We decided to go to Colmar, which is in France, just because we could. It’s a famous little town in Alsace that’s very pretty and had begun it’s Christmas market already. We took the train from the French part of Basel station (having negotiated the completely different ticketing machine successfully, which took some time!). Then, when the ticket collector came round, we realised we’d failed to get the ticket stamped by the machine on the platform before we got on the train. Fortunately he was kind and realised we were not used to this system, so didn’t charge us double as a result (apparently the normal fine). Thank goodness not everyone is a “jobsworth”! The greater surprise to me was that at no point did we have to show any ID, even though we crossed a border. And no one inspected our bags. The ticket collector just looked slightly envious as he said, “I guess you’re going to the Christmas market are you?” (In French, of course.)
Colmar is very pretty. Here are some pics.
We had tarte flambée (Flammekueche) for lunch (a traditional Alsace meal, a bit like a light form of pizza, with bacon, onion, cream and cheese topping), and later on warmed up with du vin chaud in my case and a hot apple juice in Delia’s.
In the covered market, we saw this wonderful selection of breads and cakes…
…followed by the terrible disappointment of this “Big English” loaf. (Square, probably dry, uninteresting looking thing… but someone must buy it or they wouldn’t be selling it, right??):
We had a look around the natural history museum, which included some great information on the current threats to biodiversity, as well as some really extraordinary stuffed / preserved animals, fossils and other artefacts.
A mammoth molar:
Towards the end of the exhibitions we found some interlopers. We weren’t quite sure whether this was the result of a drunken night out by the staff, or some kind of test to see how many people paid attention until the end, or some mischievous prank by some origami experts…? 😆:
The last Christmassy view of Colmar:
…and the fabulous band that greeted us on arrival back at Basel station. I should’ve made a little video, but we were in a rush to get the next train home.