15 hours ago
Friday, March 26, 2010
We're back in Colmar! I used French (not sure if it's correct – blame babelfish, if not) and German in the title today because Colmar is an interesting mix of both. The town is close to the border and has belonged to both countries at different times. This leads to an interesting mix of German/French culture and the use of both languages. In fact, the older residents of the area have their own language that is a combination of both. I'm becoming comfortable with my German now and ordering drinks at a café, I accidently lapsed into German and so did the waitress, without blinking an eye!
Below is the little tour train that runs through town. We didn't take that tour but I thought the train was cute. The passengers sit on the train and wear headphones so they don't miss anything. I think our walking tour was more fun. I can't say which was more instructional.
There is a canal that runs through Colmar and they call the area around it petit Venice or little Venice. Goods were floated up the canal in the old days and you can still see the rings on the side of the buildings where the boats could tie up.
This is the Musee Unterlinden. Again, a mix of French and German in the name. It is an art gallery that used to be a convent for the Dominican nuns.
Next is the Musee Bartholdi. Bartholdi is the man who built the Statue of Liberty and he was born in Colmar. He made 35 small models before settling on the design. Once he had the design, he started putting it together in Paris. On Sunday afternoons, Parisians would walk over to watch the progress. As it neared completion, no money had been raised by the New Yorkers for the pedestal. The Parisians hoped it would remain so as they wanted to keep it. The money was finally raised and it was shipped to the U.S. like the half-timbered houses – numbering each part as they took it apart so that it could be reassembled. Bartholdi gave his family home to the city of Colmar on the condition it would be a museum. On July 4th of every year, Americans get free admittance to his museum.
The statue below was the last that Bartholdi made.
I hope you've enjoyed my tidbits from my trip. I've already scheduled my next trip. The first weekend in May, I'm going to Keukenhof and Amsterdam. Lots of fun stuff to share, I'm sure. So tell me about your favorite trip. Have a great weekend!