Almost at once, after meeting our landlady in Ribeauvillé we felt that we were in good hands and that our personalities fitted well. Within a couple of days she asked if we were interested, along with her male friend, Lucien, in having lunch on a farm up in the Vosges Mountains. Of course, we are always ready for a new adventure so we didn’t hesitate in saying yes.

Come Sunday morning, Carmen and Lucien picked us up in his roomy VW SUV and off we went, basically southwest and upward, otherwise we knew not where nor how far away. We had not met Lucien before but immediately felt comfortable as he was a well traveled man and spoke English.

After a scenic drive through green meadows and gentle hills we eventually found ourselves rather clinging to the side of a mountain at the site of an active dairy/cheese farm which had a fine restaurant and outdoor patio overlooking a distant mountain range.

Off into the Vosges we went.

Off into the Vosges we went.

Way up there, looking over at where the Germans sent their war machine in WW I.

Way up there, looking over at where the Germans sent their war machine in WW I.

Our destination is getting closer.

Our destination is getting closer.

The farm, our destination

The farm, our destination

Our new friends - Carmen and Lucien.

Our new friends – Carmen and Lucien.

The dining room at the end of the cow barn. Pretty nifty with all those cow bells.

The dining room at the end of the cow barn. Pretty nifty with all those cow bells.

We enjoyed a superlative Alsatian meal of several courses, as you see, accompanied by two superior local wines.

The appetizer. Eva and I thought this was the main course!

The appetizer. Eva and I thought this was the main course!

Carmen dealing with the main course - ham and seriously great potatoes.

Carmen dealing with the main course – ham and seriously great potatoes.

This is just the main course. More to follow.

This is just the main course. More to follow.

Yes, Eva and I were actually there.

Yes, Eva and I were actually there.

My blueberry pie.

My blueberry pie.

Really, yours is just as large as mine, so relax.

Really, yours is just as large as mine, so relax.

Here’s a bit of history of the place, but only in French, as usual.

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Following this enormous dinner, we took a short walk to the top of the ridge, where quite a number of Sunday folks were also enjoying the expansive views. On a clearer day you can see the Black Forest on the left and the Juras and Alps in Switzerland straight ahead. Some local glider enthusiasts took advantage of the good weather to launch their remote controlled gliders into the gentle breezes as we all stood around and watched them soar.

Quite a group at the trailhead, but they didn't want me to lead them.

Quite a group at the trailhead, but they didn’t want me to lead them.

Off we go through the flowering meadow.

Off we go through the flowering meadow.

A moment to get everything explained.

A moment to get everything explained.

A local cow type enjoying the view, I suppose.

A local cow type enjoying the view, I suppose.

There's almost always something at the top. In Germany it's usually a restaurant, with beer.

There’s almost always something at the top. In Germany it’s usually a restaurant, with beer.

We felt protected by this beautiful Madonna.

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We could almost step down into the Rhine Valley.

We could almost step down into the Rhine Valley.

After soaking up our share of the rays and views, we proceeded downhill in time to see the cows come in for their evening milking.

Waiting for the gate to open.

Waiting for the gate to open.

Each cow's name is on a  stall in case they forget where to go, which they never do.

Each cow’s name is on a stall in case they forget where to go, which they never do.

There were quite a number of bikers here and there, some cooling off with a cold one.

How did those bikers get way up here?

How did those bikers get way up here?

It was time for us, too, to enjoy a round of beers on the covered patio.

Last pleasures down on the farm.

Last pleasures down on the farm.

You might think this was the highpoint and ending of a fine outing, but wait for the next post. We went sightseeing.

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