After a long first day and quite a bit of driving we arrived in Colmar, France. We drove right up to our hotel, The Hotel Saint-Martin, without any fuss. The roads might be little and confusing but we made it! After getting checked in and unloading everything into our room we took the car to the parking lot just a little bit away (down a much smaller street… on second thought, I don’t think it was really a street). But the room was absolutely adorable! We actually both had concerns that Colmar might be our highlight so early on in the trip and no where else would measure up. Fortunately I think the whole trip was a highlight.
Of course, you all that know me know that there had to be something crazy happen. Well, leave it to me to somehow manage to trip the circuit breaker right after we settled into our room.. in the dark… for the entire hotel. Yep. I did it! All the guests coming out of their rooms, using their phones as flashlights, wondering what was going on. And I didn’t even get to plug ANYTHING in!!! I just got the converter plugged in and.. pop… in the dark! Fortunately the desk clerk was super sweet and wasn’t mad, the guests even got a good laugh when I told them it was me and how it happened. It did take about 10 min to get the lights back on, but after that, we just didnt try to charge anything there (I threw that converter out also).
Anyway, 24 hours in Colmar begins, NOW!
I warn you now, someone, “cough, mom, cough” made this into a day of stuffing our face… so… there is a lot of food!
So to start our day of eating we got up early and set out to find, you guessed it, a bakery!
Mom got a quiche and I got a Kugelhopf, a very traditional pastry. It is made with Almonds, Reisens, and Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and it was awesome! I would show you photos, except we ate them to fast. The downside though – no coffee, haha. So the next thing we did was set out to find me a nice french coffee, or more likely an espresso.
And this is what took us to the market, or Marche Couvert. We found a nice little cafe inside and sat down so I could have a quick coffee. In the language barrier that is my non existent knowledge of French, I guess I ordered a coffee each, and ended up drinking 2 coffees. Opps. Good thing it was yummy! So after I drank both of my coffee’s we wandered around the indoor market and ended up eating even more. We sampled lots of tasty treats and even got a bowl full of the best watermelon ever to split. I am envious of this amazing market and wish I had one I could regular.
From there we wandered through Old Town enjoying the old architecture and attention to detail. When you add up the cobblestone streets, the canals, the old buildings each with their windows filled to overflowing with flowers you get a town that feels like a fairy tale. So much so it almost feels staged.
We both enjoyed walking along the canals (Little Venice) and watching the boats and swans. Which then led us to take one of those said boat rides. It was so much fun!! It never ceases to amaze me how cheap stuff like this is in Europe. In the states everything touristy is almost like robbery! Our boat ride was well worth the 6 euro each we paid. It lasted probably 20 to 30 min and we also got a lot of great info about the town as we went.
After our boat ride we made our way back to our hotel to take a quick break and grab a bite to eat. We picked up a sandwich and some drinks and had a nice breather. We also might have crashed out on the bed for a bit too.
Once we refueled and recharged we set out for some shopping! And shop we did. We found an amazing local craft fair just a few blocks from our hotel where mom got me an amazing hand made and painter ceramic serving tray. I love bringing home local art and crafts from the places I visit. I think it means so much more and will be something I keep and cherish forever. We also did some touristy stuff (who can resist right?) and some clothing stores. Mom got an awesome dress that was made in Spain. Oh yeah, and we visited more bakeries, a chocolate shop, and a macaroon shop. Quite a successful shopping trip.
On the way back to our hotel we stopped at the Eglise St Martin (the cathedral) for a quick look inside. While it was not the finest or most spectacular church we saw on our trip, it was still worth walking through and appreciating the amazing architecture for the time.
“In 1972, remains were archaeologically dug out of a first church, built in Carolingian style around the year 1000. Foundations of a second church built on that spot, in Romanesque style, were found as well. The present building had been constructed between 1234 and 1365 as the church of a college devoted to the cult of Martin of Tours, and since defunct. The current, conspicuous helmet crowning the bell tower had been added in 1572 in Renaissance style after a fire.” – Wikipedia
We also walked through the garden of the Musee Bartoldi and learned quite a bit of history about Colmar and its connection with the Statue of liberty. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi the designer of the statue, was born in Colmar, Alsace, France on August 2, 1834.
Then just before we arrived back at our hotel we walked through the Koifhus where there was a group singing for passers by. I have to say it was pretty impressive – I have never heard anything like it and the acoustics made it feel like the sound was all around you. It was a pretty special treat to see and I wish I could go back and listen longer. There is a clip in my video that you can watch and hear a bit of what we heard.
So we again, passed out briefly in our room to prepare ourselves to go out for dinner (which ended up being just across the street) at Colmar au Koifhus. We wanted to try food from the region and were pointed in this direction and it did not disappoint. I had the Supreme de pintade aux pruneaux, spaetzle. In other words, I ate a guinea hen. And mom had : bouchée a la reine, tagliatelle. In other words, veal with a biscuit. And it was all good! To be honest we didn’t really know what we were ordering and just kind of chose at random without high hopes – but ended up leaving impressed!
As you can probably guess, at this point we were both exhausted – so we called it a night early and got into bed to get some good sleep before waking up early to make the trek back into Germany, see a castle and end up in Garmisch – but more on that later!
(I’m the Mom and this post has my stamp of approval with no interruptions. 🙂
See all of the photos from Colmar here.
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