I spent a couple of nights in Colmar but it was probably the best part of France I’ve seen so far. Very cute little old town, friendly people and a relaxed feel to the whole place.
The original plan was to stop in several smaller French towns on my way up to Paris, but since I spent longer in Switzerland than anticipated I could only fit in one town after Lyon. I didn’t know anything about this little place before coming here, I’d literally seen a couple of photos and decided to make this my one small town to visit. After another stressful day of train travel in France (containing cancelled and delayed trains as well as missed connections resulting from those delays) I arrived in Colmar arrive 8pm. I walked through the quiet old town to get to my AirBnb, grabbing a huge kebab for dinner on the way (you can see how happy I am in the photo to finally eat after that long travel day). I booked this accommodation because I couldn’t find any hostels in the area, and although it was a lot more expensive than I have been paying it is so nice to have a room to myself for once. After three months of staying in hostels I’m very used to sharing a room, but the two nights in Colmar were some of my best sleeps I’ve had in a long time.
The next morning I ventured out to look around the town with no itinerary at all, first stop was at a small patisserie to grab breakfast. Colmar has such a cute little old town, exactly like what I imagined a small French village being like. The old town is made up of colorful tall buildings with dark wooden support beams, the small river running through the town is lined with bright flower boxes and there are lots of small boulangers, patissiers and fromagiers around.
I had one of the strangest feelings I’ve had on this trip so far in the farmers market near Petite Venise. Right after getting lunch from a boulanger (having the whole conversation in French) I was walking through the market trying to find somewhere to sit down and eat. The combination of everyone speaking French around me, the baguettes and pastries lining the stalls of the market, the accordion player and the fact that I hadn’t spoken any English all day had a strange effect on me. I actually had to stop and look around, for the first time in a while it really hit me that I was experiencing an entirely different culture to my own.
I spent the rest of my time here strolling around a part of the town called Petite Venise, a colorful area with a river running through it. As you cross over the bridges you are treated to really nice views of the small river and the houses that back onto it. A good stop on my trip to take it easy for a bit before venturing to Paris then London.