I am not even sure what caused me to think of this today other than checking the wine cabinet and seeing the bottle of Pinot Blanc from Alsace. If you are in a position to take spontaneous trips, or you like to plan in advance for next year, France and Germany are lovely places to travel in September and October. I will talk about some great locations in future posts, but my focus today is on the Route de Vin (or Route de Vins) in the province of Alsace that borders Germany.
The Route de Vin is a narrow, winding 75-mile stretch from Marlenheim (close to Strasbourg) to Thann, and it goes through numerous charming villages in a countryside filled with lovely scenic outlooks, vineyards, and “Caves” open to the public for tasting. This not necessarily a trip to take if you have never been to France, but it is an experience that is intended to be simply relaxing, to celebrate the beauty of the mountains and valleys, and to enjoy food and wine as the activities of the trip, although there are ample photograph opportunities and the ever-present sense of medieval history.
When my husband and I were in a situation where we were in great need of just a few days to genuinely decompress, we chose this route and it is a fond memory. We were in Germany at the time, so the first day was to enter Alsace, stop at a Cave, sample their offerings, purchase a bottle or two, and go to the next village for a prolonged lunch with wine, of course. Two or three more Caves, and another village for the night in a small auberge. Dinner was the traditional three-course, lingering pace. Nothing overly fancy, basic steak au poivre and roasted lamb as our main courses. In the morning, buttery croissants accompanied by cafe au lait for me, coffee Americaine for my husband, and we set out again meandering south. Repeat driving, sampling wine, reveling in French cuisine. The Route de Vin is favored among cyclists, so we exchanged conversations with one group that we encountered multiple times. We had no schedule, no commitments, and it was exactly what we needed.
Do you have memories of short trips that helped re-charge you?