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Alsace Wine Route Day 2: Fertile Country—and a Mystery

Our route today was fairly flat and fairly hot—as in the lower 80s. Our mileage was over 13 today. We’re glad we warmed up with a short five plus mile leg yesterday. This trail is broken up with many of the proverbial picturesque French villages. Fortunately for Trev, most villages feature bakeries with eclairs. The nearby hillsides and ridges are also populated with castles and ruins of castles. On one segment we could see three at one time. Too bad we don’t have time to explore them—this time.

We saw a much greater variety of crops today. Most of the land is still given over to producing wine, but we also saw hay, several kinds of grain, corn, and an unfamiliar crop that is shown in the two photos below on the left. Any ideas about what it is?

Cherries are in season and we did some grazing from those along the trail. In future months they’ll be joined by peaches.
We also saw many storks this morning when we started out. Ribeauville, our home for last night, had many nesting pairs on the southern end of town. And when we reached a hayfield that was being mown at the south end of town dozens were searching the field for grubs, insects, and other food. The largest stork feeding frenzy I’ve ever seen. 

This segment of France is a unique fusion of French and German culture and food. The Alsace-Lorraine region is on the border of the two countries. Originally independent cities, it first came under French rule in the 1600s. In 1871 it was annexed by Germany after the Franco-Prussian War. After World War I it reverted to French rule. Nazi Germany took possession during World War II. Since then, it has been French. It’s not uncommon to hear conversations that use both French and German words. Menus feature dishes from both countries. In many respects it is the best of both.

Laurie’s Relive video catches some good live action of storks—and fake storks. Plus castles in the distance. Also showcases some of the flowers in bloom.

2 thoughts on “Alsace Wine Route Day 2: Fertile Country—and a Mystery”

  1. Interesting. Those areas are just south of where we were. Would not be surprised if they have castles there as well—they’re pretty ubiquitous in this region.

  2. Hello Dennis and Laurie,
    Will you be near Altkirch and Belfort? I’m not sure if wine is a major product of the area, my grandfather was there in 1918 and I’ve collected histories and scans of maps from the war. It’s interesting that there are many castles in the area you just walked, I haven’t seen pictures of castles in the 1918 materials I’ve found but the area certainly has a history of being fought over.
    Have a good day,

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