Pâques Alsaciennes

Recently, I’ve been really into Buzzfeed. It was bound to happen. I’m “forced” to sit through three-hour long lectures – sometimes three times a day. I don’t even take three-hour long classes back home due to my short attention span when it comes to power points. Plus, I’m surrounded by other students who share my sentiments exactly. Though the cherry on top has to be the fact I’m required to take the French track, meaning my classes are all in French.

Needless to say, I tend to get distracted/uninterested quickly. So, the need for my brain to latch itself onto any source of entertainment is essential. Put yourself in my position: I’m in Europe for an entire semester. The last thing I want to do is sit at a desk in a classroom – let the European continent be my playground! (*insert disclaimer about not meaning this when it comes time to receive my marks.)

Anyways, back to the point. A friend shared this Buzzfeed article, and I have made it my mission to see as many of this places as I can. Charming Colmar is #3 on this list, but right now, it is #1 in my heart as the most loveliest little town in France.

JiYoung and I set off on our adventure on Friday evening. We had class during the day, and speaking for myself, I was eager to get Easter weekend started. So, after a nice salmon and steamed broccoli Good Friday dinner, I met up with her at the train station.

We took a night train, which was an experience in itself!

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I’ve been on a night train before, and this experience was pretty much the same. It was quite a bumpy ride, and not the best night’s rest. I’m also a very light sleeper (unless I’m exceptionally exhausted). However, I would – and will – definitely choose the night train option again since you don’t waste a day this way. Because when we got off the train that following morning, we were in Colmar!

It was around 8:30AM that we dropped off our bags at the hotel. It was too early to check in, so we returned to the station and bought des billets / tickets heading to Strasbourg, which was only an half hour train ride away.

Strasbourg

Oh, Strasbourg. What can I say? I was physically, mentally, emotionally ill-prepared for the weather, as I immediately realised I was no longer in the warmer Midi-Pyrénées region – we were in the mid-20’s not too long ago! 20 degrees Celsius that is.

Strasbourg, you were cold, and you were windy. I think you might actually think it’s still winter. Though, it was nothing a nice cup of hot chocolate and a warm refuge could fix.

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Then, with some food in our systems, we were off to explore the city ourselves. Sans une carte de ville / without a city map, may I add.

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Strasbourg is the symbolic capital of Europe, embodying both France and Germany. Upon arriving in the city, it didn’t feel like I was in France. In fact, it felt like I was in Germany again as its influence is prevalent in Strasbourg’s architecture; the languages that were within an earshot were almost never French, but English, German, or Spanish; and it was cold. The latter was not relevant, but just to get my point across.

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Colmar

After a late lunch in Strasbourg, the adrenaline was running out and a quick recharge was necessary. Then, that evening we ventured into the town center for a late dinner. I had a tarte flambée – which was only appropriate as it is a traditional Alsatian dish!

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The next day was Easter Sunday. JiYoung and I attended la messe à 10:30/ 10:30 mass at the Cathédrale Saint MARTIN. I’m not sure why I didn’t start going to French mass sooner. Guess I just wasn’t ready to leave my safety blanket.

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I could not imagine a better place (other than home, of course) to spend Easter Sunday. Except maybe at the Vatican. Colmar itself is a colorful town, with spring/summer colors as paint-jobs, but it was also decked out in Easter decorations. Les marchés de Pâques / the Easter markets were in full force. The town even had goats, bunnies, chickens, and other birds for the children. Everything just gave it a proper springtime feel.

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I found myself singing Beauty and the Beast songs throughout the day. I would totally believe it if they said that Monsieur Walt Disney found his inspiration for Belle’s “provincial town” here in Colmar.

Either my imagination is in copious amounts or I’m just too Disney for my own good, but this fountain – la Fontaine Schwendi – couldn’t you imagine Belle reading her favorite book here? I could.

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Colmar is, as the BuzzFeed article put it, “the Disney Princess of towns.”

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The only other place that I know is just as magical is the land of Disney!

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It was hard to leave this place, but I am incredibly happy to have made it out there. It also helped that the sun was out. I’m convinced that everything is better with sunshine.

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I hope everyone had an equally wonderful Easter weekend! There is so much to be thankful for and weekends such as this remind me how lucky am I to be here. I feel so extremely blessed, and it’s an amazing feeling.

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