Our final adventure in France was in Alsace, the region on the west side of the Rhine River across from Germany’s Black Forest, hemmed in on the west by the gentle Vosges Mountains. We wanted to spend a few days here to sample their fine wines, especially Gewürtztraminer, and gorge on as much of the famous local cuisine as possible. We were familiar with many of the wine villages here and chose Ribeauvillé for being among the most beautiful. Staying here was among the highlights of our trip.

We had particularly good accommodations and the best of hostesses, and fine internet connection for a change. The place was once a tannery but was fully renewed and modernized a couple of years ago. We had about as much room as a standard house.

Our Booking.com downstairs apartment, and our car

Our Booking.com downstairs apartment, and our car

The dining table alone seats eight.

The dining table alone seats eight.

We had hardly set our luggage down and gotten a tour of our digs before Carmen, the property owner, suggested we go wine tasting. Of course we wanted to! Her winery of choice was just around the corner, so off we went on foot.

The sign pointing to Jean Sipp winery across the street

The sign pointing to Jean Sipp winery across the street

We sampled quite a number of wines, liked them all, despite always being rather critical because of our specific tastes and interests. Before we left we decided to buy a bottle for evening consumption. Before I could think twice, Carmen had already paid for it, along with buying us a bottle of her favorite pinot noir. Wow, what a way to start. Later I asked Carmen if she took all her clients wine tasting. She said, no, of course not, but she could tell from our earlier email correspondence that we would get along and would likely be interested.

Fine Alsatian wines

Fine Alsatian wines

Next day Carmen came over to tinker with the wifi because it was not working properly and got it going again. Now that’s service. For our troubles, she also brought a kilo of beautiful cherries, and gave us a hard back book on the area as seen at Christmas. (We are so tempted to spend the Christmas holidays there)

Before darkness fell, Eva and I were out exploring the town. What a great place, a feast for the eyes, and not overly touristy, at least not up on our end.

Ribeauvillé is a walled town, or once was.

Ribeauvillé is a walled town, or once was.

Typical street view

Typical street view

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Oh, as for a nice dinner on the sidewalk, you can see what was put together for us. Eva had amazingly good duck and I had something equally delicious, chicken in a Riesling wine sauce.

Veggies for a change, and outstanding potatoes

Veggies for a change, and outstanding potatoes

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Despite the small size of the village, there was lots to do, as you can see from the map Carmen gave us. We took several walks into the vineyards, to a textile factory on the upper edge of town, and finally to the castle ruins that look down on the town.

Map details shows how complex the area is.

Map details shows how complex the area is.

Into the vineyards. There were no no trespassing signs.

Into the vineyards. There were no no trespassing signs.

Along side the fortified wall.

Along side the fortified wall.

View down onto the town from the vineyards.

View down onto the town from the vineyards.

The town was loaded with flowers and every one looked healthy. How do they do it?

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Man doing a bit of pruning one morning.

Man doing a bit of pruning one morning.

Despite our goal of keeping dietary carbs to a minimum, we couldn’t resist frequent visits to the bakeries.

The woman is slicing off a 300 gram piece for us from a loaf that originally was nearly two meters long.

The woman is slicing off a 300 gram piece for us from a loaf that originally was nearly two meters long.

One day as we wandered a few blocks from our abode, we suddenly came across a familiar looking tree, a giant Sierra redwood. I don’t know how it got there but it was thriving. A nearby senior home was called The Sequoia. Maybe it gives the people there a positive spirit.

Giant Sequoia sempervirens

Giant Sequoia sempervirens

On our last day we took a right strenuous hike up to the castle ruins that look down onto the town.

Eva managing the rocky route with aplomb.

Eva managing the rocky route with aplomb.

Our goad is within sight

Our goad is within sight

We get past check points

We get past check points

Almost there

Almost there

View from the top

View from the top

I’m going to end this post here because, before we left town, Carmen and her friend Lucien, invited us on an outing that ended up taking all day. It deserves its own post.

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