Swapping Homes Anybody?


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Going for a Drive

A friend asked me back home,"And what do you do all day if you are away for so long?" Seriously.
Sometimes nothing.Depends on the mood. Read.Sometimes visit touristy spots (see post about Berlin and more to come). You also have to go shopping and cook occasionally unless you can afford to eat out every day.Go to the swimming-pool (scroll back a little).
Sometimes you get visitors like friends who want to use your hospitality if you are in an interesting area or even house your grown up children or other family members where you have spent too many nights.I wrote and warned about that before.If you overdo, you end up being like a B&B with  a lot of work!
Yesterday we just went for a drive.

The northern part of Alsace, the Vosges, has more forests and natural beauty than the southern part with all its famous touristy towns that all look like taken from picture books, so quaint.We were on our way to a town called La-Petite-Pierre (never found out where the big one is) when we saw signs for a Castle Lichtenberg. We confused Miss Maps big time when we changed our route and went to see that castle first.Her insistence was so annoying that we had to switch her off.
What a steep climb, but we got our constitutional in. The Little Pierre had mixed reviews, so I wanted to see it for myself.We found a lovely tearoom, because obviously you have to make stops and fortify yourself. Does it get any better? Great cakes, if expensive (5.50 a piece; EUR) and some bric-a-brac.

Also a few architectural gems which come close to the wonder world of lower Alsace. There by the way, the surrounding countryside consists mostly of vineyards.None here.
Yes, these dilapidated houses exist too.
Studying this war memorial of WW I and II, we discovered almost exclusively German names. We wondered if they died for France or Germany. This part of the world belonged to both countries at different times; actually, it changed hands four times in 75 years. Germany conscripted young ca. 100,000 Alsatians. Many of them volunteered for the navy in order to avoid fighting their brothers.  We were also surprised because when reading up on the area we learned that Hitler considered Alsace as German.

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