January 8, 2010

A Day in Riquewihr

I just love the mornings in Europe. Why you ask? Because in the morning is when you take a walk to the bakery to try and decide which pastry you are going to have today. And today (Nov 12) is extra special because this morning I am in the little village of Riquewihr in the Alsace region of France.

Stijn gives me detailed directions on how to get to the bakery and I am all bundled up and headed out the door of our studio. And you know I didn't leave without my camera!

Well wouldn't you just know it!!! The bakery is closed this week for holiday. No worries though, there should be another one down the street. This is Europe, right?

As I continue walking right down the center of the cobblestone street, my eyes are continually drawn from side to side, up and down.....the architecture is so incredible! And I am going to let you know right now that I have taken entirely way too many pictures for you to see here. So be sure to visit "Where's Debbie" to see all the beautiful pictures I took during my morning walk.

Nothing is open yet, but I'm having fun watching the delivery trucks maneuver their way through these narrow streets to make their deliveries before 10:00am.

Because this region of France is bound to the north by Germany, you will see a lot of German influences here. Not only in the food but even in the little store fronts who are displaying the typical German pretzel.

As I continue my walk in search of a bakery, I repeatably see Storks. Stork magnets, Stork statues, Stork coffee mugs, Stork pictures, restaurants and hotels with Stork signage.

Well it seems that the Stork is the official emblem of the Alsace region. This is an area where the Storks would migrate to in the winter, but then their numbers began to decline and the people of the Alsace took action and created a sanctuary for the birds. Now there is a population of Storks that never leave the area. I've heard that you can see their massive nests weighing up to 500 pounds, resting on top of chimneys and steeples. I am hoping to see one of these before we leave this weekend!

It is evident that there is not another bakery in our little village. We decided then to take a little drive and find ourselves a market where we could purchase some food to have in our little studio.

I must tell you that France has the best supermarkets that I have ever seen. We found another great market called "Cora". Which is actually a Belgium based company. Very similar to "Auchan" with it's huge fresh bread and fresh seafood sections along with the great wine selection. But here you will see the beloved Stork flying above you as you shop the isles.

After shopping we then head back to our studio and enjoy a great lunch of french bread, meats and cheeses before we head out to do some more exploring in this great little village of Riquewihr.

We decided to just stick close to our little hamlet today. So while I have a hot Gluhwein......

.......Stijn takes a look through our trusty book on the Alsace to see what we might like to do tomorrow.

As we head back to our studio, we are enticed by a shop owner for a free sample of "Kugelhopf". A great Alsatian cake that is made with raisins and rum and comes in a variety of sizes. Must have one of these!

Tonight, we have dinner at "Hotel Au Cerf".

Again, dinner is very German. I have the "Baeckeoffe" which is a casserole layered with potatoes, leeks and three types of meat (beef, pork, lamb) cooked together in white wine inside an earthenware casserole.
While sipping on some wine from this region, it is decided that tomorrow we will drive along "The Route des Vins d'Alsace" and just see what makes this wine so great!

There are a ton of pictures to see of our day! Just click here "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "Alsace France - Part 2"

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