On Sunday, the travelling librarians headed out of Strasbourg for a day trip to the historic towns of Colmar and Bergheim and Haut-Koenigsbourg castle. We hit the road with Rudolphe the bus driver and Yves the tour guide.
Yves had taken us on a walking tour of Strasbourg the previous day and I could fill a whole blog post with his fabulousness.
A Parisian by birth, he has lived in Strasbourg for 35 years. As well as being knowledgeable and informative on the history, culture and contemporary issues of France and the Alsace region, he has a tinder-dry sense of humour, an expressive manner of speaking, and – I have to say it – a wee dash of chauvinism. On being corrected that we are actually from Australia, not Britain: “Oh. You are Australian. I suppose that is important”. After the first of many snide comments about Germans: “Well. I suppose I should be more European.” When someone asked what the French think of the Swiss: “We don’t think of them”. Everything was either a “treasurrrre” / “verrry surrrmptuous” / “verrry sweet”, or a bit rubbish compared to Paris. Our group now delights in talking down every art gallery and museum (“It is not verrry good”) in honour of Yves.
Our first stop was Colmar. A highway roundabout in the light-industrial town fringe is enlivened by a 12-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty, designed by local Colmar boy, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.
We drove into a leafy residential area and disembarked from the bus next to a bridge. Looking over the bridge, this is what we saw:
I mean, seriously. Could you get any more picturesque?
Here are a selection of images of this very photogenic town. I’ll save Bergheim and Haut-Koenigsbourg for another post.