rempart was just a few yards further on than this market and large tourist boats were setting off for trips around the city.

We had a good and remarkably cheap lunch at a restaurant called ‘Black & White’ and carried on towards ‘Little France’. The streets got narrower and busier as by this time the grey overcast skies of the morning had given way to clear blue skies and people were sitting out having lunch and drinks in the sunshine.

The city tourist guide describes Little France better than I could so…
“The Ill River is everywhere in the Petite France, which is why this district is sometimes compared to a little Venice. The district is spread across an amazing river delta, formed by the five arms of the river. Seen from the sky, they look uncannily like the fingers of a hand trying to grab the whole city. Both peaceful and impetuous, the River Ill irrigates the whole district with its charm. Take a leisurely stroll along its quays and admire the reflection of the colourful facades of the old houses.

The charming Place Benjamin Zix Square is where you can sit back and simply appreciate the beauty of the place. In the shade of the plane trees on this square, which is very lively in summertime, you’ll get wonderful views of the river and of an exceptional set of half-timbered houses. The Maison des Tanneurs (House of Tanners), generously laden with geraniums from spring to autumn, is the crown jewel of the site.

From Place Benjamin Zix Square, you can reach Rue du Bain-aux-Plantes, which features a set of remarkably homogeneous half-timbered houses. They are so mesmerizing that you won’t be able to look away. In this former tanners’ street, each house is absolutely white, highlighting differing shapes and sizes of half- timbering and an additional roof, largely open, which was designed for drying animal skins. The street, with its old-fashioned paving stones, takes you on a journey into the past”.

The hype given to this area by the tourist guide is justified and it’s a lovely historic part of the city. We walked about this area and then found some wooden steps to sit and admire the view in front of us.

By now it was mid-afternoon and our feet were beginning to ache so we meandered through some very pretty streets back towards the station. Since we began this road trip we’ve been out and about most days and have covered anything between 5,000 steps, if it’s a village, and up to at least 15,000 steps in a city. Nothing too extreme you might think, but most of these steps were on uneven medieval cobblestones and it’s this that was now taking it’s toll on our feet!

We arrived back at Bessie thoroughly knackered and after a bite to eat we were resting in bed before 7pm! We watched some YouTube videos then caught up with Only Connect and The Navigator beat me 4 – 2, her first victory of this series. The missing vowel round is her speciality and my Achilles heel!

I watched the Barcelona v Bayern Munich game and The Navigator watched TV on her tablet then read until lights out as we are moving on tomorrow.

Thursday 27th of October

Today we are leaving France for Germany and the pretty city of Heidelberg, about two hours to the north of here. We’ve been three days in Obernai and loved it and would recommend this as a stopover if you are touring Alsace or passing through on your way south, maybe to Switzerland.

This has been our first visit to Alsace and we’ve loved every minute. Alsace is a perfect blend of German old world charm and French chic and style. The medieval architecture is so well preserved and the countryside is a well tended combination of vineyards and forests which at this time of year have been blanketed in autumnal colours.

Our highlights have been Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Colmar, Obernai and Strasbourg, in fact just about everywhere we’ve visited! There are more scenic delights to be visited in this region and we’d love to come back and explore more.

After breakfast, and returning Bessie to travelling mode, we were about to set off when we noticed that market stalls had been set up on the nearby ramparts at the edge of the car park we were on, so we decided to go and have a quick look. Of all the markets we have seen so far on this trip, this one was by far the best as it had a really good mix of (mostly) food vendors, with some non-food stalls as well.

From this yesterday…

To this today…

It was a misty, damp, autumnal morning but with the promise to get better once the sun rose and burned off the mist. The journey began after negotiating our way out of the packed car park and the first port of call was to a nearby Lidl to top up on some favourite French produce, including some (hopefully) top wines to be enjoyed with the family on Christmas Day.

From Lidl we seemed to do a few laps of Obernai due to another ‘route barre,’ but we escaped in the end to head north towards Strasbourg. As we approached the city, we saw overhead signs announcing we were on a clear air route which was a bit of a surprise as I thought we were by passing the city not going through it.

In reality, it’s a bit of both as the dual carriageway is a bypass but it does go very close to the city centre, probably within walking distance of the cathedral, who’s spire can be clearly seen over the rooftops. I think we dodged a bullet (and fine) as the category 5 restriction does not come into effect until the 1st of January 2023.

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