San G./Colmar/Brugge/ Rothenburg

Apr 15th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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San G./Colmar/Brugge/ Rothenburg

Which of the following small towns is most enjoyable?
San Gimignano
Apr 15th, 2002, 11:28 AM
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Apr 15th, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Went to Brugge and Rothenburg last year. Liked both, but found I needed to put Brugge on this years itinerary, too. I think it's the canals...
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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Thanks Liz, any other comments?
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:16 PM
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I've never been to San G., so can only comment on the others ... all of which I enjoyed. But, if the question posed rules out daytrips, Bruges tops the list. If you have a car and take daytrips into consideration, Colmar *might* tie because the Alsatian villages are so charming.
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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Would Colmar not be worth an overnight visit?
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:28 PM
Mary Ann
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Have been to Brugge, Colmar and Rothenburg.
We are planning our 3rd trip to spend a night in Rothenburg. There is the wall to walk, the churches, tower, the night watchmans tour, shopping, the gardens. We usually spend a day and really enjoy it.
Were in Brugge in 1997, enjoyed it but not as much as Rothenburg. I think because Rothenburg is smaller and we use it to unwind from the trip over a nice easy going city. Brugge is larger, there are the canals, shopping, beer pubs, belgian waffles and markets.
Colmar we stopped only for a lunch. It was very picturesque, never found the shopping there or as much to do.
I am not sure if this helps but Michelin lists Rothenburg as a must see!!
Have a wonderful trip.
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:53 PM
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Please continue, the responses are helping me clarify what each place is like and what it has to offer.
Apr 15th, 2002, 02:10 PM
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Xman, yes, Colmar was a charming town at night and well worth at least 1 night (we stayed only 2 and were sorry to go). We went in the latter part of May 2000 and there were virtually no tourists (perhaps too early or because we stayed on weeknights?). We would drive around the villages and come "home" to Colmar at night for great food, lots of walking, and really felt comfortable.

This is why picking "favorites" or "bests" never works for me. Of the 3 I've visited, all rank very high on my list of "return someday" places. Plus, I just noticed that my ranking of Bruges, Colmar, Rothenburg mirrors my most to least recent visits. Perhaps the latest memories are the best?

Bruges' old taverns (pubs? what do they call them) with 100s of delicious beer choices, the easy rambling, the Michaelangelo, the chocolate, the food, art, canal boat tours, charming people, etc. all won me over last summer.

Clueless, you have some great choices to make ... planning a trip soon?
Apr 15th, 2002, 02:41 PM
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10/4 Heather from Chictown.
YOur comment about staying in Colmar as a base and driving around to small villages during the day is exactly what I had planned, however, this board has not praised Colmar so I began to fear going there.
Apr 15th, 2002, 02:59 PM
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Clueless, well, maybe I'm too easy to please, but I found Colmar very enjoyable. I didn't realize that that was your original plan, but I wouldn't change it at all.

The only difficulty of Colmar (for us) was that our accomodations were a bear to find the first night (plus it was pouring down rain). Other than that, it was perfect. Maybe we caught the town at just the right time ... not crowded, pleasant weather ... but we wished we had stayed longer. At night, we kept returning to Cafe Schwendi (spell?) and enjoying good food and great atmosphere for a really decent price. We'd stroll around before and/or after dinner, window-peeking, working off the day's fare, and enjoying the town. The people were quite nice and we stayed in a very modest (and extremely inexpensive) room in a home owned by a family that's been making wine for 100s of years. The matriarch of the family plied us with tastes of their wines and insisted on giving us 2 bottles and some beautiful labels when we left. I think we paid $25/night for 2. She even came out in the rain to fetch us the first night when we got lost.

If you would like any more info, just let me know. But, I can't imagine that you would be disappointed staying in Colmar.
Apr 15th, 2002, 03:25 PM
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ABSOLUTELY! You found my price range! 0 to Free - or maybe $25. Tenative plan is to fly into Stuttgart around Christmas and head for Rothenburg od tauber for the markets. One or two nights then onto Alsace (colmar) two to three nights. Daytripping from Colmar. Then onto Lucerne for 3 to four days. So far off that I'm absorbing info to tweak plans. Have been to San G., Roth., and Brugge and loved them. Heard so much indifference toward Colmar hear that I thought it a mistake to go there, thus the question about the four towns - wanted to find out if Colmar is what I think it is (like the others).
More info appreciated about place you stayed, nearby towns etc.
Apr 15th, 2002, 03:40 PM
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I would not recommend Colmar unless you do not mind huge crowds. We have made three trips to Colmar-two in May and one in October. Unless you have a room already, it is difficult to get a room in Colmar at the last minute. When we were there the town was full of Germans and others.
Apr 16th, 2002, 06:10 AM
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Clueless, Gretchen may be the better example of Colmar. We just weren't around much during the day, so may have missed all of the crowds. But, if you're planning to drive the Route du Vin all day, it may be the same for you.

Anyway, I searched for my old trip report and found:

"Must-see villages are St Hippolite, Riquewihr, Ribeauville and Eguisheim. There are places to stay in all of the villages and through the countryside, so you can pretty much make up your itinerary as you go.

"We really like all of the restaurants we picked, including: Cafe Swendi in Colmar, La Flammerie in Ribeauville (delicious La Strudel <<Facon du Chef>> ... HUGE portion), and Le Caveau Bacchus in Eguisheim.

"We hiked up to the chateux ruins outside of Eguisheim and the views are spectacular!"

Let me try to locate the contact info on where we stayed. I know that it's *somewhere* in travel notes at home.

The weather was gorgeous when we visited, even though it was a bit cool the sun was shining and virtually no other visitors. One of my favorite memories was on a cool morning of wandering in Ribeauville we came across a stand selling fresh-baked, warm macaroons. A woman was giving out free samples, but, of course, we ended buying a whole bag of mixed flavors after the first bite. Something about a cool sunny morning and warm macaroons in Alsace really made an impression.

Anyway ... enough travel daydreaming! I'll look up the info and repost later.

Since you'll be in Alsace around Christmas, I recall someone posting a couple of years ago about the fabulous Christmas market and festivites in Strasbourg. Being the link packrat that I am ... Sorry, but I couldn't locate a more recent link. This is one trip that I hope to make someday.

And, since you'll be in Rothenburg, I'll put in a good word for where a friend and I stayed in '99: Gerberhaus []. The site lists singles as 43-56 Euros. It's very nice with a terrific breakfast buffet included.
Apr 17th, 2002, 06:15 AM
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Clueless, if you're still out there and interested, the place we stayed in Colmar is:

Maison Jund
12 rue de l'Ange
phone 03 89 41 58 72
fax 03 89 23 15 83
email [email protected]

(The contact info was accurate as of 2000.)
Apr 17th, 2002, 08:03 AM
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I can only comment on San G. During the day there are lots of tourists who leave on busses in the early evening. That's why it's best to spend the night..they town feels almost empty. I think it's a beautiful walled city with a few of the original 72 (?) towers left, which you can climb to the top of to get an incredible view of the Tuscan countryside. Because of the tourists, there are lots of shops but only a few cafes that I saw. The piazza is small but with a beautiful church as the centerpiece. We stayed at Hotel L’Antico Pozzo (Via S. Matteo, 87). I thought this was a lovely hotel.

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