What’s so special about Colmar?

That’s one of the suggested questions when running a Google search for a notable town on the Alsatian plains of eastern France which have changed ownership between Germany and France several times. We drive past it on the motorway whenever we head to or from the U.K. during our road trips from home in Switzerland, and have long thought we should actually visit one day.

That visit came this past weekend, when we managed to choose a particularly hot and muggy Saturday to wander around the historic town as a change to our more regular days out in the countryside. After sitting in interminably slow-moving traffic for a good 45 minutes on the motorway between Bern and Oensingen, we finally arrived around three hours after leaving home; much longer than expected, although we’d made a quick stop in St. Louis to visit a French supermarket and pick up some stuff which we can’t get in our local stores.

The town is possibly most famous amongst Swiss residents for its Christmas market and believe me, if the town gets blanketed in snow one year when I have a day off, I’ll certainly be heading up there with my camera and tripod. But the town is just as pretty at this time of year, and the plentiful cafés, restaurants and bars give plenty of opportunities to sit and watch the world go by.

Given that I really like “long” birds such as heron and storks, given that seeing the latter usually means we’re on holiday or travelling through France, I may be biased that I loved seeing little motifs of the black-and-white birds all around the town.

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