Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Wedding in Alsace

My ultimate destination in France was a family wedding in the Alsace not far from Strasbourg. I had intended to spend two days in Strasbourg, but the EU Parliament was sitting for exactly the two days I would have been there and hotel prices tripled, so I chose Paris instead.

From Paris I took the TGV (fast train) east. The speed of the trains are posted on internal screens  so I know we traveled 317k/m but it didn't feel that. It was an easy trip.

In Strasbourg I joined other family members to drive south. Our destination was about an hour and a half from Strasbourg but we stopped at picturesque Obernai for lunch then headed for the tiny roads to wind our way over the hills to beat the heat (34C). The temperature guage dropped as we climbed through the forests.

The Alsace is as pretty as they say. Lots of forests, patches of wheat and hay, houses built to withstand snow, some villages with very  'French' architecture and others that reminded of Switzerland.
Bluets et Brimbelles. Definately recommended.
Our accommodation,  Bluets et Brimbelles  was an artfully renovated barn. The internal woodwork leading up the three storeys was beautiful and the place was big enough to accommodate a larger family party.  Family members arrived a couple of days early so there was time to adjust and to help. It also meant the wedding became a sort of family reunion as well.
Stairwell at Bluets et Brimbelles
Bluets et Brimbelles reminded me of those TV Building and Renovation programs.  This one was a very successful make over. 
 View from our accommodation
The wedding was held over three days. As international guests (there were many) arrived they joined the local family for lunch under the shade of hazelnut trees. Dinner was within walking distance at a community building down the road with lovely gardens and extensive lawns. Lunch the next day was at the same venue where locals made Flammekueche in an outdoor oven.
Making Flammekueche
After lunch guests walked over to the town hall for the wedding ceremony. The hall was already brimming with local townfolk.

The ceremony was about an hour long, most of it designed by the bridal party. It was casual, charming and moving.
Town hall wedding
Share rides were organised to get everyone to the venue of the celebration party in the evening (40 minutes away), and to he breakfast venue next day.
The three days were a masterpiece of good planning; very relaxed but effective. All credit to the young couple.

Party venue with dancers
The Alsatians are rightly proud of their food. On every side people were exclaiming at how delicious this or that was. Unfortunately I can't report myself as I got a stomach bug on day 1 and was on 3 days of water rations.

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