France Wine Country-April 2019

Recently we decided to take in the wine regions in France with our neighbors and often travel companions.  We told them to trust us and we would book a fabulous affordable trip.  They were all in.  After booking round trip airfare to Paris, we began to make the trip come to life.  First stop was Paris for a few days to get over any jetlag. We stayed this time in Montmartre, as we enjoy seeing the artists at work near Sacre Coeur and to stop at one of our favorite restaurants Chez Eugene to enjoy a bowl of French Onion soup.  We also enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Moulin Rouge for dinner and a show.  Unfortunately, the same night that the fire destroyed a portion of Notre Dame.  It is very sad that tourist won’t be able to enjoy the Cathedral for many years, as that was always a highlight on our trips to Paris.  We had booked a train to take us from Paris to Colmar.  Arriving in Colmar we had planned to pick up a rental car from AVIS at the train station.  This time, unlike the last time in Colmar, we came prepared with the Google Translate app on our phone.  The agent at the station speaks very little English, so with the app we were able to speak into it and it translated to her in French, everybody was happy.  We had told our neighbors we had booked a place in a beautiful little village named Riquewihr, only a 20-minute drive from the train station, through VRBO .  It was a two-bedroom, 2 bath, full kitchen apartment for the week.  The villages in this area should be on everyone’s bucket list, especially if you enjoy white wines and pinot noir.  The apartment we stayed in was a historical property built in 1580.  The property faces the famous Schoenenbourg Grand Cru vineyard, producing some of the best Alsace wine.  From Riquewihr we visited neighboring villages: Kayserberg, Turkheim, Eguisheim even a trip back to Colmar to take in the Easter Market. You can’t stay in the Alsace region without a day trip to Freiburg Germany, stopping by to see the Audie Murphy Memorial on the way.  While in Freiburg, we took in the local market near The Freiburger Munster and stopping by Kastaniengarten for a beer and a beautiful view of the city (if you’re not up to the hike you can use the elevator in the restaurant Greiffenegg-Schlossle at the bottom of the hill).  Next up, train ride to Avignon for our favorite red wine region…woo hoo.  Staying at the Hotel de l’Horloge in the heart of Avignon was a short walk from the train station and close to several sites; Pope’s Palace, Pont d’ Avignon Bridge and several restaurants.  While staying in Avignon we decided to rent a car for two days to do a couple day trips.  First up was Arles, a city on the Rhone river, once a provincial capital of ancient Rome. We wondered the streets and looked at the ruins.  Next up we headed to the Carrieres de Lumieres,  to see the new Van Gogh exhibit, which runs until January 5, 2020, it is a digital exhibition on the walls of an old rock quarry located outside of Les Baux-de-Provence, approximately 40 minutes outside of Avignon.  For red wine lovers like myself, you do not want to miss Chateauneuf-du-Pape only a short 30-minute drive from Avignon.  The red wine from this area is fabulous and most of the wine tasting is free…that’s right, no charge.  Needless to say, I brought many bottles home from here.  We decided to take a day trip down to Marseille by train, due to all the hype on how beautiful the city was.  Well honestly, we were not to impressed sorry to say, maybe I was hoping for something so much more.  We decided to do the Hop On…Hop Off bus to see as much as we could and then had lunch at the harbor before returning to Avignon.  Not a day wasted, but now Marseille is checked off the bucket list.  We returned back to Paris by train once again.  One last visit to the Eiffel tower to get some pictures.  The Eiffel tower has changed a lot since our first visit, it is now protected with 15′ bullet/terrorist proof glass around the perimeter, kind of sad that the world has come to this.

2 thoughts on “France Wine Country-April 2019”

  1. Beautiful photos and an enjoyable write up. It read like a book. I could envision your wines and sights.

  2. We accompanied Ken and Christie on this Alsace adventure. It was a blast. It’s one of those trips that one would enjoy taking again. They did a fabulous job planning and setting everything up, as usual!

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