Alsace Route de vin

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Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:27 AM
  #1
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Alsace Route de vin

I am an American thinking about doing the Alsace region in spring. I understand that not many American tourist go to this area.

We like that and like to go to out of the way places. Do you think that a American couple who love people can get by ok in Alsace and the route de vin?

Any suggestions on 2 cute towns to stay in?
Thanks
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:57 AM
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Of course you can get by in Alsace. It's a wonderful part of France, and I am sure that you will enjoy it.

All of the towns along the route are very attractive, and you would not go wrong staying in any of them. Riquewihr is perhaps the most well known and a must-see, but you would be better staying in a town such as Obernai, Ribeauvillé, Eguisheim or Kaysersberg.

Take the time as well to drive up into the Vosges mountains, perhaps along the Route des Crêtes, and don't miss visiting Strasbourg and Colmar.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:58 AM
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In answer to your firstpart of the question - YES OF COURSE.

I once did a wine tour through the Jura region ending in Besacon and Belfort - you are correct you probably won't run into any Amercians.
We stopped at a small cafe for lunch and the young girl who worked in her family's cafe said she had never met anyone from America - she was a delight - and wanted to stow away with us!

I am sory I can't give you any names of towns to stay in - I just wanted to lend my encouragesment to your trip.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:59 AM
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The people of Alsace are very friendly and welcoming regardless of your race.

We've driven to and within Alsace numerous times and the world-class wines, the food, the prettiest villages and the friendly people usually draws us in.

Riquewihr is a very pretty wine town (almost all the towns along the Route de Vin are wine towns), albeit very busy and touristy, but very pretty.

Colmar is a large town with a charming old village/town that is also quite busy.

You'd have more hotels and dining choices in the towns that I mentioned.

For quieter towns but with less lodging options, you can look into Obernai, Ottrot, Eguishem, Ribeauville and a multitude of others.

This is a good website that's quite helpful in planning for Alsace:

www.visit-alsace.com
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:43 AM
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I think you will not be the only Americans on the Alsace Route de Vin; those little towns are very popular.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 06:43 AM
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I don;t know who told you that Americans don;t go to Alsace - but we were there several years ago - both several days in Strasbourg and then a loop down to Colmar and back through a bunch of the villages - and they were all packed with tourists of many nationalities - including lots of Americans.

We esp like Colmar - not tech on the troute - but a beautiful town with much to see and do and Ribeauvillé.

One of the unexpected things we came across was stork refuge. I know it sounds odd but apparently they have always nested in this area and urbanization has reduced their opportunities - so they built this refuge. Huge - and amazing - birds.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 07:48 AM
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HI--as I have said often on this board, we went to Strasbourg in mid-March of last year and loved it!! We took a simple day trip by local train to Obernai, on one of our days there, and strolled the town. We did not have a car and it was before flowers were in bloom. It would be even more lovely later in the spring. We stayed in the city at the hotel Rohan, recommended by grandmere, among others, and it was a wonderful trip. I do not, however, think you will find it "out of the way", altho we did see more European tourists and very few Americans, but as I said, it was "pre-season". Here is a website you might find useful...

http://www.visit-alsace.com/home_ang.html
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 07:49 AM
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Thanks everyone! I just read a lot of post that said there were not many Americans in this area.It also sounds like a beautiful place to see! Thanks
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 01:34 PM
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My husband and I had a wonderful stay in the Alsace in September 2003. We used Obernai as a base for two days and Ribeauville for five days.

We visited most of the other towns, including Colmar, which has a museum -- the Musee d'Unterlinden -- that is absolutely unforgettable.

One of the best parts of being in the Alsace was the hiking up to chateau ruins. The views are spectacular, especially from the ruins of Chateau Saint Ulrich in Ribeauville.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Hi John,

Below is a cut and paste link to a blog (aka trip report) on my trip to four countries in September 2003 (including Alsace). It includes pictures. If you want to skip the rest, the Alsace portion is Day 3 and Day 4.
Enjoy!

http://travelswithmaitaitom.typepad.com/travels/
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Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:55 AM
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My wife, son & I spent a week in Alsace in April 1999. From what I recall, you could stay in any town - they are typically all striking. I recommend a gite -rented by the week, and use it as a base to make day trips up and down. Yes, go to Strasbourg. And, even though it's a few hours away, Freiburg in Germany is also lovely. We liked it so much we stayed overnight, even though we had the gite. And if you like cars, visit the car museum in (I think) Mulhouse -- where Bugattis were made. It has 100+ autos, and not not one from America!
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Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Dear Tracy and Tom, Are you still married? Great trip report, thanks all of you.

Has anyone stayed at hotel Saint Nicolas in Riquewihr?
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Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:11 PM
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We stayed at Saint Nicolas in Riquewihr about 3 years ago.

Having stayed in different hotels in Alsace, this one is not that different from all the half-timber structure that all houses and establishments are made of. It's in the middle of the town, large rooms, basic amenities, clean bathrooms, sufficiently comfortable and a restaurant at the ground floor. There are lots of restaurants and small shops within 10 minute walking distance from the hotel. There's a boulangerie right in front of the hotel that will wake you up withsome of the most appealing aromaof fresh-ly-baked goodsin the morning - it'll be busy in the morning with locals getting their fresh baguets and croissants.

Good luck.
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Jun 24th, 2005, 02:50 AM
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b_b, Is this a good choice or would you suggest a nother hotel?
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Jun 24th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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It's a good choice.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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"Dear Tracy and Tom, Are you still married? Great trip report, thanks all of you."

John, amazingly she stayed with me after the trip (although she had sneaky-cow nightmares for awhile upon our return) and we're off to Italy for three weeks in September. I think you'll like the Routes de Vins. Have fun.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Yes, johnb, you'll do fine in Alsace. It's a very fetching area, and I'm sure you'll warm up to the locals without any problems.

Riquewihr is actually too "cute" for my taste. I like some of the less visited, more "authentic" towns in the Alsace region, like Obernai and Sélestat and Dambach-la-Ville.

I used to spend a lot of time in Alsace, and except when I was there in the dead of winter, there were always plenty of Americans. It's a very popular destination for people of many nationalities.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 01:49 PM
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How happy I am to see someone mention Dambach-la-Ville. StCirq, is it still a quiet as I remember? It is one of my fondest memories of travel in France. We stayed at the Raisin d'Or and used the train to visit the other towns, but were grateful at the end of each day to return to this then 'undiscovered' gem. J.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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I haven't been back to the Alsace region for several years, jmw44, but I'd like to think that Dambach hasn't been discovered. It was truly a lovely little village.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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I went to Alsace this past March and absolutely loved it. I especially enjoyed Colmar. In fact, I found it to be a much nicer place than Strasbourg- it's smaller, more beautiful, and safer.

As far as Americans go, I do recall hearing people speaking English in Alsace- Americans & Brits (of course Alsace isn't nearly as popular a destination with Americans as Paris, but still...). You'll also hear a lot of German. If you know a little bit of German you'll be able to get by just fine if you don't speak French. At one of the restaurants I ate at in Colmar the waitress switched back and forth from the two languages as she went from table to table. Definitely an interesting mix of French and German culture is to be found in Alsace. Gorgeous architecture.

Bon voyage!
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