With the mediterranean breeze and soft sun kisses in the mornings, the french riviera has had me head over heels for the past three weeks. Coming from California, it has been nice not being far from the water. However, it being winter, I wouldnâ€™t mind a bit of a winter feeling, which is why last week I took a 3-day romantic getaway to the Alsace region, where I decided to see â€œLe Petit Venice de Franceâ€ (Colmar) and â€œLa Petite Franceâ€ (Strasbourg).
Northeastern France has stunning german architecture that resembles its long history dispute with Germany over territory (hence why many people in this region speak german). With 3 days to travel, you can see Colmar in 1 day and take a forty-minute train trip to Strasbourg. Some of the things to and eat (my favorite part of traveling) while in this region are:
1. See Le Petit Venice
Nicknamed after Italyâ€™s top romantic destination, Colmarâ€™s little village is the perfect weekend getaway for you and your lover to go out and fall in love with each other all over again (or if you’re single to fall in love with life!). Colmarâ€™s little canal, old german village style, and kind people, it is definitely recommended to go to.
2. Have Choucroute in Colmar
A specialty from the Alsace region in France, Choucroute is a porc dish, served with: potatoes, onions, sauerkraut, smoked ham, and frankfurt, strasbourg, and morteau sausages. Talk about a hardy dinner! Its origin is german, but the french being cuisine lovers adopted it and ever since perfected this regionâ€™s dish!
3. See La Petite France
Take a train to Strasbourg! Just forty minutes from Colmar, Strasbourg became a must return place to go to because 1 day was just not enough. Strasbourg has the second largest student population in France (Paris being the first), so there is no way a young adult can say there is nothing to do in Strasbourg.
4. Visit Cathedral de Notre Dame
Just a 10 minute walk from La Petite France, this cathedral is absolutely remarkable. With its gothic architecture and red stone shades, Cathedral de Notre Dame is even more beautiful inside. Colorful stained glass in every wall, a scientific clock inside with all the astronomical figures, and a human-size cross that
5. Go up the Cathedral de Notre Dame Tower
With a 360 aerial view of Strasbourg, the sixty-six meter high tower is worth the stairs, trust me. Here you will see Strasbourg and be able to pinpoint where La Petite France is, where you were dropped off by in your boat ride down the river (which you also must do), and even the city center of Strasbourg. The tower is worth the loss of breaths going up.
6. Eat a flammkuchen!
I have never been so obsessed with a regional food like I have been with this pizza-style recipe! This german â€œflame cakeâ€ orÂ in french â€œtarte flambÃ©e,â€ is shaped in a rectangle. This recipe is covered in fromage-blanc instead of tomato sauce, and contains a variety of toppings at your desire to choose from. This one is a chicken and bell pepper flammkuchen, My favorite!
Overall, the german towns Colmar and Strasbourg are a perfect combination for a 3-day weekend getaway whether with friends or with your loved one. Even the beach girl needs to bring out her scarves and gloves every once in a while (and do take because this region is freezing!).