Heading for Strasbourg, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to make a quick detour into Germany and visit the springs of the Danube river near Martinskapelle of Furtwangen, in the Donaueschingen region.
The Danube is such an important part of Europe and we had crossed it so many times in our travels that we decided it would be a missed opportunity to not visit its place of origin.
The place turned out to be a rather small fountain basin in this typical small German town; nothing to write home about really.
I think my somewhat disappointment with the size of the place was reflected in the number of photos I took 🙂
Before we headed into France though, we noticed this really cozy farmers’ market really close to the border and we decided to check it out. The place was next to the road and the landscape around it was really beautiful – with a bit of forest on one side and fields of flowers on the other, as well as a small village within a short distance.
Inside they were mostly selling fresh produce and local delicacies from the surrounding villages, but you could also have a taste of the local cuisine at the country style cantina in the back. The atmosphere was just too much for us to resist, so we decided to stay for a snack. The food was delicious and we took our time, but we were really close to leave hungry since we noticed only late that they did not take any cards (something that still baffles me about many small places in Germany). Luckily for us, after a few desperate minutes of checking all our pockets and wallets for change, we found enough euros to be able to enjoy the delicious food they had on the menu.
That was a close one and it reminded us that we always need to keep some cash handy while in Germany.
I realize now that I was too hungry to take photos of the deli area and the entrees, but I did manage to find some photos with the delicious cheese cake we had for desert and some of the beautiful flower patches surrounding the market.
We then headed to Strasbourg.
If I were to describe the town in a few words I’d say that it encapsulates the best from the Germans and the best from the French. It has the beautifully cozy architectural touches of the German medieval towns blending seamlessly with the elegance of French architecture to create a mix that keeps you wanting to see more of its charming puzzle.
We were really caught by surprise by the town’s charm and how little we knew about it, but managed to more than make up for it with long walks in the historical parts of the town, as well as taking a boat tour on the river Ill and by getting a glimpse of the Alsatian traditions and way of life with a visit to the beautiful Alsatian Museum.
Oh, and this being France, we got numerous chances to enjoy their much hyped and incredibly delicious eclairs. 🙂
It’s definitely a place worth revisiting.
We could not leave France without visiting one of its famous castles, so on the way to Köln/ Cologne we decided to visit the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, which is located a bit South of Strasbourg.
It is an impressive site both due to its high location – with impressive views of the surrounding valleys (we also had to climb quite a bit to get to it due to parking issues), as well as to its troubled and disputed history (it changed ownership between the Germans and the French several times during its history and it owes its current looks to being completely restored at the beginning of the 20th century by German architects).
It’s definitely a must-see!