Articles avec #alsace tag
It is quite unusual to see a whole region in a shop window. We found it in Eguisheim in August.
Storks are part of the region and you see them flying above your heads in lots of places nowadays. You also find them in shops, small and big. They are everywhere on postcards, to put on shelves, and even as soft toys which sometimes you can put on your head ! (Don't forget storks bring babies in Alsace.)
There are two other birds to remember : the goose to make foie gras and the rooster cooked in Alsatian wine.
Of couse, you cook in pottery made in Alsace. Tins, dishes, terrines are red, blue, or even green or yellow with nearly always the same traditional patterns.
If you eat, you must drink. So you need the typical glasses with a green stem.
And you shouldn't forget the shape of Christmas biscuits by looking at hearts and small characters.
In the end, Alsace wouldn't be Alsace without the traditional costume, the one for women with the big headdress.
I wish I would find the same shop window but for Lorraine. This is such a good idea and people stop in front of it and comment what they see "Look, the storks, the costumes, ..." Here they would say "Look, bergamotes, place Stanislas, ..." All the information about a region in a small space.
Eguisheim has been chosen by French people as their favourite village in 2013. So we have seen a lot of videos and photos about it, but I couldn't avoid taking more photos as it is really a typical Alsatian village with an uncommon shape.
The village has been built around a castle from the middle of the 10th century and it is as if it is still enclosed by ramparts. Pope Leon IX was born in Eguisheim and quite a few statues, signs and names remind you about it.
As far as we could see, there are five main entries to go into the old Eguisheim. Most streets are narrow and in some of them no car can go.
Anyway the best way to discover this place is a slow walk, there are so many things to see (houses, fountains, flowers, shops, ...)
Even if we have been to Alsace many times, this place is something we will really remember. It is lovely, each street, each corner, each small shop has got something which stays in your mind.
And you can even get lost there. That's what happened to us ! We walked, walked and didn't realize streets turn slightly. We were looking at everything, all the details, outside of houses, craftsmen working in front of us, so caught by what we saw that we didn't remember the general view of the streets (which I had photographed). We had to ask our way twice (oups !) but nobody was surprised. Apparently tourists do this quite often.
And now I wonder why I didn't think about looking at my own photos in the camera to recognize the streets ! Too many new pictures in my eyes and I forgot everything else.
Fog was so thick when we were on tops of the Vosges mountains that, after a short walk, we took our map and decided to go down to the plain. Which way ? Alsace or Lorraine ? Alsace !
We chose to go to Eguisheim, the favourite village of French people in 2013. When we arrived there, we were invited to park in a big meadow. Well, Saturdays must be busy in Eguisheim. Then we walked up towards the old town admiring houses, gates and yards on our way. And suddenly we saw a ticket office in front of us ! We have to pay to enter the old town ? I asked the woman working there what was going on and we discovered it was the beginning of the Fête des Vignerons (Wine Growers' Day).
When you pay your ticket, you are given a map of the old town with the places of all the activities and stalls, a booklet with the list of all the people taking part and... one small glass per person to be able to taste wine.
And you have plenty of opportunities to have a glass of wine (which you pay), with a choice between Pinot, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat or even some Vendanges Tardives.
Music is everywhere, food too (bretzel, kougelhopf, sausages). People wander around and chat a lot. Tourists like us try to enjoy the celebration and to buy local specialities (cheese, jam, cakes and biscuits, and of course wine). We had a good laugh with people of Moselle (Lorraine people like being together). We enjoyed looking at all the preparations. It was only the beginning of the Fête des Vignerons ! We left Eguisheim at 7 pm and it was starting, two days of wine, music, parade...
The following day we watched a video showing the celebration. This time, during the parade, men were filling glasses free. People came from everywhere, a very big crowd, to enjoy it. Wine was the king of the day.
I've told my husband nobody will believe us when we say we arrived there by accident...
The tower is now nearly hidden by the trees around, but there is a sign pointing out where it stands. It is a round tower with pivoting blades on the top.
The system was invented in France by Claude Chappe and started working in 1792. It conveyed information by means of visual signals. The arms of the tower were able to show 196 symbols, but they were only used during the day. Claude Chappe and his brothers have tried to use light at night but it hasn't worked.
There were 556 Chappe telegraph towers in France. The one near Saverne has worked from 1798 till 1852, when Chappe telegraph was replaced by a modern one. It was part of the line between Paris and Strasbourg and the distance between the towers ranged from 12 kilometers to 25 kilometers depending on the landscape.
Most of the Chappe towers have been destroyed or changed into something else. I have discovered there were some in Lorraine and now I wonder what has happened to them. I'll try to know.
Haut-Barr Castle stands on three big rocks. The bishop of Strasbourg has bought the third rock to an abbey and then needed a bridge to link it to the two others.
The first bridge was built around 1170. When it was nearly finished, it collapsed. A second, then a third one collapsed too.
Workers started feeling they wouldn't be able to do it when a stone-cutter arrived and told the bishop he was able to build the bridge in one night. When the bishop asked for the price, the man explained he was the devil and would only ask for the first soul which would cross the bridge. The bishop agreed.
The bridge was ready the following morning and the devil was waiting for his salary. The bishop, who had thought about the bargain, let a stray dog walk first on the bridge.
So the devil received a soul and the bishop had a bridge !