Articles avec #around lorraine tag
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 !
Haut-Barr Castle was built with sandstone of the Vosges mountains in Middle Ages. It stands on three big rocks. The colour of the walls is a sort of pale red, the colour of the rocks around. And it is surrounded by the local forest so you can hardly guess it when you drive on the road. Its colour hides it when you are far away and the trees hide it when you are near.
The castle overlooks the plain of Alsace and the north of the Vosges mountains. Its place was very important to see enemies coming and to protect the area.
From there you can see Strasbourg and the cathedral, and, of course, the Black Forest in Germany (when it is not misty, it was a bit on Sunday so we only guessed it).
Nowadays there are still ruins of the castle, the chapel (small but interesting) and the local Devil's Bridge to visit. And there is also a restaurant where you can stop to have a meal or just a drink.
We enjoyed our afternoon there. The view is beautiful. We were told there is a path going all round the bottom of the castle, a two-hour walk to admire the view, the plants in a peaceful atmosphere. Why not ?
On Sunday Haut-Barr Castle celebrated Kougelhopf Day. The castle is situated near Saverne in the north of Alsace.
To enjoy our kougelhopf (or kouglof) we had to deserve it.
Of course we drove from Lorraine to Saverne. Then we arrived on the road of the castle, quite narrow and very crowded. There were lots of cars going up and down. At first we thought the ones going down were leaving, no, they were looking for a parking place. Once we reached the cul-de-sac near the castle, we had to go back as plenty of other cars did before us. In the end we found THE parking place. There were nettles on the passenger side but it didn't matter (well, not really for me, I should have left the car before parking).
From this point we started enjoying our afternoon. A pleasant path, a bit away from the crowded road, goes up to the castle. When we arrived at the bottom of the buildings, we could hear Alsatian music and two minutes later we were near tables where kougelhopfs were.
How many are we going to take ? Small, middle size, big ? Two big, please, and two slices to eat right now !
These kougelhopfs are good, really good. In Haut-Barr castle they made hundreds and at about 5 pm there wasn't any left !
I have checked the spelling of kougelhopf. In Saverne it was written kougelhopf, here in Lorraine we tend to write kouglof and there are plenty of other spellings. Now I know.
And I wondered about the shape of the cake. It is the only one I know with this shape. In another town of Alsace, in Ribeauvillé, they say it is made to look like the hat of the Three Wise Men. True, but it depends on the picture you are looking at.