On a day nowhere near as lovely as its predecessor (drizzle – boo! grey skies – hiss!) we finally set out to explore Colmar properly. Visitor map firmly in hand, we take the path most traveled, the tourist route through all the sights.
Colmar is indeed lovely. Whilst its ancient heart springs from the 16th century, the oldest buildings here have 1200s roots.
Never one to follow rules in their truest sense, I encourage an “off piste” approach, darting wherever something pretty catches my eye. I’m so easy to manage, I know. 😉
There’s a great deal to see: the Maison de Tetes (House of Heads) – a 1600s wine merchant’s home decorated with 105 masks,
the former guard house, built in 1575, once Colmar’s town hall,
the 1480 Koifhus, once the town’s political hub, then its market
and the very ancient Saint Martin Collegiate Church, built across the 1200s to the 1400s, are but a few highlights.
The latter is so large I struggle to get even a portion of it into a photograph (note below: the difference in yesterday’s sky to today’s, and hence my desire to stay out later yesterday….).
But by far the loveliest, is the area known as “Little Venice”, so called for the canals upon which it sits.
It’s here that the old Tanner’s and Fishmonger’s districts are, and the fabulous covered market, built in the 1800s, sits.
Those of you who’ve been reading for a while will know of my great weakness for a good market: this one surely hits the spot with just about everything one’s heart could desire including a great many options for lunch.
Despite the infinite number of restaurants outside, it’s here we settle for lunch, sampling regional delights. A torte flambe for me – the thinnest of pastry, less than a millimetre thick, topped with fresh white cheese, a crumble of smoked bacon and sweet onions, flamed to perfection.
Himself meanwhile inhales a Munster and lardon pie that’s a melt in your mouth masterpiece.
Whoever bakes here has the lightest touch with pastry – both are delightful.
After lunch we pop into the church (lovely),
complete a few more laps of Colmar to marvel at all the lovely things on offer,
then finally admit tiredness by late afternoon.
The best part about going out for lunch: no need to cook dinner. Nibbling from extensive cheese and charcuterie treats from the fridge with a good baugette is perfectly acceptable. I’m calling that a win.