Even though the weatherman predicted 80% rain, we decided to give Colmar, France a try on a Saturday in July... it didn't disappoint. We left Stuttgart at about 9:30am and got into Colmar at about 11:45am. We found rock star parking right in the Little Venice area, and quickly found ourselves a nice little cafe to eat lunch right on the canal. Ronda had the salmon, I had the pork cheeks in wine sauce, and Cam had the sauerkraut with a selection of meats.
The rain started right as we were finishing lunch, and we made a quick dash to the car to get out the raincoats and umbrellas. After about 20 minutes, the rain let up and only came down intermittently throughout the afternoon. That let us explore the streets and enjoy the smells of a European city after a rainstorm! There are a lot of them!
Colmar is an extremely quaint town with a movie-set vibe. The colors on the houses and the individual attention to detail on each building makes the town very easy to get lost in just looking at the storefronts and wandering through the lazy streets. there were a lot of people there, but we really didn't mind. Walking between Little Venice and the old town portion of Colmar, we found several small bout storefront shops with cool items to see: touristy stuff, but also cool collectibles and souvenirs, and of course French pastries and dessert.We decided to take the "little train" tour of Colmar and were happy we did! It took us around the town and gave a good overview of all the sites to see. Colmar is the home to French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, the designer and artist responsible for the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
There is a 1/3 sized replica of Lady Liberty in Colmar that was erected in 2004 on the centennial of his death. We didn't get to see the statue there this trip... but we will next time! On the train, we learned all about Bartholdi and his family's history in Colmar. The train tour also gave us some short history on the churches in town and the town's history dating back to the 900’s. After the train, we found our way to an indoor market where we bought some pastries and some bread. By then it was time to hit the road and head home... but we made one detour on the way. We had heard about the big discount/department store called Cora from folks in Stuttgart. We had passed the store on the way in to town, so we decided to check it out on the way home. It seriously is an enormous store with everything. It's like a cross between Walmart and Costco, with a little Whole Foods in there as well. We bought some meat and cheese, some French wines, and some more pastries. we will definitely be going back to Colmar and the Cora store!
July 12th, 2014