Frankfurt / Alsace Overnight Stop

Nov 26th, 2008, 02:05 PM
  #1  
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Frankfurt / Alsace Overnight Stop

We are travelling to Alsace by Car next summer from Frankfurt Airport. We arrive early am and would appreciate recommendations for an overnight stop on the way to Alsace. Was originally thinking of Heidelberg as have fond memories of a trip there in 1968, but latest reports are not too positive. Also thinking of Baden Baden. Any recommendations gratefully received.
robbieb is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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I'm not sure why you want an overnight stay on the way from Frankfurt airport to Alsace: Are you aware that from Frankfurt airport to, say, Colmar, in the middle of Alsace takes less than 3 hours by car? If you arrive in Frankfurt in the early am, you could be in Colmar quite easily for an early lunch!
adeben is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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What are you looking for in that overnight place you're asking for? There must be a reason why you don't just drive to the Alsace, where you can be by mid-morning if you leave in the early AM. So why stop overnight on the way, what is it you're looking for? Then maybe we can help?

Check the roads and distances at www.viamichelin.com
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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Ditto the other responder's thoughts.

If had to spend a day between the two places because a Gite was not available till the second day, I would head west from Frankfurt and stay on the Mosel or Rhine (I prefer the Mosel).

We drove through the Black Forest in the late 70s on our very first trip to Europe (when "everything" was wonderful, because we had never seen anything like it before) and I could not find much at all interesting about the Black Forest or Baden Baden. Loved the Mosel (returned twice).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Upon arrival at the Frankfurt Airport, I'd take the train directly to Strasbourg. (2 hours 10 minutes with only 1 or 2 stops)

Spend a day or two or whatever visiting Strasbourg, then rent your car from there.

You'll avoid the FRA airport surcharges, too.
NanBug is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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If you have a day to spare, why not go spend it at the Titisee (Neustadt) in the Black Forest? Or go see Le Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp? Or stop in Strasbourg and eat to your heart's content - it rivals Lyon as the gastronomic provincial leader.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 08:09 PM
  #7  
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We wanted to spend some time in/around the Black Forest or perhaps Heidelberg before arriving in Alsace where we are spending around 7 days (first stop Eguisheim) before picking up a river cruise from Tier to Budapest.

Other factor is that we are travelling from Australia which is a long trip and therefore the closer the better.
robbieb is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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I have travelled regularly from Melbourne to Frankfurt, and the drive from the airport to Eguisheim (pronounced Egg-is-hime) is almost exactly three hours on excellent, well-signposted roads. I'd repeat my suggestion that a stop between Frankfurt and Eguisheim is a waste of time unless there is some place that you REALLY want to see, something not indicated by your posts.If you have seven days in Alsace, then a drive across the Rhine to the Black Forest area is a very easy day trip.
On your trip over the Rhine, try to find time to visit Freiburg im Breisgau, one of the most pleasant cities in Germany.
Over the years, I've spent a total of about nine months living in Alsace, and can offer advice about the area, if you will nominate your particular interests.
adeben is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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Hello Abeden

Many thanks for the advice and any further information on Alsace would be much appreciated. We are very much interested in the local wines and wineries and also good local food and restaurants. We plan to stay in Eguisheim, Kaysersberg and Bergheim - all for two nights.
robbieb is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 12:15 AM
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I lived in Alsace near Kaysersberg some years ago, and am somewhat familiar with the area. Here are some restaurants near the three places at which you will be staying that I can recommend from experience:
For 'normal' (but excellent) meals:
Wetterers at Basses-Huttes
Faude at La Poutroie
Winstub Au Sommelier at Bergheim
A L'Arbre Verte at Ammerschwihr
Relais Des Menetriers at Ribeauville
Auberge de Pere Floranc at Wettolsheim
For lunch:
Caveau Morakopf at Niedermorschwihr
Aux Trois Merles in Ammerschwihr
For Fine Dining:
Maximiliens at Zellenberg (one star)
Philippe Bohrer at Rouffach (one star)
For one of the best meals in France:
Auberge De L'Ill at Illhaeusern (three stars)

Le Chambard in Kaysersberg is the kind of restaurant that appealed more to me than it did to my wife. It is a "grand room" of a slightly old-fashioned style, and quite formal in service. The meal was fine, but the whole experience was perhaps more expensive than it merited.
When you are staying in Kaysersberg, I would highly recommend the short drive to the small near-by (about 10k) village of Zellenberg, where Maximiliens is located. This was an excellent establishment with great food and service, and a friendly ambience that was enhanced by wonderful views over the vineyards to the Vosges Mountains. The restaurant well deserved its Michelin star.
The other restaurants we visited in Kaysersberg were La Vieille Forge (quite OK), and Au Lion D'Or, where we had one excellent meal, and the second less so. We ate inside the first time, and outside the second, so there might be a lesson there.
In Eguisheim, we have eaten well at the Caveau D'Eguisheim, Au Vieux Porche, and La Grangeliere. Each is cheaper at lunchtime, which is the general rule everywhere in France, it seems.
On the wine front, Alsace whites are excellent with their fame resting on riesling and gewurztraminer: these are clearly my favourites, though my wife is partial to pinot gris! Life is too short to drink anything other than Grand Cru, so I tasted wines from many of the Alsace Grand Cru areas while I was there.
There are three levels of such wines:
1* Grand Cru: wines made from a particular vineyard located in a designated Grand Cru area.
2* Vendanges Tardives: wines made from a Grand Cru vineyard that has been affected by botrytis.
3* Selection de Grains Nobles: wines made from botyrytis-affected grape bunches which are hand-selected from a Grand Cru vineyard.
Each level is successively luscious, and more expensive!
Top producer in Alsace is probably Marcel Diess, and his Cave is located in Bergheim on the left-hand side of the road as you exit towards Ribeauville. He has vineyards in several different Grand Cru areas (e.g. Altenberg, Schoenenbourg etc) and the effects of different terroir can easily be detected in a tasting. The tasting room staff speak English.
Leon Boesch is located on the left-hand side of the road that leads from near Rouffach to Soultzmatt. Grand Cru riesling here cost about €15 or less.
Zind Humbrecht is another top producer, and is in Turckheim on the Colmar Road.
Leon Beyer is in the centre square at Eguisheim.
Hugel & Fils, and Dopff are in the centre of the village of Riquewihr, and each has excellent tasting facilities. (A word of caution: Riquewihr is most picturesque, and, due to its proximity to Germany, is allegedly the most visited village in France. The number of buses parked on the outskirts of the village on any day has to be seen to be disbelieved!)
The other recognized top producer is Colette Faller et ses Filles, but the vineyard, at Kaysersberg, can be visited only by appointment. However, her wines are on the wine list at Wetterers at Basses-Huttes, something I discovered quite by accident.
You may have deduced that I had a fine time in Alsace, and you'd be correct!
adeben is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Adaben many thanks for the brilliant information. I have a reasonable knowledge of Alsace wines and get them whenever I can if reasonably priced. I once attended a tasting in London with the great Jean Hugel which was an experience. When we are there I'll defintely follow your advice and go for the Grand Cru's.
robbieb is offline  

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