Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 24, 2011

Rubik’s Cube, Fountains, And New Rings: Day Tripping in Colmar

Dearest Readers,

So we ended up spending an extra night in Basel thanks to the gracious-ness of our Basel-ian host, Robert. We spent that extra day in the adorable French city of Colmar.

Colmar!!! (look at it, look at it, look at it!)

We had planned to go to Brussels for 24 hours, but then we figured out actually, we would have little more than 12 hours in Brussels and 10 hours of travel. Um, no thank you. (And yes, in case you were wondering, we are turning into old, tired women who just want to be in one place … constant traveling will do that to you.)

So we had this whole extra day to play with, and we thought to ourselves, we can do whatever we want. With the Eurail pass, all we have to do is find a train and we can travel for free (well, free in the sense that we paid $800 for the pass months ago).

Gina and I discuss frequently the amazing-ness of the train system in Europe. We can just hop on a train and go to a city hours away. Imagine if the United States were connected like that? If we could just catch a train from Chicago to Pittsburgh or from New York City to Charleston. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

So, with a little research and some advice that I had written down from a random French lady on a plane, we chose Colmar. This is a travel lesson, ladies and gentlemen: always be kind to your fellow plane passenger, because you never know when they may randomly be from Basel and can grace you with helpful tips and facts that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Colmar, like most places we visited from Basel, was an hour away. We chose it because it seemed small and quaint and looked, from the Google images, like a small French version of Venice complete with blue, gushing canals and delicate, multi-colored storefronts. And the best selling point? Low chance of rain. We were so there.

And let me just say, Colmar lived up to the hype. We arrived, found a map, and set off to the old town.

Side note, Gina and I have mastered how to conquer a city in a day: Find the map, pinpoint the area that seems to be important (usually denoted on the map with a lot of tourist attractions) and wander that direction, stopping at shops and purchasing pastries whenever we are so inclined.

Badah-bing, Badah-boom, we’ve seen the city. Now, we may not hit every historical artifact or important cathedral, but we discovered that isn’t really what we remember anyway. We remember how we stumbled upon the best baguette or the cutest cupcake or the sweetest shop owner.

But back to the story. We first wandered into Colmar, and what do we find, but a large square full of bursting fountains. So of course, we stopped to dance about in them. (And the statue of a man with huge toes.)



Oh Toe!

When we hit the city, we discovered a critical and definitely historically significant statute: a giant Rubik’s cube. (Unfinished, in case you were curious.) Do we know why it was there? No. Did we love it anyway? Heck yes. We took pictures pretending to solve it, har-dee-har-har, we are so clever.

Solving it. NBD.

Next, we meandered through the streets burgeoning with beautiful buildings. We stopped on the bridges and just admired the winding canal. We stumbled upon a giant market that reminded us of the Athens Farmers’ Market. It was full of food and pastries and meat and veggies from the area. I had a small cream-filled mouse pastry. (Ears of almond, of course. I decided I would like mice a lot more if they all had almond ears.)


Then, we found an art festival brimming with handmade jewelrey and purses. Oh snap, that is a dangerous place for two low-budget twenty-something girls. I ended up buying an enameled glass ring for 18 euros, and at a different shop further along, Gina bought a floral ring.

Jessie's Ring

Well, now that we were full and fashionable, we headed back to Basel to watch a movie and spend the night in before heading to Strasbourg, France today. (We hope to similarly master Strasbourg … wish us luck.)

With love from Colmar, Basel and soon, Strasbourg.



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