Sunday is kind of a rough day to be in some parts of Europe, especially in January. January and February are very much the “off season” in Alsace, so a lot of places are closed. I’m actually kind of glad to be in Alsace in the winter. Yes, a lot of shops and restaurants are closed, but there are no crowds whatsoever and you get a feel for the place as a local might. Bill and I visited Ribeauville for the first time over MLK (Martin Luther King Jr. weekend) weekend in January 2017. I remember how it was then… and then we came back in February of that year. We had meant to bring Parker with us that time, but she was unable to visit because of an unexpected injury. It was interesting to see that some of the places that were closed in January were open again in February, and places that were closed in February were open in January. Anyway, in 2020, it was no different than it was in 2017, although I did notice that a couple of businesses had either closed altogether or changed hands.
Sunday morning, we decided to go to Riquewihr, since it’s super close to Ribeauville and quite touristy. I knew we’d find a few things open and maybe score a nice lunch. As it turned out, we did have a nice meal at La Grappe D’Or, a restaurant I had been wanting to try on previous visits, but we never got around to it due to the dogs. I see from Trip Advisor that this establishment gets mixed reviews. We had a really nice meal there, and I got a kick of all the Michelin bric-a-brac decor.
Here are some photos from lunch…
The family who sat at the table next to us brought a cute little French bulldog in with them. She only got a little bit agitated when someone walked past with an active looking retriever. I really enjoyed La Grappe D’Or. We’ll have to go back there, if we make it back to Riquewihr. We probably will, but you never know what the future holds.
Here are some more photos from our walk around town. Riquewihr was still decked out for Christmas and I was imagining how pretty it is there during the holidays, even if the snow was absent this year.
After a couple of chilly hours walking around Riquewihr, which wasn’t totally dead, but was a lot less populated than usual, we headed back to the gite. We were all pretty tired, and the cloudy weather kind of made us want to hibernate with some wine. Luckily, that’s easy enough to do in Ribeauville, too. I remember the first time we visited Riquewihr, I was really surprised by how beautiful it is. Every time I go back, I am surprised anew. It really is a unique village that, unfortunately, way too many visitors to France miss. I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to visit several times. It never gets old.