Every so often a place captures your imagination and you just have to see it for yourself. Such is the case with Colmar, a place I only became aware of through Instagram after our travels last year.
More often than not, when I double tapped a photo enviously then checked the location, Colmar appeared. Clearly this was a place I needed to be. Extraordinarily, we were within 8km of it when visiting Eguisheim in 2018, but didn’t know about it then. Set in the heart of the Alscace, it’s our destination today.
The day is glorious, sunny and blue skied. We finally pass out of farmland into the Alscace hills, very close to the Swiss and Germany borders. Their influence on buildings is clear. Wooden second stories are common, decorated with prettily flowered window boxes. We go from open plains to hills, and the first of the vineyards appear.
At one point an enormous bird of prey flushes out from the undergrowth and hangs low momentarily, before our windscreen. He’s quite breathtaking. It’s all I can do to squeal, camera long forgotten.
Alscace is one my favourite food destinations. All the fabulousness of French fare, with the added influence of Germany’s smoked meats and sausages. Not to mention the excellent fresh white wines – rieslings and gerwurtztraminers are specialities of the area. I’m a confirmed red wine drinker, but for these whites, I make exceptions.
We settle by the Colmar marina and walk into town. Under today’s blue skies, it’s picture postcard perfect, just as pretty as I’d hoped, but many times larger.
I’d envisioned another Eguisheim village, but this is a town by any measure – we find out later that it’s the capital of the Alscace wine region. The mediaeval street layout is a challenge – there’s no convenient central point of reference.
Fueled by the “I’m so happy I’m here + blue skies + look at all the things I need to see = adrenaline overload” formula I’m so guilty of, I’d happily stay out and explore everything, until the light gives out.
Himself is however a harder sell. It’s only a short while later he’s ready to call it a day, leaving the detailed exploration to tomorrow.
It’s not the first time I have to be dragged away from somewhere. Mutterings and grumblings about mutiny abound. Our body clocks clash often, this time I suspect, won’t be the last.