20 French towns and villages in a day

Today I drove my car to Gueberschwihr, a village in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, France. the entire area is UNESCO listed as a natural regional park.

Many of the villages are listed as “Plus beaux villages de France” and “Ville fleurie”.

Once I passed through Basel and across the border, I sat on an autobahn doing the 130 kmh limit. The distance flew by quickly and I found myself in a very narrow lanes village.

I had predetermined by parking spot at the local cemetery on the village outskirts. It was perfect.

I planned a circuit visiting as many villages as possible in the day. I ended up visiting 20! No wonder they seemed to merge together.

First issues first…I had forgotten to bring my water bottle so would need to find some as a matter of priority as the day was going to be warm.

I headed up the hill towards Voegtlinshoffen, and yes the bakery was open and they had water. Ah, I had left my Euros behind too…but they took card…so I needed to keep my eye open for a bank.

90868604-A6CC-46B2-9BC7-BF9DF0593B8DEDB4C29D-FCA5-49DE-B7B6-9BFE100926602B80AC6D-78E1-46CD-912A-83B64C4BD3EAA8FB5F79-D756-48F0-834C-429E7BD13955

E69065D9-512A-48F2-A9D7-7B44D2256AE0

1005AEEF-AEAE-4B00-A50D-16BC8D6F13BD

Refuelling by the fountain above, in what was a very sleepy village, I moved on to Husseren-les-chateaux.

Leaving Gueberschwihr was an interesting fountain, and signs of the recent Tour de France having passed through last month.

ECDAB7E9-DFB5-44EA-BA0E-ED6D0297227B

High on the hill is an old castle.

80947DA5-4211-4782-9176-67B5AFD88812

Narrow lanes, medieval homes, cobbles were to be the norm for the day.  As you can imagine moving through these villages was slow progress, but gives you the opportunity to appreciate the incredible beauty that has been maintained since the 15th to 17th century.

B362A810-A190-446A-8BA1-88AF7740CCFE

Once I left the village and headed towards Eguisheim the old castle on the hill had become three old castles.

0E97FAF2-F6FD-40AB-BB66-8B0E97405B85

Eguisheim is worth a visit for a few hours. Concentric streets, old gates, beautifully maintained buildings, narrow lanes, pretty window sills,  had attracted trillions of tourists. Walking my bike through the centre.

There  were various interpretive panels on buildings providing insight into the history and age.

EC54E317-0B97-4C21-8E88-C0B437AA8384682034DE-3C6A-4D2D-941A-8B7F492077A543B968C1-BBE2-45D3-B116-ACDB114A87F3FE4F413B-4A5F-4492-AF76-5584D52C0A8F6935A277-7AA4-4C79-979E-E85B135E73240BE4FCD9-501A-4CD9-B113-550E8D8C8A1FC923CE1C-5DA2-4A7B-ADC6-691C3BDAAC7D4BB95089-AE77-4A57-A7A9-32C48493E061CDF4ACDF-EAAC-43F4-B6AC-BDE27DDCCCB6

7FC6FF2F-3146-4728-89F3-0BC44F4AC0A0

The villages flew by in quick succession, often not more than 1-2km apart. Wettoshein, Wintzensheim, Turckheim, Ingersheim, Katzenthal, Ammerschwiher, Kentzheim. I was stopping often to check my navigation points, walking through each for both safety and pleasure.

Silence office 36 metres on the right. Ok…

82C60D8B-BABB-45AE-9C3C-A060D9591BBB

Best I could figure was this grotto maybe a ‘silence office’ as it was maybe 36 metres from the sign….

66C87DF5-4FE1-4BC9-9AD2-4D5B4BAC2305

This village entrance gate looks like a smiling cat.

33C16506-D69C-4767-BF76-1EAAF0A6F88A

Very pretty.

E05106C1-3BAC-46C4-B55F-15D8365DA721

Fantastic interpretive panels. Turckheim is in the Munster Valley and known for its ancient ramparts.

298CF29C-4811-4430-9554-B77065246B3B

I just kept snapping.

7D97DAA2-333E-4CD1-828D-7A8A85D75F6F64C457F4-9D3E-4ADF-B11B-9899D95FAF9C

1B04183A-221D-4A3C-BD75-CF8B95942C8F

Heading to Kayserberg was this vista as I left riding through vineyards and rejoined the main road.

4A1A5D9A-4894-4742-9741-3FB3545242AA

I passed by one of the village entrances as I could see another Tour de France sign.

FB5C1354-3C0B-4F39-B1E8-B0C611EA1CBD

4442074B-ECA9-4307-8B28-9871686E6D69

I rode across the river to view this before doubling back into the village proper. Kayserberg is another village you could spend hours in. I probably stayed an hour wandering around, choosing to walk my bikes as it was filled with hoarded of tourists on the cobbles.

The village features remnants of medieval walls, a Romanesque church, historical half timbered houses, Renaissance burgher’s mansions and a fantastic old world ambience.

8BBD2C8A-8A57-4971-886D-C1D8BABF49BD

28D256E7-8759-4055-9B77-3F8554C168375F00AF2A-2152-4CDB-81D7-9C241E653192

DD8B167F-C87F-4BEE-B3D7-EE67995B426F

I sat on the edge of this bridge, which dates back to 1514. A French lady had asked me to take her photo as ‘her husband was terrible’. I obliged and asked for one in return.

I knew by the angle of the lens she was not going to capture the bridge or background buildings…I wondered about her husband then!

One hot and sweaty Sharron.

3EB77CA4-94EC-4913-BB6E-FA7CFED3F7E3F9A8EF28-0587-4F0D-835D-0F21652DB8B0

E0F5D694-0C13-46A7-9CC9-8B41D4EB94B0

Leaving Kayserburg I chose a route via the vineyards and stopped to look behind me. A nice view of the medieval castle above the village.

733FDD49-F540-4DCC-9EA3-D20CAA43C4DC

A bit further along the vineyard path again you can see the Vosges nicely as well as Kaysersberg.

B85EE631-9014-4941-8BC3-2FD9C2E01856

This view, same spot but looking in the opposite direction. Towards the Rhine Plains.

9975A18E-8D02-4ECE-8E9F-799B84FE7DDC

Knocking off more villages including Riquewihr, Hunawihr, Ribeauville, Bergheim, Rorschwihr.

This was my favourite Tour de France installation.

2A557084-F5F3-44F7-B801-11BF0FD31FEC

You can see some old castles high in the hills.

2922DB8B-D0BC-4DCC-9AE5-A0CCFF8574A0

Another old village gate.

E021CC89-7BED-49B7-ABBF-3B8597296FF7

The French love their cycling.

6CDE55CE-AC71-41B3-B749-562F0237DBA4

E1207AEA-F0C2-4B63-9368-4C3787EA7E09

St Hippolyte entrance… green bike..green jersey? My favourite green jersey rider being Peter Sagan.

5FCFF5CD-063C-4EB3-B62A-04455FAC9CCD337FEA2B-B073-442F-B571-479573CC8BC7

D60738B6-2E3C-446D-ABC0-1980CB296561

Dark clouds and I got wet. It poured down for about 15 minutes. Bucket loads, but it was still in the high 20’s so not unpleasant but very soaking.

However there were also frequent lightening strikes after the rain and I decided it was time to turn around as thunderstorms had been predicted and I was not that keen to be sitting on a piece of metal, so far from my car.

845F47D5-9042-496F-BF1E-7A0EE502D2C3

DBF9CADB-A9B0-4EE8-8B05-2B4F48328EE7

It drizzled on and off all the way to Colmar and I kept my camera dry. I rode back mainly via a route through the vineyards.

Colmar is quite pretty, but I am not a bit city fan at the best of times and after securing some food and drink, a few quick photos hotfooted it out of town.

 

5608954D-49BC-4D4D-97DB-A94167EBD6F38827DA5E-1BC4-4ACD-BA1F-7CA80AC9C0DA

77AE56B9-A4F7-4EE3-B776-083AF3A7273D

About 14 km later, I arrived back in Gueberschwihr. I turned right at the sign.

B3F6EE56-7033-4D63-ADE9-E4462282D729

The village square.

DBA1098B-E902-4CD1-BACD-98E883A89016

Back to where I started. The cemetery in the vineyards.

78A23B70-D3A9-4E11-B40F-1CDED49BF1D4

Today’s route and up and down climbing.

A2BB3F81-1CD3-4E46-A241-1CF349C740AF

E278785E-677D-4F8F-B281-B7207B5AE445

I really enjoyed today’s ride. It was slow going courtesy of the villages but I gained an appreciation of the historical majestic beauty of the restorations, flowers and general ambience.

Certainly I would like to do further rides in the Vosges, heading higher up into the hills next time.

2A557084-F5F3-44F7-B801-11BF0FD31FEC

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “20 French towns and villages in a day

  1. Did you have your Garmin on whilst you were driving at 130 kph… just to bring your Strava average up??!!
    …..and was finding the parking at the cemetery achieved by dead reckoning?!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s