A day spent in an airplane, train and car, but no cycle yet! Our French vacation has begun, and unsurprisingly, the boxes that were checked off are cheese (yum!), wine (wines!) and a four-course dinner of some fine French cuisine (tears of joy and burps of satisfaction),
The train journey from Paris to Strasbourg set the mood – all the ugliness of CDG was forgotten, and I cringe to admit that I gushed over the goats in the fields, among other agricultural landscapes all the way.
A short taxi ride later, the pretty town of Scherwiller presented itself:
We’ve booked this tour with Susi Madron’s Cycling for Softies, and we were met by their local rep, Nick, for an orientation about the region – the history, people, food and drink. Souvik’s eyes opened wide at the mention of WWII relics along our route, and we have a longer wishlist than the number of days available.
After that refreshing glass of Crémant and all the cheese, we needed to get moving, so the first order of sightseeing was walking about the village of Scherwiller.
We learnt that the Alsace region is one of the most prosperous regions of France. People are paid to plant flowers in their houses and the mayor of each town has the important task of deciding the date on which the plantation will take place in their town. All makes for a uniformly beautiful look that I’m happy to admire as we walk through the villages.
As it often happens during travel, we met some interesting people. Isabelle was gardening in her house, and we stopped to have a chat in half-baked Franglais. She ended up gifting me a couple of roses from her garden, and completely making my day:
Our short and slow walk wasn’t much of a workout as it was an appetiser for the elaborate 4-course meal that we had over 2 hours. For Reva’s benefit, I’m listing them all: starting with the crémant, amuse bouche (some corn and toasted pumpkin seeds under cauliflower foam (I think)), then foie gras and pinot gris for Souvik and salade with pinot blanc for me. The main course was pork sausage over veggies and champignons with veggies (figure out who ate what). Souvik had a Pinot noir in this course, and I wisely declined more wine. I shouldn’t have to tell you that every course was outstanding, and more than once we wondered how the French could stay thin! And then came this fabulous dessert of ice cream over a base of cake over a base of fruit and nuts and a sugared crispy bread stick. I have described it poorly, but it was the undoing of us. I think I’m going to wite down every meal in detail, so reader, if you don’t care about such tidbits, you should simply skip over to the end 🙂
And that’s the last view we had before we tucked in: