Day 5 of our Honeymoon saw us driving from the Kloster Hornbach on the German side of the border back into France and moving on towards Colmar. The whole stretch is wine region and it’s just a straight long drive from North to South. There are many villages and old towns dotted along the way and we stopped at a couple of them while driving to Rouffach where our hotel the Chateau D’Isenbourg was.
Obernai was one of the historic old towns we stopped at, and I would highly recommend that you do a pit-stop in this quaint town too if you ever come to Alsace. The Obernai region, which was the property of the dukes of Alsace in the 7th century, is the birthplace of St. Odile, daughter of the Duke, who would become the Patron Saint of Alsace.
Once again, just like in Strasbourg, the architecture is very ”German”. There is a reason for these stone foundation with timber framing upper floorings. One reason why wood features prominently is because of Alsace’s proximity to the Vosges, where much wood can be found. But I’m not the expert in Alsatian architecture so please click this link to read more.
We were in Obernai in April so we got to enjoy the tulips and other pretty flowers in full bloom. I don’t know why the street plantings are so pretty, I wish we had colourful pretty flowers like these in Singapore, and in greater abundance!
There’s 3 things you must know about Alsace. The 1st one is Foie Gras.
Foie gras is one of the Alsatian region’s prominent produce. You will see it everywhere! In speciality shops as well as in souvenir shops. Many are sold in cans and even I bought 2 cans back home. Have yet to try it! Don’t come to Alsace if you are against the consumption of foie gras!
Next is Gingerbread and Gingerbread men
You’ll find gingerbread everywhere, once again, in speciality shops as well as in souvenir shops! They’re called pain d’epices, which means spice bread or gingerbread. I really wish I bought those cheap gingerbread men softtoys. They were only going at about 5 euros! Should have! Regret!!
And the 3rd thing is Storks
Storks are protected birds in Alsace. You must not do anything to endanger them. If one were to build a nest in your chimney, it would be an offence for you to light a fire in your fireplace! They’re called cigognes in French.
We had a quick lunch at Schaeffer Pattiserie. There are many cafes and restaurants in Obernai. Each street has several!
Schaeffer has the cheapest iced chocolate I had in my entire travels through France! Cost only 2.40 Euros! And most importantly, it was fantastic iced chocolate! The Partner loved it and said it reminded him of thick and rich New Zealand made milo (which is very different from Singapore or Australian made Milo). We were nearly on the brink of asking the waitress what brand of chocolate powder was used.Thanks to this iced chocolate, for the rest of our trip, we were on the look out for chocolate powder to bring back home. (Bought 3 different brands of chocolate powder back)
When in Alsace, you have to have the Quiche Lorraine of course.
Stopped by the Maison Alsacienne de Biscuiterie to offload some of our money. Alsatian biscuits are quite different from say Danish cookies in that they are quite light, not buttery and not very sweet. With the rudimentary French that I knew, the sweet tooth in me managed to ask the staff to recommend me the sweetest biscuits they had, but even the sweetest was quite mild in comparison to the cookies that we’re used to.