Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Western Europe: France - Colourful 3 days in Colmar


Many moons ago, on off my eldest sister and BIL would organise some weekend trips which I happily tagged along. One of the places was Colmar Tropicale. Colmar Tropicale is a French-themed village and hotel located in Berjaya Hill Resorts in Bukit Tinggi. I have not googled this prior to this but knowing of a place in France called Colmar, I have a hunch that Colmar Tropicale was probably inspired by this beautiful town.

Like most people who visited France, Paris was probably their first destination. So was I, but I'm in the other school where I didn't fall head over heels with Paris. I don't feel all the romantic vibes or anything that many people raved about. I'm sorry Paris.

Colmar on the other hand is a different story. Colmar is beautiful, charming, colourful and not snobbish. One may argued that Colmar probably has German influence, with older age locals speak Alsatian which is German dialect. In addition the city changed hands from French to German, then French again after WW1 and was annexed by Nazi Germany before reverted back to French in 1945. Regardless Colmar is a city in France, and it is a city that make me rethink France in a very good way.


Getting to Colmar from Freiburg is easy. I took a train to Breisach and from there transferred to a bus #1076. One way ticket from Freiburg to Breisach was €5.70 and one way bus ticket costs €5.20. There was a spot in the middle of the bus for bags storage. When we were about to cross the border, the bus driver made an announcement and say "Goodbye Germany" and "Hello France".

I emailed Maison Martin Jund following recommendation from Paul for my stay in Colmar. Unfortunately for me, the cheapest room they have always not available but the room that they offered me was still at a very reasonable price so I took it. It was a very spacious room, complete with kitchenette.




They also offer breakfast option for €8. I was curious of the breakfast so I opted for breakfast for day 1. I bought a bag of muesli, small bottle of milk and yoghurt from Miniprix for breakfast the remaining 2 days.


First order of the day was Unterlinden Museum which was a former 13th century convent and now home to the Retable d'Issenheim (Isenheim Altarpiece). It is obvious that this is the star attraction even to me, the art idiot, given the long explanation on the audio guide and of course it was a masterpiece.



For lunch, I went for a mushroom cheese crepe. Err... when in France, eat crepes? Haha


Being a fan of Miyazaki's animation and Howl's Moving Castle is wayyy up there in the favourite list, Colmar is a treat :)

Maison Pfister
Also the very striking Église Saint-Martin and the nearby Église des Dominicains.


However most of the tourists probably flocked to Petite Venise (Little Venice quarter). It doesn't feel like Venice to me, the only resemblance were presence of canals but I supposed Venice was just a little more famous comparatively. It really wasn't a bad thing, maybe just means I get to enjoy this place with slightly lesser people. Hopefully. Just slightly I reckon.


The right side of the above photo was actually blocked off due to some construction but worry not, still very decent view available. ;)


There's a covered market hall just round the corner. I went in of course, got a yoghurt snack and a little shelter from the sun :P

Even if you disregard the beautiful buildings, which I don't see how one would or could, there are plenty to keep one occupied with the shops.


.... and the tummy happy.

I saw some recommended restaurants on a piece of paper pasted on the door in my room and picked the nearest one from Maison Martin Jund. It was litterally just down the road. So I off I went to Le Petit Schlossberg and had a very yummy baeckaoffa, washed down with a glass of Riesling from Jund ;)
Baeckeoffe is an Alsatian dish made of beer, pork, lamb, vegetable and potato stew, marinated in riesling or pinot blanc and slow-cooked in a ceramic dish.



Being in France means there isn't any shortage of desserts. I randomly walked in to La Cure Gourmande after being offered a sample (haha.. yes, very gullible) but it was good. I came out with 3 different types of biscuits and a madeleine.


Oh and by the way, the creator of NYC Statue of Liberty was a local lad of Colmar, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. There is a mini version of the statue but in a middle of roundabout and a bit far off from the Colmar town. I don't think it is worth a detour for it but coincidentally the bus that I took the next day passed right next to it.


In the meantime I shall watch another round of Howl's Moving Castle. ;)


Side note: Is it Friday yet?

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