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Saturday, June 25, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 2, Part 5 - Colmar, Sélestat

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 2 - 18th March - Colmar, Sélestat
(Part 5)

I walked around Colmar before embarking on the next part of my day. It was a pretty little town.

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Maison des têtes (House of the Heads)

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Rue des boulangers (Road of the bakers)

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Rue des boulangers, Place de l'école (School Square)

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Dominican Church. Closed to visitors in Winter, bah.

There was a book on psychoanalysis of Alsace. Uhh.

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Former Cathedral (now Collegiate Church of St Martin). Inside was quite blah.

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Stream beside Former Cathedral. And girls eating Chinese takeout (go figure).

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I don't know what this was but it looked quite nice.

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Around Maison Pfister

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Maison Pfister, 1537

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Another interesting-looking building

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Law Court

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Rue des Tanneurs (Road of the Tanners)

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Quai de la Poissonnerie (Fishmonger's Quai)

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Rue de la Poissonnerie

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Petite Venise (Little Venice)

Petite Venise was the last of the interesting sights, so I rushed to the train station to try and catch a train to a town from which I would visit an impressive castle.

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Fontaine Roesselmann. They looked too young to be smoking.

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Monument Bartholdi

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Cour d'Appel (Court of Appeal)

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Gare de Colmar (Colmar Station)

I was not going to make the 13:01 train to Colmar, and the next one was at 13:57 so I was resigned. However, this was the first time I was happy to see the sign "retard 5 mn" (5 minutes delay). As it was I bought my ticket just as the train rolled into the station, and was lucky that there was a long queue to get onto it.

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Sélestat restaurant. Nothing special until I saw:

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The menu - it's an Asian Restaurant!

Naturally Tourist Information was closed for lunch. So I had time to rest on the bench outside and fail at accessing its free wifi. And eat the last La Durée macaron (vanilla - it was slightly more rich and intense than Ben and Jerry's Vanilla).

At Sélestat's tourist information, I tried to find out how I could get to the Castle of Haut-Kœnigsbourg; recall that the stupid castle had no shuttles servicing it during the week. This was despite the castle's website not mentioning that the shuttle didn't run every day (well, in June it did).

My options were:

- The smart option - skipping the castle and returning the next day when there would be a shuttle
- Taking a tour from Colmar (25€ per person - since I was alone it would've cost 50€)
- Taking a 20€ taxi there from Sélestat
- The stupid option - taking a bus to Châtenois and hiking 8km to the castle. I was assured by tourist information that the walk would take about 1 hour and wouldn't be too hard

At this point, I was missing 黑车 (unofficial transport), one of the [few] good things about China. Naturally, I chose the stupid option, as I figured it would be pleasant to walk. Really, I didn't choose this option just to save 19€ (the bus cost 1€).

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"La Route des Vins d'Alsace" ("The Alsatian Wine Route")
They managed to find an Asian chick for the cover. Excellent.

I wasn't going to walk 8km sans sustenance (I hadn't had lunch).

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"Maison de Qualité"
("House of Repute")

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Menu of Atas Restaurant

No, I didn't eat here. There was no kebab shop nearby, but I managed to get a ham and butter baguette sandwich, a Coke and an almond pastry.

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"Sélestat. Ville la plus sportive 2010"
("The city most enthusiastic about sport in 2010")

At the bus stop to Châtenois I saw a teen smoking, so I asked him what the minimum age for smoking was in France. He said 15. That explained the kids I saw smoking earlier.

He also asked for a bit of my sandwich, so I acquiesced (and gave him the last bit also). Then he asked me: "You're not from around here?" Again, Integration in France (or at least in Les Provinces) seems to be so bad that young members of minority groups cannot speak French. How can this be - this is not Germany!

Getting off the bus in Châtenois, I asked an elderly couple for directions. The man said he'd never seen anyone walk to Haut-Kœnigsbourg. Well, I was going to be the first.

So I tightened my shoelaces, popped 2 ibuprofen and started my walk.
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