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It's Christmas and we are travelling out of town to Colmar and Strasbourg. And of course, bringing along our 2 dogs with us. This is the 1st time we are bringing them for a 5 hrs road trip,
In Singapore, we enjoyed road trips pretty much. We used to head for Malacca, Kuala Lumpur or Genting. However in France, any place we intend to go will take us at least 2-3 hours.
We traveled 6 hours plus to Cologne, so travelling less than 5 hours to Colmar is much easier. But with 2 dogs along, we need to buffer more time for handling them.
Colmar is a town in the Alsace region of northeastern France, near the border with Germany. Its old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. The 13th-century, Gothic Eglise Saint-Martin church stands on central Place de la Cathédrale. The city is on the Alsace Wine Route, and local vineyards specialize in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.
As we didn't have good internet connection at our Airbnb Apartment, we head straight for the Petite Venice and we were lucky to see one Christmas at the place too. This season, Colmar has 5 Christmas Market. The one at Petite Venice is actually a Children's Christmas Market.
The little Venice came from the original line of the houses on both sides of the river, which serves the southeast of the city. This district starts behind the Koïfhus, goes through the fishmonger's district and to the bridges Turenne and Saint-Pierre.
It is therefore at the beginning of the Krutenau, whose etymology refers to places of market gardening on the outskirts of the towns. Originally inhabited by a rural community of wine-producers, market gardeners and boatmen, the Krutenau stretches out around the Turenne Street that the marshal took in 1674 for his triumphant entry in the city. Boat rides are possible there.
We probably didn't appreciate much of the Petite Venice, because it's just 1 canal and the surrounding of the wooden houses, still of course it is beautiful.
This is a rather small Christmas Market as what we have seen from Paris. It is even smaller than the Christmas Market in Sens.
As we are relaxed Travellers, we took our own time to get prepared and left the house only at 12pm. And with the 2 dogs, we are unable to have meals in restaurants because they are too barky.
As our Airbnb Apartment is fully equipment, we prepared our own "American Breakfast".
The drive from Sondernach is approximate 90mins away to Strasbourg. But because we will be passing by Colmar, we decided to go to Petite Venice again to check out the scenic view in the day. It looks nice during the day and we are able to capture better pictures and videos too.
STRASBOURG - Capital of Christmas
It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first edition of the oldest Christmas market in Europe took place, then called the "Christkindelsmärik" (market of the Infant Jesus). Since this time, Strasbourg has continued the tradition of a traditional, authentic, warm and generous Alsatian Christmas and these are all the reasons why "Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas" continues to enjoy repeated success.
Well, we chose to visit Strasbourg because it is the capital of Christmas. And since it is Christmas, it's definitely worth a visit to Strasbourg while we are in France right?
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is one of the top few attractions according to Tripadvisor.
We were lucky to be able to find a parking lot just opposite the river and walking distance to the Cathedral.
And due to the recent incident in Berlin, security was uptight in all of the Christmas Market we visited. Strasbourg as well. There were security checks at all entry points. Police and soldiers were also seen patrolling the place.
Indeed, this is the most beautiful place or rather, the best Christmas market setup ever. Although all the stalls were like repetitive, the decorations along the streets were pretty awesome.
And it's not easy to manage 2 barky dogs to stroll past the entire Christmas market.
The Barrage Vauban, or Vauban Dam, is a bridge, weir and defensive work erected in the 17th century on the River Ill in the city of Strasbourg in France.
At that time, it was known as the Great Lock (grande écluse), although it does not function as a navigation lock in the modern sense of the word. Today it serves to display sculptures and has a viewing terrace on its roof, with views of the earlier Ponts Couverts bridges and Petite France quarter. It has been classified as a Monument historique since 1971. Wiki
We googled for top places to visit in Strasbourg and this came up to be one of them. It certain looked like a Moat surrounding something in the center. We didn't have chance to walk further in but well, at least we visited this place.
Kaysersberg is a former commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune Kaysersberg-Vignoble. The inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois.Wikipedia
We had initially wanted to visit Kayserberg on our 1st Day, however Colmar seems to be bigger imo, so in the end we didn't. And as we will somehow pass by the area from Strasborug to Sondernach. We decided drop by Kayserberg.
At Kayserberg there is also Christmas Market, but apparently it operates till 23rd December. But nonetheless, we just want to explore.
We had initially plan for Mcdonalds for Dinner. But Mcdonalds on Christmas eve closed at 4pm! Luckily for us, there was E.Leclerc along the route from Strasbourg to Kayserberg.
And being in our Airbnb, their kitchen is fully equipped, we are able to heat up our pizza and KFC Wings bought en route.
Voila! Our Christmas Eve Dinner!
Nancy, a riverfront city in northeastern France, is known for its late baroque and art nouveau landmarks, some dating to its days as the former capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Its focal point is the 18th-century Place Stanislas. This grand square, decorated with gilded wrought-iron gates and rococo fountains, rests by the ornate palaces and churches filling the city’s medieval old town.
We set our GPS for the city Center, Place Stanislas and off we go. There is actually 2 ways to travel from Sondernach to Nancy. Because our Airbnb stay has limited internet reception, we can only rely on our car GPS to take us.
Initially we travelled by the route E23, but 15mins to our journey we have Internet Reception, the Waze app advise us to go by N59. We got up to a Valley Top which is 1100m altitude height and the roads have sign saying it is closed.
Along the way, we found a ski resort too. As we are planning for some ski trip in February this trip to Colmar also acts as a recce trip for us as well.
And plus, on a Christmas Day, everything is closed. Even Mcdonalds! Sibei Sad. But we have backup plans which is those Petrol Kiosks along the highways though.
The Place Stanislas is a large pedestrianised square in the French city of Nancy, in the Lorraine region. Since 1983, the architectural ensemble comprising the Place Stanislas, the extension of its axis, the Place de la Carrière, and the Place d'Alliance, has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
When we have no idea of the place we are going, we often turn to Tripadvisor. The Place Stanislas is actually the #1 attraction in Nancy according to Tripadvisor.
We were still clueless what is there in Place Stanislas for us. But as we get from the road to the Plaza where the statue is, we were greeted by tons of passerbys. Wow, so this is where the rest of the people had gone to during Christmas.
As it is still Christmas, there is a huge Christmas Tree just beside the statue. And in fact, the status was protected by a sphere and I was wondering what is that for? It certainly looks like some Dragon Ball Outfit.
We truly enjoyed our Christmas Trip to Colmar, Strasbourg, Kayserberg and Nancy. And also with our Furkids too. I guessed they enjoy as well, with the whining from Pepper as he was put at the backseat.
Let's see when is the next time we can bring them along.
What Say You?
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Don is a Kiasu Singaporean that blogs his journey while exploring Europe. A Singapore Travel Blog that provides travel guides and tips on how to travel free and easy in Europe.
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