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May 4, 2003 (Written May 25)

Dear Friends and Families,

May First is a holiday in most of Europe, so for the long weekend, we decided to be European. Marianne called in "sick" and we looked for somewhere easy to reach. We settled on Colmar, a small French town in the Alsace region. It has a reputation for good food, decent wine, and beautiful countryside. We were not disappointed. Here's our photo album:

Loading... After a pleasant drive of a few hours, we found ourselves in a village fair in Neuf-Brisach, just outside of Colmar. This stand specialized in bread loaves big enough for a month.
Loading... While we passed on the huge breads, we did sample "flambees". This is the ubiquitous flat bread that the rest of the world calls "pizza", but with a very thin crust. It was cooked over this portable bar-b-que oven and hit the spot.

Once we made it into Colmar, we searched out and found our hotel. This was a good combination of location, friendliness, and comfort.

We highly recommend: http://www.hotel-saint-martin.com/

Loading... In his tour book, a series we have come to depend on, "Rick Steves" raves about the Isenheim Altarpiece that is the central attraction of the Unterlinden museum in Colmar. He claims it is the best tryptich in all of Europe! I don't know about that, but it is a powerful piece.

The tryptich is made of a carved set of scenes and two double-sided screens that could be changed to reveal scenes appropriate to the liturgical calandar.


Loading... After a morning of museums, we had to take a break and have a glass (or two) of wine in this cafe hanging over the canal. This was a great place to develop a life-sustaining philosophy - or so it seemed at the time after sufficient French wine.
Loading... At night, the same canal was magical. Sure, this is simply a tourism deal, but it works. We enjoyed the look and feel of Colmar.

During the day, we did have to take a spin through the surrounding "wine route" as it connects one cute town after another.


Loading... Kaysersberg was one of the first towns on our route and ended up as a favorite. Here, the town seemed comfortable living side by side with the tourism.
Loading... Ribeauville had surrendered to tourism. Our first clue should have been the buses-only parking lot. Inside the cute walls, "The Bus People" crowded the movie-set town. Not our favorite place, but not bad as bus stops go.


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