Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gerald Celente on the SOTU address

The grape harvest

While we were waiting for the bus I shot these pictures. A guy rolls up in his pickup truck loaded with freshly harvested grapes and was unloading them. They were heavy as is evident from the pictures, they needed 2 people to pull it off the truck. The grapes go into te crushing bin. The empty truck then leaves for the vineyard to get some more grapes. All through the day and all through the villages, these activities go on. It was a lot of fun to be there, right in the midst of the area where they make vins de Alsace. I didn't see anyone jumping into the bins to crush the grapes. Do they still do that? I could have volunteered, it would make an incredible story.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Business signs

There was a time when businesses in this area couldn't post any signs on their shops. The only way around the law was to make artistic signs like these. The old ways of posting what their business is, was to post signs this way. They are all over the place, I was able to take a few pictures when I came across them. They are really pretty. You'll never see these anywhere else in the world. It is these things that make traveling so great, little things, big things, anything, everything. As Rick Steves says, 'keep on traveling'.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Riquewihr, le perle d'alsace, indeed, it is the pearl of the Alsace area of France. I took so many pictures, I could just go on and on uploading more until we get an overload of sweetness. It is the most perfect village we've ever visited.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kougelhopf and other pastries

Kougelhopf has spelled so many ways that few people actually know which is the correct spelling. This is the correct spelling. It is made in a bundt tin. I read recently the origin of the bundt tin, it originated in Vienna, Austria. After the defeat of the Ottoman Turks, the Viennese bakers made a tin like a turban turned upsidedown, hence a bundt tin and they make a cake called the Kougelhopf to celebrate. In the Alsace area of France they make Kougelhopf differently, instead of a cake it is a bread, it is a brioche. Both are delicious.

Le Kougelhopf, Oui!

Like in Munich, gingerbread cookies is everywhere.

I had wanted to bring home a kougelhopf pan but they were so bulky and heavy, I changed my mind. I bought one recently from my local store. I have yet to make a kougelhopf, maybe soon.

Plums are plentiful in the Alsace area and plum tarts are in every pastry store.

This is the premier area in France for blueberries.

I've always wanted to eat kougelhopf, I finally did, in both Vienna and in the Alsace area of France.


 Our first chocolate box perfect village on the route de vins. It was an exciting day and a perfect one too. The weather was so warm still but vintners know it wasn't going to be like that much longer. Even as we, the tourisits were traipsing around the village, the harvesters were hard at work in the vineyards. The trucks keep rolling through the main thoroughfare of the village, bringing the grapes from the fields to the crushing machines and leaving empty back to the fields to bring back some more. For so long I've wanted to visit this area and I'm finally here. We came on the local bus from the train station in Colmar. There are other buses that go in other directions to other villages. We picked the most picturesque and the prettiest to visit. Ribeauville is one of them. Maybe the next time we come we'll see others.