For M’s second birthday celebration we decided to commemorate the day by renting a car! He just turned 25 and we no longer had to deal with the young driver fee.
We rented the smallest car they offered, packed a few suit cases and headed south to wherever the road took us! Which thrilled me, but since M was driving it stressed him out a bit driving stick with absolutely no direction….anyways, we continued.
We drove along the wine route, amazed at how beautiful these little towns were. Surrounded by grape vines, hills, and a certain sunshine that seemed to follow them. We drove past a sign that said, “Monastery”. We followed the signs to the top of a quiet mountain.
Then we walked around the monastery, looked over the mountains and plush clouds. Realizing…just then…I definitely did not pack warm enough clothes. We hurried along and took it all in. Tried to look into the church but a service was going on. On a Friday afternoon, on the top of a mountain. I have to say, I was pretty surprised by the number of people willing to make the drive.
The rest of our weekend consisted or trying to read maps and figure out the best scenic path. Some sites worth mentioning:
Traveling along the eastern French boarder you will find beautiful vineyards, rolling hills, small towns, and a castle every once in a while. The last attraction you would expect to see is a forest full of monkeys. But after traveling about 1/2 way down the wine route you drive up a hill to a forest, FILLED with monkeys! We were given some popcorn and for the next hour we fed, swooned, and watched the adorable little balls of fur swing around the tree tops.
Aslace is an especially interesting region in France. This is primarily due to its history with Germany. While the region has bounced back and forth between Germany and France, it was also a prime collision point between the two militaries during WWI and WWII. Towards the bottom of the wine route is a preserved battle ground from WWI that was then turned into a memorial and cemetery.
You first start at the memorial and then are lead down a massive hill, filled with graves of the French lives lost in that region. After you make your way past the cemetery you can walk around the bunkers and battle grounds of those who fought. There are still remnants of barbed wire, bunkers,
Towards the end of our road trip of the wine route we decided to spend the night in Riquewihr. Known for being a well preserved little town surrounded by grape vines, we drove in and arrived at our hotel. Hotel De La Couronne was built as a hotel in 1550. Many of the furnishings you will find in your room will be the original furniture from when it first opened. Which certainly makes you feel like you are back in the day. Fortunately, the mattress is new. The hotel is situated right on the most beautiful street in Riquewihr.
After settling in we wondered up and down the street. We enjoyed wine and liquor tasting. Bought some Aslacian Macaroons and took plenty of photos.