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Colmar, France and surrounding towns….

From Interlaken we caught the train to Colmar in France. The train is a great way of travelling through these parts of Europe for that matter especially in the winter where the chances of flights being affected by snow is likely. We arrived by midday and very conveniently our hotel, Hotel Bristol was located just across the road from the station.

The street and park were beautifully covered in white

The street and parks were beautifully covered in white

The walk to Old Town (which is where all the action is), was a 20 minute walk from our hotel and for the three days we were there, snow fell heavily.

As you can see it got quite chilli in this town

As you can see it got quite chilli in this town

When visiting Europe at this time of year there are Christmas Markets everywhere and they are well worth seeing. There were 5 different markets in Colmar, all just slightly different and there is plenty to buy but with limited bag space, our purchases were usually edible.

Christmas Markets are everywhere!!!

Christmas Markets are everywhere!!!

Gluhwein was a popular product as was crepes, gingerbread, sausages, macarones and spetzler.

Some stalls had Macarones. Which are a fancy French biscuit with jam in the middle...

Macarones are a fancy French biscuits with jam in the middle... Most people who have been to Paris will recognise these treats.

The streets of Colmar are quaint and there are some beautiful shops to visit. We had a couple of days to explore which was enough without being too much…

A beautiful canal running through Colmar

A beautiful canal running through Colmar

There are also some interesting towns around Colmar that are worth exploring as well. We hired a car (make sure you ask for one that’s not covered in snow) and drove to Mulhouse which is an easy 1.5-2hr drive away (if you don’t get lost).

It took Mike a while to find the car in the first place then a while for us to make it road worthy. It was through Avis in case you were wondering!!

It took Mike a while to find the car in the first place then a while for us to make it road worthy. It was through Avis in case you were wondering!!

Here we visited more Christmas Markets but saved the bulk of the day for Cité de l’Automobile – the enormous Vintage Car Museum founded byu a guy called Fritz Schlumpf. Even if you are not into cars, you will enjoy this museum. The exhibition starts with the very first cars to be invented and follow through to some of the most modern. There are about 2000 cars on display so you may want to allow about 6 hours to get through it all. We could have left Mike there for a week.

This museum has hundreds of cars starting with cars like this that among the first cars ever built...

This museum has hundreds of cars starting with cars like this Bugati that were among the first cars ever built...

Also stylish machines like this one...

Also stylish makes like this Green Machine...

This is pretty stylish we reckon...

Its great to see order and style in which the car evolved.

Mulhouse is also home to the Cité du Train –  so if you like trains too perhaps allow another day. We didn’t feel the need to spend a day with trains.

From Mulhouse we drove onto Turkheim and followed a recommendation from Leonie’s friend to enjoy dinner at Hotel des Vosges.

The town of Turkheim is really small but very cute and for Christmas they go all out with the decorations. This included the largest  ’12 days of Christmas’ life size Advent Calendar and Nativity Scene.

The 12 days of Christmas Advent Calendar

The 12 days of Christmas Advent Calendar - life size

A very impressive Nativity Scene

A very impressive Nativity Scene

Dinner at Hotel Des Vosges (www.hoteldesvosges) included some delicious French cuisine. If you want to stay in Turkheim as well, then this could well be the place. We met a family from the Netherlands who spent 3 weeks every Christmas at this hotel and had done so for the past 20 years.

Poisson Tre Bien

Poisson Tre Bien

et Poulet...

et Poulet...

Always room for dessert...

Always room for dessert especially when its this good...

Following dinner we were back in the car to Colmar and packing our bags for the next destination, Paris for New Years Eve!!!!

Check out more photos of Colmar and surrounds below…

  • Mike Nolan

    What magical memories of Mulhouse & Colmar !!!!
    Absolutely terrific images which capture the cars, the cold & the Christmas Markets.
    So glad that you are now catching up.
    Love,
    MDN

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