The List, Dublin , and Alsace
July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
Rachel and I have been keeping a list. Every few days, when we end up on a train for a few hours we update it. On Each line in one or two words we put down the things that happened on each day passed: saw this, bussed there, met him, lost that etc etc. it’s great because it forces us to think about things we’ve just done and seem like a blur. After about ten minutes of sorting out what happened at the beginning of the first day everything starts to flow. We recall each monument and each child we took note of. So far it’s been one of my favorite activities of the trip. It turns our to be a mini reminisces every few days. I would recommend this little activity to all.
That list starts in Dublin. To play a little bit of catch up I’ll share pieces of the list and comment in brackets. Hopefully on less insane-o-pants days I’ll be able to fully expound on days gone by, but for now, a list.
Got to hostel (with our newly acquired GPS it made it so we actually knew where we were going. The $35 app paid for itself on this first walk.)
Chester Beatty museum (Here we saw a piece of the Gospel of John from 150 AD. That’s only a generation or two after Jesus died!)
Dublin castle (where the Chester Beaty Museum is located)
Found the third pub ( Apparently they stop serving food at pubs in Dublin around 5pm. It took us looking in three pubs to find a place to eat. Proper pub food, fish and chips and bangers and mash.) And my first Irish Guinness!
St James gate (the historic brewery of Guinness Extra Stout. The beer that is absolute rubbish in North America is sooo delicious in its home land! The brewery felt a bit like a theme park, but that’s ok there was plenty of free beer and a great beer education for the masses)
Back to hostel (we went back to the hostel)
Out for Persian food ( It was midnight so we didn’t even bother looking for a pub to eat in. We found the most appealing place to eat after midnight, and it turned out to be a Persian place that was fantastic)
(Home and sleep on our first evening)
Today on the other hand will get a hand in it’s remembering. Today we went with our family from Altkirch for a tour of “Alsace Typical” a town called Eguishiem, and then to an incredible old castle! It’s a tourist town and it feels set up to be a typical alsacian town. And Rachel and I could not have been more happy. For lunch we had a three course menu call “menu de Alsace terrior”. It featured terrine and vegetables, main course of chicken in Riesling and mushrooms with spatzel, and for dessert a berry pie with berries from Le Vosges- the mountains that dominate the landscape of Alsace. We had a bottle of Pinot Gris with the meal; it’s a wine fact that the food and wine of Alsace are the most naturally pairing in the world. Or so I’ve heard.
The meal was, of course, amazing but what struck me was its familiarity. Rachel’s grandmother has made a variation on that meal many times. It was quite the surprise to be eating oma’s food while in France.
From there we walked the small streets and found a cheese shop that offered samples. So, Raymond asked for a sample of some cheeses and we got four different kinds! There were two cheese that we got to try at two different stages of maturation: fresh and fully matured. Then two seperate ones. The cheese on this trip has been to die for. Eventually we found a souviner shop where we found some Alsace regional cookbooks and some post cards. We have been buying post cards like there are going out of style. But more on that later, but not too much later.
From there we drove to Koenigsburg. It’s a famous castle in Alsace that has been featured in a Sherlock Holmes story. Made of red stone from Le Vosges Mountains, it is the most fantastic feeling castle I have been to. You could just imagine the knights walking around and the sieges that crumbled the castle happening right where you were standing. The shop was wonderful, it had all of the plastic knights and dragons a little boy (or I) could ever want. And themed swords made both of steel and wood. It was truly an amazing place.
Of course one might think that a typical Alsacian town and a castle would be enough for the day. Alas, we needed to go out for dinner. Not Alsacian this time, but rather, the traditional dish of this particular regio, of Alsace called Sundgao : Carp et Frites. Yes carp. I have always seen carp as less than a noble fish, however, in Sundgao it is revered. And as it should be! It beats the carp out any fish and chips I have had in North America and is equally as good as the superb fish and chips from London. The carp is a hearty fish and you can taste it when you eat. It has a wonderful flavour and the texture et tres bon!
A short note on the drive from the castle to the restraunt. The fields looks like grass from above but are actually grape vines. Grape vines as far as the eye can see. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I understand the wine culture of France so much clearer now that I have seen the sheer amount of grapes grown within a forty minute drive.
Our hosts, Elizabeth and Raymond have endured that we take part In that culture! Wine with both lunch and diner and a beer for a thirst quencher after the castle tour. Drinking is just part of life here and it wonderful.
And now it’s time for sleep 🙂
*written on July 17