Monday, December 17, 2012

"Oncle Hansi"


Isn't this adorable?
I was drawn to these delightful signs in Colmar, France. 
The village is proud of their artist known simply as "Hansi" or "Oncle Hansi" 


These cute designs represent Alsatian folklore
with a sense of humor and delight!


Post cards everywhere...


Here's an old one I found with a drawing of the hotel we stayed in,
Hotel Maison des Tetes,
with Saint Nicolas in front.





And here is my own personal version of a traditional maiden of Alsace....




Passez une bonne journee'.....
Have a good day!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby, it's cold out-side!

Spectacular but COLD,
Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg after a night of snowfall...
completely restored by Emperor Wilhelm II in 1900.
Imagine tromping around this castle in a suit of shining armor!
Brrrrrrr.....


Oh, baby it's cold outside!



Yes, it is a real dragon! 
 Probably the one that ate naughty children in the surrounding Alsatian villages.




We did not see any dragons on our adventure, but we did have a few sightings of real storks.  This nest was precariously perched atop a rooftop.  
Storks of all sizes could be found in the Christmas markets too!  


Monday, December 10, 2012

Alsatian gastronomy

La Choucroute....Warm sauerkraut topped with sausages, pork shoulder, and poached knuckle of ham, surrounded with steamed potatoes + a chilled glass of Riesling.....
Maybe it was my German heritage but I thought it was just heavenly!



Quiche Lorraine served with a winter salad....
Mary said it was delicious!



Mussels and frites....they may be regarded as the "poor man's shellfish"
but I can't think of anything better!  

   

As for wines, Alsace is gifted with rich soil, perfect for cultivating vineyards responsible for the production of some famous white wines such as GewurztraminerRiesling, and Pinot Blanc . A glass of Gewurztraminer is the perfect complement to Munster Cheese.  
We learned a lot on our wine tasting adventure, specifically which "wed wine goes well wit 
goose foie gras...twy a nice shiwah".  You had to be there!   



Sweets..... what the French are famous for!
Kuqelhopf is a raisin and almond yeast cake, kind of like our Mother's bunt cake!
I must admit, walking by these bakery windows and the smell of fresh baked gingerbread made me want to re-think this gluten free life I'm living! 



Oh, how I envied my friend Roxanne who managed to eat a warm fresh pretzel (with a Coke Lite) every single day!  
I made up for it by tasting the Gl├╝hwein in every market!  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Enchantment in Alsace

Do you believe in Christmas Magic?
~You will by the time you walk with me through these enchanting villages in Alsace, France!
The Christmas markets or Christkindelsmariks of Alsace have attracted locals and visitors since the 16th century, namely Strasbourg and the storybook village we stayed in, Colmar.
Be prepared to be dazzled by the twinkling lights and delightfully decorated shops and restaurants all decked out for the season.  I only hope my pictures can give you a feel for the magic.





Imagine decorating every window.......

Many decorations gave a glimpse of what was inside, like this toy store and linen shop.
And just look at this lane decorated by Baccarat Crystal chandeliers, each protected from the snow that was beginning to fall.







Next blog....the delicious delights of the Alsace region .... I only wish I had a smell-a-photo lens!