A few weeks ago we visited the south western part of Germany, the Schwarzwald, for some adventure hiking. Since we were close to the French border, we reckoned it would be a good idea to take a short drive to visit Colmar, a beautiful mid-sized city in the protestant Alsace region of France. We walked amongst canals and medieval alleyways, and had soup, salad and sandwich lunch — accompanied by local pinot gris — at one of the local cafés.

Colmar, we found, had a few things to offer that will keep you interested: it was the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of New York’s Statue of Liberty, for example. There’s a small museum there that commemorates his work — along with sculptures scattered around the town. And notice the enormous birds nest in the upper left corner of the photo. It is a bird famous for the area, the stork, or in local langugage, the “Cigogne d’Alsace.”

Although the weather was a bit cold, the spring was welcoming, and in full bloom.

Certain flowers are magical; the cherry blossoms are enchanting. The architecture was another feature specific to the regions surrounding Alsace; the wooden slats that decorate the façades in old town date the buildings to the city’s origins in the 9th century.

It was a pleasure as well, to cross over into a land where I had spent a lot of time earlier in my life. Perhaps that made it a natural calling for us to take this excursion.