Hidden gems from France : There’s no place like home

Hi everyone, how are you? Another sunday is here, and it’s time for us to hop on a new plane, train and car, heading to our next destination! Today, I’m going to talk about some places I hold close to my heart. Because, when you’re 500 miles away from home, well I guess it’s a little normal to feel home-sick. Especially when living where I do.

As a way to cure my homesickness, and hopefully to make you travel a little bit, here’s a little glimpse of the places I live, I know by heart, and love so, so much. I hope you’ll enjoy ! Thank you Joan @ Fiddler Blue for inspiring me for the title of this blog post. You’re the best ❤️

colmar

COLMAR. I think there’s a saying that goes something like, you don’t know how pretty a place is if you’ve lived there your whole life. Something like that, I guess. Anyway, my point is, I’ve never seen my hometown as pretty as I see it now, and I’m very happy for that. Colmar is filled with narrow, paved streets, beautiful, typical half-timbering, colored houses. I mean, the New York Times placed my hometown as one of the 52 places to go in 2016 !
colmar

COLMAR IN A NUTSHELL:

colmar minibredelescolmar 1

🍔 If you want FOOD COMA: Ready for your first French lesson in Food 101? In Colmar, specialties are Choucroute (=fermented cabbage, usually eat it with sausage and potatoes),  Bredeles (= small traditional cakes), Bretzels (=Pretzels, that one’s pretty easy), Flammkuchen (= also known as, Tarte flambée) , to quote a few.

📷 If you want to DROWN IN AN OCEAN OF TOURISTS: La Petite Venise. It’s absolutely gorgeous (see the first photo above). Queue for a picture. La maison des têtes. Translation: The heads’ houses. I promise you this is not as scary as it sounds.  La statue de la liberté. Can you translate this one alone? Time for a little lesson, History 101 : Bartholdi was the one who imagined the Statue of Liberty. Bartholdi was from Colmar. So, in a way, I feel like I made this wonderful architectural piece myself. Just kidding.

🚗

There are tons of little villages, and they all have their own charm. Little houses, streets, and the vineyard are always there, everywhere, and, with the colors of autumn on a crazy-week-end back with a friend, they never looked so beautiful. There’s something about coming back home when you’ve been away for a long time, and I guess that something is happiness, and everything looks more beautiful every single second. But…tell me this isn’t beautiful ?!

vineyard

Home isn’t just about the cute little towns and vineyard. Sometimes, if you know where to go, you can stumble upon wonderful little creaturesNO dragons or magical beasts, sorry, but there are…storks! I don’t know if you ever see those little creatures often -I certainly do, but I’m used to it, so I don’t really know, haha. Storks are so cute. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

cigognes

If you’re looking for more exotic animals, well… you can find those, too. Kangaroo, anyone?

kangoroo

There’s one place I particularily love, and discovered only a few years ago, because it’s so new. It’s a spa, meaning hot water and lazy people in it, but the view is absolutely stunning. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, well I’ll let you see this for yourself.

spa

Wandering outside of the big cities, it’s easy to get lost. They all say that not all of those who wander are lost, right? Well, as a traveller, getting lost doesn’t happen. We just discover. Home isn’t just one place, it’s the cities, and it’s the forest and the mountains, gorgeous looming all around. This particular picture was taken close to my grandma’s house. Seems like a world away.

labaroche

OUTSIDE THE BIG CITY, YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

mountains spa storks

🐘 If you’re a child at heart like me and LOVE ANIMALS: Le Centre de réintroduction des cigognes et des loutres, in Hunawihr. Basically this is a big, awesome park, with storks, sea otters, and other animals, living freely. There’s a great show with penguins, too! The Mulhouse Zoo is another great spot if you love animals. Kangoroos, tigers, lions, and…polar bears. Yes. Exotic, isn’t it?!

🏊 If you want to RELAX and chill out: Resort Barrière Ribeauvillé. There’s a casino, and a hotel, but what I’m talking about here is the spa. It’s cold, and you’re in hot water outside, but looking at a gorgeous view. Worth it.

🍃If you want some peace and quiet AWAY FROM EVERYTHING: Try out the Trois Epis, Labaroche, and some walks there in the forest. It’s quiet, beautiful and definitely ressourceful, just miles away from the city.

🚗

I can’t go on a tour of Alsace without talking about Strasbourg, its capital. European capital, and famous for its beautiful houses, canals and obviously its gorgeous Christmas Market, Strasbourg is a must if you’re stopping by. Whether you love architecture or shopping…okay, I’m starting to sound like a tourist-guide, there, aren’t I?! Let me stop there, and tell you why I love this city. It’s absolutely gorgeous, obviously. There’s an english bookshop, but erm, okay, that’s a reason good enough, right? It’s not just because it’s home. It’s because it is, and it feels beautiful every step of the way.

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg1

STRASBOURG IN A NUTSHELL:

bagelstein cathedral ice cream*

📷 If you’re not sick of TOURISTS yet: The Cathedral. You can’t miss it, it’s just basically standing there in the middle of the city, in all of its glorious gorgeousness. And if it looks familiar, it’s because it’s at the very beginning of Sherlock Holmes 2.  La Petite France. The beautiful, historic quarter of Strasbourg shouldn’t be missed. You will love the houses and the canals and narrow streets.

💸 If you want to spend ALL of your money: La librairie du monde entier (BOOKS! IN ENGLISH! BOOKS! Need I say more?). Rue des Grandes Arcades and Les Halles if you feel like spending all of your money on clothes and other stuff.

🍦If after all that you are STARVING: Bagelstein does the most AMAZING bagels in the world, and giant cookies bigger than your hands. Enter really hungry. And, since you can’t refuse an afternoon snack, try Gelati Factory, on a cute little street. All the delicious ice cream flavors, and toppings that will make you want more.

* if you want to see these pictures, and more, you can follow me on @instagram!

 I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my home! Did it make you want to go there? Tell me everything! 💬

As always, since this feature is pretty new, I’d love to have your feedback on this! Thoughts, desires, needs?! 💬

Where are our plane tickets headed next?! That’s a good question…Any guesses? I can already tell you one thing, it’s going to be a long, long trip. And definitely worth it! ✈️

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

55 thoughts on “Hidden gems from France : There’s no place like home

    1. YES you should, I’ll give you a tour 😀 Ohh, well I’m glad, haha, maybe in another life I’ll be! Actually, I love travelling so much, I sometimes wonder if I should be doing something like that for a living. Maybe I should just try and live out of my blog, talking about books and travelling haha 😀
      Thank you so much Michelle!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This post was absolutely perfect!!! The pictures and then those little recommendation windows inbetween. I loved it and now I really want to go and see everything for myself because it just looks amazing!
    And there’s really truth to what you said about not being able to value what you have at home until you come back after a while. I can definitely relate to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, these places are beautiful!! Your pcitures are gorgeous – it looks like an amazing place to visit. Very hot though!! I don’t know if i would be able to bear it in the summer… here it only gets to around 20 degrees celcius! 😀

    I love hiking, so I’d love to go hiking up those hills. I imagine the view would be spectacular! Do you live in/very closeby these towns? You must never get bored!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Marie! It must be amazing to live there ❤
    Denise | The Bibliolater

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Denise, I’m happy you like it 😀 Ohh, well it’s not that hot..or well, I guess we got up to 38 degrees celcius last summer, it was a little too much haha :p
      It is spectacular, I love it! 😀 I do! I actually live about a 10-minutes-drive away from Colmar 🙂
      Thank you so much, I really hope you’ll get the chance to come here someday 😀

      Like

  3. Gosh- all these places look lovely- it’s a while since I’ve been to France. Strasbourg is lovely, but I’ve never been to Colmar- and now I’ve seen your pictures, I really think I should! Also, this post reminded me how beautiful the French countryside is- gosh it makes me want to go there so badly! As in- right now!
    Loved this post- even if it did fuel my already insatiable wanderlust!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YAY I LOVE THIS POST! And I seriously want to visit your hometown now, give me a tour? 😀 and I would definitely wait in line for a picture in that gorgeous scenery. I’m a sucker for nature and animals, and there’s nothing like the European countryside! And the food, aaahhh, I must try them all 🙂 Lovely post Marie, I cant wait to see where you will take us next!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is UNREAL, so beautiful! It’s awesome that you get to call this place home (even if you have to be away from it right now)! Question: are there just Kangaroos there naturally? Or is it in a zoo or something? Because either way that’s AWESOME and I want to see one. This place is new travel-goals for me, still not over how beautiful it is!

    Like

    1. Aw you’re welcome, it makes me so happy if I can make you travel a little bit, well, almost, with pictures! 🙂 I hope you’ll get to travel soon. I have to say, I’m lucky enough to have a family of travellers, and when I’m not saving money to buy books, it goes for my next adventure 🙂 I hope you’ll come to France someday, Summer! I’d love to be your tour guide 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Where you’re from is so beautiful! This makes me very inspired to make travel plans.

    I think it’s important to try and think like a tourist where you live. Since I’ve moved back home I’ve been trying to. I’m lucky where I live really – it might not have the opportunities that I’m looking for the place itself is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much! You should come and visit sometime 😉
      You’re so right about this, we don’t realize it ’til we leave, I guess, but it feels good to feel like a tourist in your own city, and rediscover every beautiful thing there. Ohh well that’s so great, then, I think what matters is that you feel good where you are! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved all the pictures 🙂 Your home town looks so cute and pretty. I live in a city so it’s just cars and traffic and dust everywhere :[

    Like

  8. I definitely remember reading this post and well, I was shy back then and didn’t comment on anything 😂😂
    I fell in love with your town IT’S SO PRETTY ! 😍 I want to visit like right now and maybe never leave again 😂 omg ! It seems so pure and calm and private !

    Liked by 1 person

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