Friday, August 5, 2011

Selestat - just outside the old city

It's about time there was a blog for Selestat where we are staying. There are really two parts to Selestat, the old and the new. This blog will show the new, representative of what you will find in most French cities.

The house we are staying in. If you are interested in doing home exchanges, we use Home Link and have been very pleased with the results. If you have questions about house exchanges, send me a message.

Each time we walk to the city or the local bakery, we walk past this set of stairs.

The road past the back of the house.

The local bakery, famous for its 1900 bread which is very good.

Marianne loves this blue which is used on quite a number of French houses. I told her to knock a sample chip off and take it to the Lowes in Cape May County to get the matching colour paint. She has a 'special' relationship with the bloke who runs the paint counter there. They don't communicate.

The pedestrian / cycle bridge over the train line. The walls are quite high and while I can see over the walls, Marianne can't. There has to be payback for tall people who have to fit in economy class plane seats.

The fancy water tower.

At the top of a mountain overlooking Selestat is one of France's most famous castles, Haut Koenigsbourg which we will visit before we leave and will probably have its own blog.

I was amused by the 90 sign which I presume denotes the maximum speed in kilometers per hour (60 mph) for the train as it pulls out of the station. On my first trip to Europe in 1974, I took the train from Calais to Innsbruck via Basle and so must have passed through this station on the way. I was in the back carriage of the train that hurtled through the night at speeds that amazed me, well over 100 mph. This was before the days of the TGV. French trains go fast. Queensland trains didn't. I can still remember that the Rocky Mail train took almost eight hours to travel the 167 miles from Maryborough to Brisbane if all went well.

I was amazed to see the broken window, even though there was construction going on.

The front of the building.

The water tower, quite an elaborate structure.

Not all housing in France is cute old half timbered buildings. Blocks of units are very common and I suspect a sizable portion of the French population lives in apartments like this.

The French have a real talent for using blue paint.

The street leading from the station to the old part of town. It's quite typical of French streets in that it is lined with trees. Note the bicycle path on the footpath.

Free parking. Encourage the tourists to come and spend money. Don't put them off by getting them to guess how much time they need to buy at a meter. Encourage them to stay as long as they need and then they might stay for lunch and/or dinner instead of spending an hour seeing the main sights and going on to the next town. French logic at work, you have to admire it.

Map of the old city.

You know you are in France when you see trees like these.

Every French town, large and small, has a monument to those who fell in the wars. In the smaller towns, there is usually a list of those who fell in WWI and a much smaller list for WWII. About 1.4 million French soldiers died in WWI. I am very much annoyed at Americans who are quick to deride the fighting ability of the French. The forget the soldiers of Napolean who conquered most of continental Europe; they forget the huge numbers who went to the slaughter house of the trenches of WWI.

I took this photo of the three women to remind me just how many young women in France are still smoking. I didn't notice that many young men smoking.

An odd little small car that I had never seen before. It's called an Aixam.

A posh hotel, the Abbaye de la Pommeraie. Click here to see the rates for the hotel and you can see why we like house exchanges. Basically our trip costs are for the plane fares and the food we eat and I prefer to stay in a house rather than most hotels. For this trip, the exchange family uses our car and we use their car. They feed our cat, we feed their cat. However, the Abbaye's food is probably a lot better than what we cook from ingredients we got from a Lidls supermarket. There will be a separate blog about food and wine.

We liked the colour of the house.

Flowers seem to grow so easily in France.

Tourist Office. Quite a few brochures but not as extensive as you would find in the tourist offices in Australia.

The big V. No doubt, people have assignations here, 'meet me at the big V'.

There is a little stream that flows just outside the old part of Selestat and they have installed a kayaking course there.  There were a few kayakers out there and we believe our exchange family's daughters come here to practice.

Interestingly, they rate the houses for energy efficiency when they are sold. Prices seemed reasonable, even in Euros, unlike prices in Australia.


  1. Loving your blog posts. Looks like you and Marianne are having a wonderful time. Looking forward to the food and wine posts!

  2. beautiful photos. Tell Marianne to bring me the paint chip. I have a "guy" and he actually talks to me (though sometimes I secretly think he is laughing at me) The blue is stunning

  3. Great pics of Selestat. Dad fought there in December 1944. lots of snipers and Nazi tanks. Terrible casualties.