Christkindelsmärik, Strasbourg

Alsace: a winter’s tale

As the weather turns cooler, thoughts turn to winter breaks. For many, that means skiing. However, I’ve never fancied the slopes – a day on the piste is a couple of letters away from holding any attraction for me.

A long weekend in Alsace might be a possibility, though.

I’ve wanted to go to the region for a long time. Its history – at times French, at times German – will make for a fascinating experience, I’m sure.

It’s said that the region borrows the best from both France and Germany. I have lived in France and Germany and speak the two languages, but I have never been to Alsace. As a linguist, it will be interesting to hear the impact of the region’s proximity to Germany on the local dialect.

“As a linguist, it will be interesting to hear the impact of the region’s proximity to Germany on the local dialect”

I used to work as a journalist specialising in EU affairs, but I always seemed to get the press trips to the European Parliament in Brussels, never to the one in Strasbourg. It looks like I will have to do that under my own steam. The coming months would be a good time to go. The city’s Christmas market – or Christkindelsmärik – dates back at 1570 and is reputed to be first rate.

With winter on the way, the hearty fare on offer will be very welcome too.

I must admit that I have to be in the right mood for Alsatian wines, though. I have always found them a bit sweet for my tastes. It’s probably fair to say, however, that the wines on sale there are likely to be better than the ones exported to the British supermarkets.

I am due to spend two weeks in south west France over Christmas and New Year, so there’s a question mark over, whether I can squeeze in a trip to Alsace. We’ll have to see.

This entry was published on Friday, 17 October 2014 at 07:14. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Alsace: a winter’s tale

  1. carlsonprock on said:

    I highly, highly recommend you squeeze in that trip to Alsace. We had a wonderful time there. We stayed in the small town/village of Turkheim for just shy of three weeks. Our vacation rental hosts were incredibly welcoming and shared so much of their history and culture with us. You are right to say that the history is fascinating. The grandfather of our host changed citizenship 5 times during his lifetime and it wasn’t by choice. If you’re interested, google “malgre nous”. It will give you a good idea of the Alsacians mindset.
    Regarding the wine, our hosts owned a number of vineyards. We toured their vineyards and tasted the wine. Interestingly enough, not sweet as we had expected. We were very pleased.
    If you’re interested, here are some posts I did on Alsace. Some of them are a little touristy (my niece and nephew were traveling with us and many of the posts were for them). You may find some nuggets though that are interesting.
    http://frenchpresse.wordpress.com/category/all-destinations/alsace/
    If you have any questions about Alsace let me know. I’m happy to share.

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