We just got back from our week-long February break. A few friends and I decided to squeeze in as many locations as we could during this trip (without getting too exhausted). We went to Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, and Colmar. All of these are locations in France, but I’m going to focus on the two places we visited that are part of the Alsace region of France. Strasbourg and Colmar are both towns/cities in Alsace, which is a very historical region in northeastern France bordering Germany and Switzerland. I wanted to visit the Alsace region because this territory has alternated between French and German control over the centuries, creating a very cool blend of these two cultures. In my history of religion class at IES Abroad, we learned a lot about the law of 1905 which, very simply put, is the separation of church and state. However, because of the constant country switches, the Alsace region is exempt from this law! A little history for you there.
First we visited Strasbourg, Alsace’s capital. Strasbourg is bordered by many canals and is home to the Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. This cathedral is absolutely massive and has a very famous animated astronomical clock inside. We bought tickets to not only go inside the cathedral, but climb the 332 steps up 66 meters to the outdoor roof observation deck that provided us with the best view of the city. Even though it was very cloudy, windy, and a bit rainy the day we did this, the view was still spectacular.
Next we went to Colmar, which is the cutest little town I have ever seen. My favorite place was Petit Venise (Little Venice) where we took a canal boat tour! Colmar is so incredibly colorful because at one point there was a law in place that made it illegal to have the same colored houses next to each other. How cool! This town is also known for its Christmas markets and celebrations. Even in February, I could tell this would be the ideal destination for the holidays. This vacation was incredible and I hope to come back one day.
I’m trying a new blog post format today, so I included some pictures from this trip with captions that explain where/what is happening in them! Enjoy.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hi everyone!! My name is Emily MacDonald and I am studying abroad in Nantes, France with the French Language Immersion program. I am an Elementary Education major with a French minor. I love singing and acting, working with kids, eating desserts, watching live theatre, and spending time with the people I love. Spread kindness and positivity . . . YOU matter!</p>