Friday, August 19, 2011


We've been to Colmar before years ago but only for a quick walk around. Marianne had mostly forgotten the place but I reminded her that it was like Selestat, only on steroids.

So if you are wondering if we are sick and tired of brightly coloured half timbered houses, the answer is definitely 'No'. They are all different and just so interesting to look at.

We were lucky and got a parking spot at the free parking lot at the edge of the old town. As we exited the parking lot a family came up to us and the husband said very slowly "Do you speak English?" It turned out they were from Israel and they wanted to find the green train. We answered and pointed to a sign that indicated the center of town and thought they would follow it just as we did but no, they wandered off in another direction. Apparently our English was not too good.

Anyhow we found the green train that hauls tourists around the old city. 

Pretty quickly you can see why Colmar is such a tourist attraction.

Because I crop the photos, you don't see too many people but there were hordes. Not many English speaking however, and very few Asians.

There are all sorts of nooks, courtyards and lanes in this place.

There was a bit of a clothing market and I reckoned that this green skirt would suit Robin. What do I know!

Lots of very bright colours.

The fitting room.

If you like blue, Alsace is the place.

More horde.

The toilet block. If you click on the photo you will see that there is a gentleman occupying the middle door. The breakfast coffee had struck and I investigated the right hand booth shortly after. It worked quite well and serves as just another reminder how fortunate it is to be male when you travel.

A Tabac. Essentially a news agent that sells cigarettes as well.

The place is an absolute warren of passages.

The entry to a church we came across. It didn't look like much from the outside, but it is the subject of its own blog.

Marianne has been justly critical of the dog poo situation in most of France, but Colmar has its act together and you don't have to keep watching where you walk.

Flowers everywhere.

I liked the kid at the window. They may look romantic but for many people, these places are home. They must be so glad when summer is over and most of the tourists disappear.

Body language at its finest. One thing about the point and shoot cameras is that you can take a photo very quickly if you need to. I saw this bloke from a distance, took the photo and then cropped the result.

Marianne was intrigued by this green roof and so we wandered over and found the building which was the old fruit market.

The old fruit market had been done up as a very ritzy place to buy your very expensive nick-knacks.

This woman appeared to be painting egg shaped objects.

If you go back a couple of pictures, you can see this poor bloke waiting at the door wondering when is she going to appear and how much damage has been done to the credit card. He could still be there.

Have you ever considered that most of the world's production of objects in shops goes towards things for females. Now that's a good sexist statement to argue about.

There was a bit of an outdoor food market but it was right outside this building that was the official food market.

Inside the market.

Spices, but it can't be good for them to be out in the open losing their potency.

So we came to the area known as 'Little Venice'.

A canal meanders along the edge of the old city.

Very picturesque.

No doubt you are wandering how the rhinoceros managed to come down the stairs. It was the Natural History Museum but I wonder why such a museum should be here in Colmar of all places. This town gets more than enough tourists.

Restaurants and hotels by the canal.

And the green train went past. It seemed to go everywhere.

These trees are common in France and they prune them each year to cut off the top branches leaving just the few thick lower branches.

You could also take a boat ride on the canal.

It started to rain, but the boat people were prepared with umbrellas. The rain was soon gone and then it became hot (over 80) and steamy.

The main church, St Martins.

 We came in as a service was going on so we left and came back later. The church was better lighted for the service so this photo shows up pretty well.  

But when we came back later, it was all dark and gloomy.

I wouldn't say it was the most interesting or beautiful church.

We decided to go home for lunch but Marianne decided to go to the Tourist Office to get some materials for her scrap-booking. Most people go to the Tourist Office first, not last. Anyhow, it led us into this area of more modern architecture.

However it turned out to be a wise move because we found as we left and turned a corner that we just down the street from our parking lot. Scrapping wins again.

So I would urge you to take the time to visit Colmar if you are in Alsace. It really is something special. However, Marianne would like to advise you not to wear sandals because they don't cope well with all the cobbles.


  1. Can you live on 1,700 USD in Colmar

  2. That would depend on how long for and what standard of living you would like to maintain. One day, yes. One year, no.