Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

By the time many of you read this, I’ll be in my van on the road to Wyoming.  So it’s the start of a three-week blogging break for me.  Our internet connection at 7,000′ is quite slow, which is fine, as I’ll be spending my time riding, reading, hiking, and relaxing.  My parents will also be visiting for about a week, although unfortunately, my husband can’t make it. But I imagine I’ll be popping in to Instagram from time to time.  In the meantime, have a wonderful time wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.  When I get back, I’ll have lots of information and photos for posts, although I haven’t finished with France yet.  Isn’t travel grand?  Blessings to all of you and I’ll be back soon.

Headed toward this view…

© janet m. webb

Just as Moses came down from the mountain, so did we (although not with any commandments), following a winding road that looked inviting.  As I previously mentioned, just as we were ready to turn around, we spotted a sign for “Lautenbach.”  As that’s the maiden name of my s-i-l (the one married to my brother, not the one I was visiting), I asked to stop so I could take a photo of the sign.  Then we spotted an attractive church steeple and another beautiful detour was begun.

Lautenbach is a very German name but this part of France, the Alsace, has been part of Germany more than once.  The town is beautiful and in the center is St. Michael Collegiate Church.  Although the church looks old, as tourisme-alsace.com says:

“The former collegiate church of Saint Michael-and-Gangolphe underwent many transformations over the centuries. The nave probably dates from the 11th century, the transept, the choir and the flat chevet from the 12th century. Its vaulted porch is one of the finest in the region. The building is, however, completely restored in 1859. Decorations and additions, such as the towers, implemented by the architect of the 19th century, are questionable although they do not alter the overall aesthetic. Guided tours for groups all year round on appointment at the Guebwiller Tourism Office.”

No matter when it was built or that is was restored, it’s beautiful and worth a visit.  The pipe organ has been classified as a historic monument.  Let me share a few photos and let you decide.

© janet m. webb

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Finally!  It’s lunch time.  We’ll eat at Chalet-hôtel du Grand Ballon, (you can view this in English by clicking the box on the upper right), but first we have to make a stop at the Famille Riche store, filled aromatically and beautifully with all things honey-related.  The family raises the bees, using the honey in a variety of products.  My s-i-l gifted me with a jar of honey, almonds in honey, and a beeswax Christmas candle.  I bought several trios of honey-based soaps as gifts. If you have a minute, take a look at their website.  You’ll find beautiful things.  The almonds in honey taste wonderful on chèvre or foie gras.  You can take my word on that!  🙂

© janet m. web

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We’d dried off a bit, had our cafè to warm us, and were off exploring.  Flying under the radar clouds, we absorbed quite a lot of beauty before stopping for lunch.  As we drove, the clouds began to lift, allowing us better views of this stunning area covered with wildflowers.

© janet m. webb

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Flying below the fog but not below the rain, the damp chill eventually found its way into our bones.  That meant time for a hot drink, but it was mid-morning Wednesday and the few places we saw were closed.  Although Le Paquis des Hautes Fees didn’t appear to be open, it was and we went in, thankful to get out of the wind and cold.  The view looked decidedly better from inside.  🙂

© janet m. webb

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We’ve had a lot of fun in the forests of the Vosges.  But not far away, there are mountains, the highest in this part of France.  Last year, we enjoyed the Grand Ballon.  That’s not a mis-typing of Balloon.  The name means “Great (round-topped) mountain”, “ballon” meaning a mountain with a round top. This year, we were in a different part of the mountain range.  The weather wasn’t the best, but we were prepared.

© janet m. webb

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Finally, fundamentally fabulous, fantastic French forest fungus.  Fun!  🙂

Yes, alliteration has struck again.  If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know that where I go in France, I’m deep in the Vosges forest.  This is where we walk the dogs each day.

© janet m. webb

Although we love to hunt for (edible) mushrooms, much of what we find is, although fun to see, not edible and might even be poisonous.  Despite not being edible, fungi can be eye-catching, as I think you can tell from these photos.

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