31 March 2006 – Lapoutroie, France
A post-Trimbach stroll around Ribeauvillé is a walk around the familiar, so we head south and then upwards via the road that snakes past Kaysersberg. It’s striking how quickly the architecture changes, from the colorful half-timbers of the vineyards to plainer, more traditionally alpine tones at higher elevations. The temperature deviations are interesting as well: 63°F in Kaysersberg becomes 68° in decidedly mountainous Lapoutroie, then drops to 51° in the midst of the still-snowy Vosges. We take a few moments to appreciate the beauty of Lacs Blanc & Noir, but the chill wind eventually drives us back down to the wine route.
Turckheim – In the imposing shelter of the Brand is one of the prettiest among Alsace’s excess of gorgeous villages. Turckheim is surrounded by a wall, and thus the town seems packed into every available nook and cranny, with the haphazard streets and lines of a community that – at least in part – escaped the complete destruction wrought on so much of this region by two world wars’ worth of bombing.
Ammerschwihr – The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for this village, which – aside from a wall here or a tower there – seems largely reconstructed. But it we’ve done plenty of sightseeing today, it’s getting dark, and we’re not really here to walk around anyway. We’re here to eat.