Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colmar, a wonderful day trip from Zürich

Colmar, another little gem of a city in the Alsace Region of France and also just hours away from Zürich, was visited on our way back from Strasbourg a few weekends ago. The city has the most lovely Altstadt, or old town, and every new corner is somehow guaranteed to be quainter than the last. A canal runs through the city, offering lovely outlooks from here and there, as well as beautiful reflections of the colorful houses and being that we went in November, in our case, also of the colorful Fall leaves.

We arrived via train (take the fast train to Basel and then the regional train to Colmar - takes 2 hours or so - there is also a TGB to Strasbourg and a direct connection from Colmar to Zürich if you get the timing right) and as the old town was not as clearly marked as we would have liked, so we grabbed a map and were happy to see that the major sites were within 10 minutes of the train station. We enjoyed slowly meandering around the town, catching glimpses of things not on the tourist trail, but finally making our way to the more touristy bits. For a Sunday in a touristy town, it was pretty empty... which made for a really relaxed visit.

Watertower in Colmar

Fall is here!

There were people (presumably tourists) in the small boats on the canal, just gliding along and seeing the sites. I would like to do that if we return to Colmar someday - looked enchanting...

Many of the houses in Colmar are of this wooden beam style - can someone please tell me if this style has an official name?... or do they just call it GORGEOUS?  Then again, when you are inside these houses, they seem a bit wonky! :)

I was surprised to see that while a lot of the shops were closed, being a Sunday and all, many of the restaurants, cafes and bakeries(!) were open. I think that the culinary delights in Colmar are many- there was chocolate, cookies, pastries, cakes and of course Kugelhopfs all over the city. Make sure you come with an appetite! More on what we ate on Friday...

The center of the town is marked by a cathedral, just like Strasbourg, and although this one is not as ornate, I found the sandstone and red brickwork to be just as charming... and I loved the green tiled roof of the side chapel! The city is full of beautiful architecture and photo opportunities really.... Even Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is from Colmar - so there is a miniature Statue of Liberty in town, but we did not see it unfortunately.

All in all - lovely. I think this ranks high on my day-trips from zürich list. If you want more information, Kerrin has done Colmar better justice - especially if its Colmar's culinary pleasures you seek, please visit:

Tomorrow - a public service announcement about the small animals eating your car right now... I am not joking. Until then. :)
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Vanessa said...

Thanks to my husband, I learned last week that a wooden beam-style house is called a "Fachwerkhaus".

Jessica said...

Ahhhhhhhh! Thank you, Vanessa! They are lovely these Fachwerkhäuser... I love them. Thanks for the official name!

Chantal said...

I love the Colmar area. My favorites though were the little towns surrounding it like Eguisheim and Riquewihr. But unfortunately, you need a car to see these. The fabulous thing that we know as Post Buses is only a Swiss thing.

Amanda said...

Fantastic photos! It looks like a lovely place...

kilgette said...

Im Ruhrpott haben wir die Häuser immer "Stockwerk Häuser" genannt :)

Been following along and enjoying, my dear. Best of luck to your new Australian adventures!



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