So we got an additional public holiday this year on October 31st to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s reformation. With November 1st being a public holiday as well we scored an epic 5 day weekend that absolutely screamed for a little getaway. So after my trip to Paris in March I decided to explore another beautiful region of France: Alsace, right across the German border. Having camped beneath the stars in the wilderness of Canada for 3 weeks in September I wanted this getaway to be very relaxed and even a bit luxurious. For our trip we chose the cutest little hotel in Rouffach – La Hostellerie à la Ville de Lyon.
Yes, we spent a whole day just relaxing by the pool and in the hot tub (they also have a sauna!). Our room was cozy and quiet and we really enjoyed the freshly baked bread and cake for breakfast. The whole interior of the hotel had this rustic kind of elegance to it – I love the combo of rawness and luxury. One of the first things you’ll see when stepping out of the hotel is the Château d’Isenbourg which is also a hotel and simply stunning to look at.
Rouffach itself is a small town that instantly gave me the impression that somebody must have merged Paris and Rothenburg together. The cute little houses and alleys managed to enchant even me although I grew up spoilt by fairytale-esque medieval architecture all around me. I enjoyed strolling around town so much I completely lost track of time until my friend messaged me from our hotel room asking if I was ever going to come back.
From our homebase in Rouffach we ventured out to Colmar and Strasbourg. Colmar is an adorable little town that appears to be frozen in time with its historic streets and houses. While trying to find a place to have dinner on the first night we spotted this incredible historic carousel and had to return the next day to take a ride (and a billion pictures). The bright colorful lights created a fantastic contrast with the grey, moody backdrop of the autumn day. They seemed to be calling for us and luring us in with their promises. Anyone else out there who thinks you can never get too old to ride a carousel? Increasing the average age of people on this carousel by about 20 years we definitely had the best 5 minutes of the day.
We took a whole day to explore Strasbourg which is a one hour drive from Rouffach. We went to visit the European Parliament first (although we couldn’t actually get anywhere near it due to safety measures) and walked into town. I absolutely loved the many cute little restaurants along the streets. Eating out in Alsace is actually kind of pricey in smaller towns and it is also not the most vegetarian/vegan friendly region. In Strasbourg though it was perfectly fine and there were plenty of options – I actually had a slice of bread with Guacamole and Nacho chips on it. Because… why not? #datcombotho
We also explored the shops and malls in the city center, one of them being Les Galéries Lafayette. I didn’t even know there were Galéries Lafayette in places other than Paris but yep, Strasbourg has it all.
The cutest neighborhood in Strasbourg and a definite must see is Petite France. With its beautiful timber-framed houses, its bridges and little cafés it made me fall in love in a heartbeat. I really just wanted to sit down by the riverside on this autumn day with some good coffee, eat a whole box of macarones and let my eyes wander across the water.
As much as I love exploring new places it always leaves me a bit heartbroken when it’s time to head back home. I always wish I could stay – could really get to know this place and its people. I’ll always wish behind one of those windows was my own little apartment overlooking the river. In the morning I would cross the bridge to the other side, have some delicious French breakfast and start creating some magic with my camera and laptop for the rest of the day. I would watch the red autumn leaves dance above the greenish water and follow the heavy clouds as they float across the sky.
The sky had been overcast all day. During our drive back to the hotel though the sun decided to make a spectacular appearance and spilled some fire over the whole Alsacian landscape. It was the perfect finale for our trip to Alsace. So… where to next?