Where's Frankie?


Friday 14th April

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We’re still meandering down the Alsace Wine route and food another town and I know that I promised not to put any more photos of Germanic buildings on but this place was very nice. It’s Equisheim and could be one of the prettiest places we’ve found so far. Our Back Roads of France finishes here, even thought the Alsace wine route still goes on for another 25 miles or so.

Looking at the photo above, try and imagine a defensive wall where the houses on the left are, and the buildings on the right are store houses. Inside the ring of store houses is another ring where the merchants live. We have three rings of buildings, the original defensive wall was taken down and more buildings put up so that now there are three rings of buildings, all with narrow cobbled streets.

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This is one of the newer houses…

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Every so often the rings merge and you are left with very narrow buildings…

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…stores in the middle, old houses to the right and new houses to the left, and loads of Japanese tourists!!!!

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In the centre of the town is the church. In 1980 there were two pairs of nesting storks left in all of Alsace. By 2010 there were over 400 pairs. The church in the centre of Equisheim was home to three pairs.

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Inside the church, lovely stained glass windows.

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You can see two stork nests here, the third is hidden behind the steeple.

We had a good look round but it was Wednesday, all the shops are closed, yes, really, they all take it in turns to close and it just accidentally synchronises with us for some reason.

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We moved on to a lovely little aire, just the four of us, with our own little bit of grass, free services and no shops. The footpaths were well signposted and I managed to talk Lucy into a little ramble not realising it was up steep hills.

Next day, moving on and we ended up in Germany. The Southern part of the Alsace wine route was a bit boring (to be honest), nothing like as pretty as the northern half and I’m beginning to think our Back Roads of France was right to finish at Equisheim.

Guess where we are now!! We had a quick whizz round Lidls, gin is €5.49 a bottle, Honey Jack is €9.99, beer is a fraction of the price of France. Est its sehr gutt heir.

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We managed another free aire (stellplatz) last night, this is the view out of Frankie’s door this morning. We are on the Rhine just below where it splits in two, 7km from Basel. The far side is the Grand Canal D’Alsace, and this side is a mini hydro electric dam. We can see huge cruise ships passing up and down the canal. Our dam is using 60 cubic metres of water a second.

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This morning we moved on, originally aiming for Waldshut but ending up in Lauchringen. It’s €8 per night here and you have to pay in the town Hall. Like all good public sector workers they take bank holidays very seriously and despite my best German accent there is no one to give the money to. We had to give it to the girl in the beer shop instead. Unlike France, beer here is good and it is cheap. The last beer photo was in glasses half the size of these and cost more. (Did I say the Gin was cheap here as well?)

However, being Good Friday every single shop is closed, even the Halal Supermarket. All we could find open was the ice cream shop which sold beer. C’est la vie, or as we say here “so ist das leben”.

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Walking back from town we spotted dozens of Red Kites taking advantage of the thermals. Everyone seems to be cycling or jogging, unfortunately I forgot my lycra otherwise I would be joining in with them.

So far Germany is looking far less like Germany than Alsace does!!

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So, why don’t I have a garage like this???? I have no beer and my neighbour has more than his fair share. Apparently he is going to Switzerland tomorrow and you have to take your own beer, it’s considered to be inconsiderate if you don’t take your own beer (and very expensive).

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