So, the after getting fairly well drunk with the cousins the evening before, we set out the following morning to tour the Route du Vin (Wine Road). One of the advantages of drinking a bit too much good
wine is that it doesn't leave a hangover.
Our journey first brought us to Haut Koeningsbourg
, an almost fully restored castle originally build some time in the 12th century. This was, frankly, quite exciting. We don't have any castles at all here in the States. Nor do we really have anything as old as that . . . our idea of "old" is 100 years. So, to be able to walk through such a structure, seeing the rooms, furniture, battlements, latrines (yes, 12th century latrines!) was amazing. We spent most of the morning here, then continued on along the Route du Vin.
Now, the Wine Road is basically a stretch of road connecting a few dozen sleepy little villages along Alsace's prime vinyard country. All of the villages had a few things in common--comprised mostly of 17th century three- to four-story houses/businesses, one large church towering over everything else, surrounding vinyards, and the ruins of the feudal lord's chateau resting in the hills above. At first glance, they tend to all look identical, really. But each offers it's own uniqueness and charm. We didn't see all of them--only 3 or 4--because of time constraints. But they were quite lovely.
In addition to Dambach, we had some cousins that immigrated from nearby Kayserberg. So, we of course made sure to stop off there. To the best of my knowledge, we do not currently have any relatives there, but it was still neat to see where they came from. Upon arrival, we also learned that Kayserberg was also the home of Albert Schweitzer
, famous Nobel Peace Prize holder. We briefly visitted a small museum dedicated in his honor, however much of the experience was lost due to language barriers. My brother generally did a decent job of translating for us with his basic German understanding, but there was only so much he could do. I have already made numerous notes to self about learning French or German before my next visit.
Posted at 5/26/2007 10:40:59 am by PhilM