Thursday, September 4, 2008
A good place to start your Alsace hike is Ribeauville. If you take the bus from Colmar, you actually travel through many of the wine villages on your way, then you walk on the return trip.
Ribeauville has a very nice cooperative cave (Cave de Ribeauville) - check the hours because they close during midday. The cave is located just a little west of the historic village on the main road (Route des Vins D'Alsace). It's near where the bus drops you off.
Then turn back and walk through the city park to the village. The historic village has an oblong shape running west Route des Vins D'Alsace up into the hills. The village's main street is called Grand Rue (de l'Eglise) and is a semi-pedestrian street filled with restaurants, hotels and shops, all of which I found to be relatively reasonable and less crowded than those in Riquewihr. There is a tourist office right at the beginning of this street on Place des Cloches.
I had a great Tarte Flambe (an Alsatian relative of pizza) at a restaurant/hotel called L'ami Fritz - it's shown in the photo above. Several other restaurant/hotels also looked fine although I did not stay or eat in them. They include Hotel au Lion and Hotel Cheval Blanc (great map of the village on this page).
On the way through the village I stopped by a winery from Domaine Jean Sipp. I did not have time to taste the wines but it looked like a great place. They have two rooms that they rent to visitors - I made a note to stay overnight there next time I visit!
I was hiking from Ribeauville to Riquewihr. The route leads one along the Grand Rue to Place de la Marie, where you turn left on to Rue Klobb, which turns into Rue de la Marne and then left onto Rue du Vignobles (where the "trail" to Riquewihr really begins). I will discuss Riquewihr in another post.