full of history, a wine-growing land
a historic province in Eastern France, a narrow ribbon from the
swiss border in the south up to the German border in the north
of Strasbourg. The region is raddled by the Vosges mountains
and the river Rhine.
by the Vosges mountains, the province enjoys a semi-continental
climate with hot summers and long warm autumns, ideal for market
gardeners, wine growers and visitors alike.
is an improbably beautiful place, uncharacteristically neat and
tidy, the stuff of which fairy tales are made: medieval towns
and villages with higgledy-piggledy, half-timbered houses alight
in summer with cascading geraniums and petunias ; south facing
slopes neatly contoured with row upon row of vines; richly decorated
wrought iron inn signs;
great wooden doors from beneath which waft insistent, irresistible
smells of onion tart, freshly baked bread, new wine, old barrels.
are three big towns in Alsace, the cultural, intellectual and
financial center is Strasbourg, the industrial and business center
is Mulhouse, the agricultural and wine center is Colmar.
of Alsace are a sort of crossroads where seriousness and gaiety
meet, a, engaging combination of Germanic thouroughness and reliability
with French "joie de vivre".
Bonhome, in Alsace, next to a village called Lapoutroie.
of Lapoutroie, Alsace, and the Église St. Odile, seen
from the Parcous de Santée, a promenade on a hill in the
The Église St. Odile in Lapoutroie.
leaving Lapoutroie I went to a small village called Le Quesnoy,
where I met my friend Carole. We have been penpals since 1984
and I was very happy to finally meet her in 1999 after so many