It’s no secret that I absolutely love living in Switzerland, I gush about it all the time, annoyingly so, but I really, really love this little country I now call home and so far, she has done a pretty good job of loving me back. So when Benito suggested that we travel abroad this Summer, I hesitated, still content to explore my new surroundings and not quite ready to move outside of my comfort zone after Corona, but after a little nudge from a friend who suggested the perfect little starter destination, I just couldn’t resist.
Although our decision to travel to France was a little last minute, it is one which will be filed away in the ‘best decisions of my life’ drawer.
Ladies and Gentlemen (trust me, it deserves the introduction) … Colmar, France.
This charming little town in France is part of the Alsace region. It sits along the German border and literally has all the feels of a fairytale creation. It’s no wonder that the village square in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was inspired by this whimsical little town.
If you Google Colmar, most of the write-ups refer to a sleepy little town that’s perfect for a quiet, romantic getaway. This was not our experience. We booked an apartment in the heart of the city surrounded by quaint little restaurants, bistros and cafes. The city never slept and neither did we. With temperatures during the day above 35C and the evenings only slightly less, we slept with the windows wide open and in doing so found ourselves a part of every greeting, menu order, conversation, toast and drunken song.
Somewhere between 2am and 3am the crowds would part and we could finally settle in for a good sleep only to be woken up by Hund Quila at 6am for her morning walks.
Redemption came though in the form of magical sunrises, empty cobbled stone streets and freshly baked croissants.
The town’s energy is nothing short of entrancing, it’s unique blend of sights, sounds and smells bewitched us into a relaxed and happy state of hypnosis. Sweet hints of freshly baked bread and biscuits waft through the streets, horses hooves clip-clop down the paths and fragrant pink and red blooms grace every corner, windowsill and balcony – it’s beautiful.
What I also loved about this little town is that the brightly painted houses actually have meaning and back in the day were used to indicate the line of work of the family living in the house – yellow for bakers, blue for fisherman, green for farmers, etc. Some houses even have little hearts hanging from the windows or doors, indicating that a woman in the house is either available or getting married.
And our evenings were just as magical …
Returning home is always special though, and as I snuggled into my bed, enjoying the peace and quiet of my neighbourhood, I whispered so many thank yous – to Colmar and it’s magic, for my family and for another year of sweet Summer memories together.