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Parker goes to France, part six…

On Tuesday, we were blessed with more sunshine, although the weather was still pretty chilly. After another breakfast starring Ribeauville’s flakiest croissants, we headed south toward Eguisheim. Bill and I last visited there in February 2017, the trip Parker was supposed to join us on, but missed due to a sudden injury. That trip in 2017 was followed by a few days in Burgundy, and remains one of my favorite France jaunts to date. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because of the lunch we had at Caveau Heuhaus in Eguisheim, where I enjoyed creme brûlée lit at the table.

As it turned out, Caveau Heuhaus was one of the few restaurants open in Eguisheim during our visit on Tuesday. So, after we strolled around the old city, which is notable for being a well-preserved medieval village that consists of concentric streets, and visited a couple of churches where Bill had a good cry (sometimes churches move him to tears), we stopped by very gay friendly Caveau Heuhaus for lunch. Here are some photos from before our fantastic midday repast.

We headed to the restaurant after we visited the churches, where we were looked after by a very professional, friendly, English speaking waiter. He seemed to be handling the whole dining room himself and Bill said he remembered him from our visit in February 2017, too, although that time, we had a female server. Bill had a gratin made with the stinky local cheese, Munster. He said it was amazing, though to me, it smelled a bit like ass. Parker had the baeckeoffe (baker’s oven), a casserole popular in Alsace. It typically includes a mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed mutton, beef, and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow-cooked in a bread-dough sealed ceramic casserole dish. I went with potato pancakes and salad.

The first part of the video is Parker seeing Arran for the first time since 2017… then you see her enjoying creme brûlée flaming at the table!

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll back to the parking lot, which has a very clean, well appointed public toilet that costs nothing to use. Germans should take note, although the Germans very kindly offer their Autobahn for free (for now, anyway).

Our next stop was Colmar, a lovely city that Bill and I visited for the first time in October 2014. Unfortunately, that was a place where I was asked a very embarrassing question in a restaurant. We hadn’t been back to Colmar since that visit for Columbus Day weekend in 2014. It was good to be back, if only to see Little Venice and allow Parker the chance to pick up some gifts for her friends back home in Texas. Here are quite a few photos from our brief visit. I actually learned something new during our couple of hours in Colmar. As I walked around the town, I noticed a lot of references to the Statue of Liberty. It turns out that Colmar is where the sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, was born. We could have and should have spent more time in Colmar, so I could erase that memory of being asked if I was pregnant by an obtuse waiter back in 2014.

I was a little sad, realizing that we’d be leaving Alsace yesterday… but I was missing Arran and ready to do some writing. We spent our last night in Ribeauville drinking wine and watching Dirty Dancing on Netflix. Since MIL was a competitive ballroom dancer back in the day, it was a fun movie to watch with her. But it also made me feel ancient, since I was 15 years old when it came out, and I am over three times that old now. 🙁 Time flies!

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Alsace and Burgundy… Eguisheim and Riquewihr! pt. 4

On Tuesday, Bill got up and went to the bakery, where he picked up an Alsatian delicacy.  The Kugelhopf, also served in western Germany, is a light, yeasty marble cake.  I noticed it the last time we visited Ribeauville, but we never got a chance to try it then.  This time, Bill made a special effort to score one for us.

It’s light and not very sweet, despite the optional powdered sugar on top.  There were raisins on the bottom and almonds studded the top.

Bill and I decided to go to Eguisheim, mainly because my Facebook friend Sarah, who left Germany last year, had posted a picture that made it look like a great place to visit.  Eguisheim is just a little bit south of Colmar, but it’s worlds apart in terms of the mood.  The town is positively medieval, with its concentric circles and old timbered homes.  We didn’t really have an agenda in going there, other than to take in the atmosphere and have a good lunch.  We managed to do both.

Right before lunch, we watched more storks.  They were everywhere in Eguisheim!

There were helpful signs all around the town in French, German, and English offering information.

The houses in Eguisheim have coats of arms on them depicting what the person who lived there did for a living.  If you click the photo above this one, you can read about the coat of arms pictured above.

An impressive church.

A couple announcing their marriage.

And a very dramatic work of art.

After we walked around Eguisheim, we found ourselves at a gay friendly restaurant called Caveau Heuhaus.  I only mention the fact that the restaurant is gay friendly because it had a very prominent rainbow flag on the menu posted outside.  I chose the restaurant because it smelled really good and so far, my nose has never let me down.

We walked into the place and I immediately thought the decor reminded me of a yard sale gone amok.  But it was all arranged in a very endearing way.  The restaurant was not full when we sat down, but it was full by the time we got our meals.  Our waitress was extremely charming and didn’t speak much English, but she did speak German!  So that was a bit of a help, although my German is still terrible.

Bill checks out the menu.

This was a special wine of the day.  It was about 20 euros and delicious.

Should have brought some home with us!

I ended up with an entrecote.  It came with frites and garlic butter.  It was perfectly cooked, by far the best steak we had all week.

Bill went with a big plate of meat.  There were two different sausages, three types of bacon, and sauerkraut done French style, along with boiled potatoes.  We also had excellent bread.

For dessert, I had creme brulee.  This restaurant has a very impressive way of serving it.  The waitress brought it to me and lit it at the table.

The flame died down at just the right time!  Bill had coffee because he was too full from his big plate of sausages.

If you come to Eguisheim and are looking for good food, Caveau du Heuhaus is a good bet!  We really enjoyed our meal there.

After we finished lunch, we drove to Riquewihr, which is just a few kilometers from Ribeauville.  I wanted to stop there and pick up some macarons and madeleines, as well as more wine.

On the way into Riquewihr, we were treated to a glorious rainbow over the grapevines.

We visited Riquewihr in July of last year.  It was still somewhat busy in February, but not nearly as much as it was in the summer.  A lot of restaurants and shops were closed.  It was okay.  We still managed to get what we wanted.

We stopped into the Hugel wine shop, where we tasted several lovely local wines.

We happened to be there at the same time as four generations of the Hugel family.  They are pictured outside, as they were posing for a publicity photo.

And I took note of the sign showing how many Facebook likes the Hugel winery has right now.

 

For dinner on our last night in Ribeauville, we stopped at a small wine/beer bar.  I think we got off on the wrong foot with the proprietor because Bill said “Bon jour” instead of “Bon soir.”

Still, I took note of the provocative sign for the local brew and ordered it.

Sans culottes…  the beer caused us to have an interesting conversation about how I was on a forum for fundamentalist Christians and they were looking for culottes.  Someone warned not to searched for them online, since apparently culottes are pornographic in some circles.  As for “sans culottes”, it is apparently a statement about the poor versus the rich.  Poor people did not wear culottes (silk britches) because they couldn’t afford them.  They were for the wealthy.

I wasn’t very hungry, so I had what is known as a flammkuechen here in Germany…  onions, bacon, and cream on a very thin crust.  

Bill had chicken and salad.

 

The proprietor’s attitude toward us seemed to brighten when we praised his cute little granddaughter, who was learning the tricks of the trade at about five years of age (or maybe younger).  She was super charming!

Wednesday morning, we woke up bright and early and packed up for our trip to Burgundy.  Checking out of our gite was super easy.  We just put the key back in the little code operated lockbox by the door.  Later, Yannick sent me a text thanking us for staying with him and wishing us a good trip.  I think we made a new friend in Alsace.

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