Jun 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Take in Colmar

Colmar,  located in the Alsace region of northeast France, lies between Basel (French: Bâle) and Strasbourg. All of Colmar’s attractions are concentrated in its old town. For a medieval city, it is surprisingly big, but seniors can nonetheless get around on foot with no difficulty. Frommers notes Colmar as “one of the most attractive towns in Alsace.” Having been there myself several times, I agree.  When seniors travel in France, journey out to this region and enjoy the peace and calm as you drive through the famous Route du Vin.

Old town is Colmar’s main attraction. It is stunningly beautiful and well preserved. Senior visitors, allow yourself a full day to stroll along Colmar’s old streets and its many varied shops. Wandering about Colmar’s old streets is the best way to explore.

The Alsatian Cuisine

The Alsatian cuisine is omnipresent, in restaurants as well as specialty stores.  Alsace is known for its pastries. Kugelhopf is a well-known cake similar in shape to the American Bundt cake. You can buy traditional ceramic Kugelhopf pans in any tourist shop with recipes to make at home.

The food and the wine are sometimes clearly more German than French. Colmar is in a noted wine-making region. Given its proximity to the Rhine, however, the wines made in Colmar have more in common with German wine than the products of Bordeaux. The German influence on Colmar and the region is further noted in popular local treats like bretzels (pretzels) and choucroûte aux poissons (sauerkraut with fish). Colmar’s pastries are especially good, and visitors should try the Alsatian spin on pizza, the tarte flambée. This consists of two pizza crust-like layers of dough with plenty of cheese, onions and bacon between them.

Seniors Enjoy One of France’s Little Gems

The town has rather too much development around the edges, but penetrate through and you will love the old town – street after narrow street of half-timbered, half-painted houses, will show you the real Alsace as it was hundreds of years ago. The part of the town described as ‘Petite Venise‘ is especially attractive and photogenic, with some simply lovely houses lining the river. Study the town a bit and you will discover that has two great works of art hidden away, for which it is renowned: the first is in the Unterlinden Museum – the Issenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grunewald, a magnificent piece of Renaissance art; the second is in the Dominican church – the ‘Vierge au Buisson de Roses’ by Martin Schongauer. Although less important than the Grunewald, it is also a highly regarded altarpiece.  Either as a stop on the way to Germany or as a picturesque retreat, Colmar is one of France’s little gems.

A Travel Forum and Major Attractions

Seniors who enjoy travel forums may find this site attractive. Three highlights of a walking tour of the old part of Colmar are the Maison des Tetes (“House of Heads”), so-named because it is decorated with faces; the ancient wooden Pfister House; and the pink St. Martin Church. The Unterlinden Museum is home to a fine collection of old armor, furniture and other items. This nicely done Virtual Tour provides seniors with some great shots of what they will experience in Colmar. TripAdvisor provides several options during your visit including some great wine tasting adventures. Work on that French a bit before your journey and impress the locals and have fun doing it. jeb

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