Friday, 31 August 2012

La Route du Vin d' Alsace - Bas Rhin

Before the autumn sneaks in, I'd like to share with you my traveling experiences through the French countryside. Our destination for this summer was Alsace, Lorraine and Luxembourg. (You can check out our route here)

Route du Vin,  as seen from Mont-Ste-Odile

Following the Route du Vin through small villages in the mountain valleys was our dream already for long time and this year we made it come true. We rented a cute cabrio and off we went.


The gate to the Route du Vin is actually Marlenheim, but we decided to make a little turn to the mountains before and went first to Dabo. On top of the sandstone formation you will find a small chapel and you can enjoy a beautiful view over the valley. The serpentine roads through little villages and mountainous forest are ideal for a motorbike trip and for sure we will come back once. But you can't complain, when the car rental upgrades you to a Mercedes SLK, or can you?

and its small chapel

After a short walk through Marlenheim in 35°C and a little refreshment, we went further to Molsheim and Obernai. You won't believe it but Molsheim is famous for cars!!! The young car designer Ettore Bugatti from Milan founded his factory 1909 in Molsheim, Alsace and became famous for his luxury sport cars. Today the factory is used for building plane parts, but the name Bugatti can be still found everywhere.

Where to eat in Obernai:
La Stub du Parc (169, Route d'Ottrott)


After the first glass of Alsace wine in the evening on the local square, we spent the following day exploring Strasbourg. Trying to escape a bit from the heat, we got our first overview on a boat trip and enjoyed the view from the water of the historic city and the new EU buildings, before we start our exploration on foot. 

me and La Petite France in the background
Where to eat in Strasbourg:
L'ami Schutz (1, Ponts-Couverts)
Le Clou (3, rue du Chaudron)
Le Pont Corbeau (21, quai Saint-Nicolas)
Le Tire-Bouchon (5, rue des Tailleurs-de-Pierre)
Chez Yvonne (10, rue du Sanglier)

Our final destination for the second day was Dambach-la-Ville, one of the smaller villages of the Route du Vin. We stayed on the beautiful family-owned vineyard Ruhlmann-Schutz and had immediately the chance to participate in a wine-tasting. I very much liked the friendly atmosphere and the little village where everyone greets you on the street. It has  also kept its authentic spirit.

From Mme Schutz, we also got a very good recommendation where to go for dinner: 
L'Arbre Vert (2, rue du Général de Gaulle) 
We had the Foie gras poêlé with apples and the Coq au Riesling with Spätzle accompanied with a regional Riesling, and as a desert a tarte aux Mirabelles and Eau de vie des Mirabelles. I guess this is where my hunt for mirabelles started...

Mme Schutz and me with our first treasures
 and the lovely flowers


I felt a bit pity when we left this lovely place in the next morning, but there was still so much to explore. So after we loaded the first treasures to our car and got the first time slightly concerned if a sport car has enough space for all the great things we might find on our way, we continued towards Barr. (Note to myself: a motorbike is even worth!!!)
view over Barr from the vineyards
According to my lovely man, Barr wins the price for old grannies with hats. We bumped into them at every corner. After a couple of clueless glances we found out that they all were painting aquarelles from the picturesque village.

So we let the ladies do their paintings and hopped back to our car to explore the Mont-Ste-Odile which hosts a convent. Again our route took us to serpentine roads in the mountains with amazing views.

and the view 
As you might have noticed, I love to cook, and I found in the local shop a very nice cooking book with the name "Découvrir les recette des chefs des Winstubs d'Alsace". It includes recipes of the 13 best winstubs (local traditional restaurants) which I mention here in my post. Of course we couldn't try all of them, but if you have a chance to check them out, I would say it's worth it.

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