Train Journeys

Ive recovered from last night, the non dinner companion man, the never ending music, the late light show and a few blisters. Ready for more today………

I was going to stay in Strasbourg but the weather fined so I hot footed it to the station and caught the train to Colmar a half hour away. It’s reportedly a gorgeous Alsace town and fairly central in the wine region. Hope it quieter being a Monday and overcast. 

I’ve been enjoying the wine. This is a white area. Mostly Reislings and Pinot Gris. I’m looking forward to learning more tomorrow as I’ve booked whole day wine tour. Small group of 8 in a van. This could be interesting. Lots of different people. Hope they are interesting. It’s English speaking so probably Aussies and English. Maybe American. 

I arrived in Colmar and walked the 12 mins or so through a lovely park to the Centre Ville. 

Then it started to rain and the Tourist Office had moved to another unsign posted place so I jumped on the little train. Yes I was amongst the old , worn out, young and wet people. In my little row there were the only other English speakers. An older couple from Canada. They thought I was English and I thought they were American. So we corrected ourselves and got along well. He was interesting because he told me he’d designed and driven a solar panel car in the first race across Australia in 1990. He was from Vancouver University. Most interesting. 

The little tour was a good orientation to a beautiful town. If you haven’t been to this region I really would advise it. It’s beautiful, good food, great wine, easy to get around and close to Germany to be able to get there as well. 

There is a charming Little Venice complete with boat ride. Too wet for most though. 

I walked back in the rain to the station only to get splashed by a car driving through a puddle. Shame on you French driver. 

At the station I went into the ticket office and booked a ticket to Baden Baden in Germany. Going there on Wednesday. Hope the weather clears. I haven’t been into Germany for ages so a little taste will be a treat. 

Back to hotel for R&R then Out to dinner. I can’t wait for the Vietnamese restaurant to open tomorrow night. Tonight a very quick meat and veg at a busy cafe near the carousel. Tonight I took my book! 
Tomorrow the wine tour. 

Who can guess what this is a statue of? It’s a copy of a famous one. 

It’s funny eating by yourself. 

I was off to a concert but needed dinner, so chose a place not far from the hotel and the Cathedral. When I arrived there were only 2-3 tables occupied. So he sits me on a long banquet, with six little tables,  next to the only other single person! A man. 

How embarrassing. He  looked not too exciting, in fact he looked a bit odd but I can’t really say why because I didn’t want to look at him. 

So I remained composed , but we stuck out like a sore thumb and for a change people looked ( when on your own you are often invisible), wondering if we were a couple at adjacent tables – not talking – only he was talking – to himself. I was very careful not to get eye contact in case he engaged me in conversation. When my meal arrived I heard a voice say ‘ Bon Appetit’ I snuck a quick look and said Merci. 

Thank goodness he didn’t speak English. Anyway it was a nice meal  – duck with veggies. 

I’m writing this to distract myself! 

Whoops , another couple have arrived as I’m leaving. Hope they don’t think I’m with this strange man! 

It’s now after the concert and the saga continued. 

When I left the restaurant to walk in the drizzle to the cathedral, my strange dinner companion came walking past me! He was on his way to the concert. We took a slightly different route but I arrived at the door just behind him. “Please don’t see me ” I thought, but he engaged the doorman in some conversation that had only him laughing and I snuck I behind him. The cathedral was almost 3/4 full and the concert was great. 

It was an ensemble called Balthasar. There were 10 male and 6 female singers. 2 violinists , 4 cellists, 3 trombones, a sax and an oboe. Unusual mix but absolutely perfect sound in the lovely cathedral. The conductor a Frenchman, a lookalike for Robbie Williams,  in a beautifully fitting suit was fascinating to watch.  Only problem was it went on with no break for 1 1/2 hrs. 

It ran up to 10pm so then I went outside for the 10.15pm light show. Unlike Bayeux where the show was on the trunk of a huge tree this one was on the whe side of the cathedral. It was wonderful. It reconstructed the building of the cathedral. Wonderful. 

This photo doesn’t do it justice. It was beautiful. It had figures climbing scaffolding, bricks falling, mosaics being installed. 

So I staggered home with my blistered toe just before 11 

Off to Colmar tomorrow. 

My view in the restaurant with the stranger on my left. 

Might have take away tomorrow !