Au Crocodile

Au Crocodile

France

We went to Au Crocodile for Christmas Eve dinner. Good location in the center of Strasbourg. We made reservations several weeks in advance and were seated at a nice table in the main dining room with a beautiful Christmas tree in the center. The tasting menu for Christmas was delicious and beautifully presented.

Bread & Butter

Amuse Bouche

Ballottine de caille et foie gras

Lotte confite, Petits legumes au Caviar Imperial, Coulis de Crustaces

Noisette de cerf dorée, Sauce a l'infusion de feve de Tonka, Mousseline de Celeri et Poire pochee aux Airelles

Brie de Meaux aux Morilles et Marjolaine

Boule de neige aux saveurs Exotique Coco

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Christmas Market France

Strasbourg Christmas Market in Alsace

Alsace is well known for it’s beautiful Christmas Markets. The Strasbourg Christmas Market is the oldest Christmas market in France. Way back in 1570 at Place Broglie. The Christmas Market takes place every year around the end of November to the end of December. The best way to avoid crowds is to come on weekdays in the first half of December. The last week before Christmas is when you’ll see the biggest crowds.

To visit the entire market requires a lot of walking. The entire city center is ornately decorated. You will find Christmas lights illuminate every street. I just can’t stop taking pictures everywhere I go! This is just winter-wonderland overload.

Christmas Tree in Place Kleber

The Strasbourg Christmas market is very widespread throughout the public squares of the central island. The best attraction would be the large Christmas tree in the town square (Place Kléber). Place Kléber is the largest open square in Strasbourg. It is full of historic buildings and fine architecture.

We walked by Place Kléber numerous times during our 2 night stay in Strasbourg. The tree was decorated with blinking lights and stars. The surrounding buildings with lighting looked spectacular too. It is beautiful in the evening when all the lights are on. Spectacular at night for photos.

Strasbourg-Christmas-Market

The Carré d’Or Market

The Carré d’Or Market is located in Place du Temple-Neuf.

Very Festive Atmosphere

This city has been running Christmas market since the 16th century. There are around 11 markets (called Christkindelsmärik) with 300 stalls today.

It’s worth spending time walking around the streets and the market during the day to see all of the decorations, and then again at night for the lights.

Nearly every shop and building is excessively decorated with a theme for the holidays.

The main markets are at:

  • Place de la Cathédrale
  • Place Kléber
  • Place Gutenberg
  • Place Broglie
  • Place du Château

There are six smaller ones at:

  • Place du Marché aux Poisson
  • Place du Temple Neuf
  • Place Saint Thomas
  • Place des Meuniers
  • Place Benjamin-Zix
  • Place Grimmeissen

Batorama Boat Tour

This is the most delightful way of viewing Strasbourg. The views from the canals are great. Each seat has its own personal headset for the audio tour and you can select your language.

Discover Strasbourg on a boat trip

Petite France, Strasbourg

1741, Strasbourg

1741, Strasbourg

France

1741

We dined at 1741 just a few days before Christmas. It was directly opposite the Palais Rohan. From the outside it was beautiful decorated for Christmas, inside we were seated on the top floor in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Our table for two felt very spacious and private. Their staff were very friendly and professional. Since we don’t speak French and all the staff were trying their best to explain the dishes to us in English. I loved every single dish, they were so refined and elegant. Every course was truly delicious. I’d love to come back to 1741 on my next visit to Strasbourg.

Bread

Foie Gras from Lucien Doriath Farm

Black Truffel Tuber Melanosporum.

Royal Langoustine

Quenelle and consomme.

Char fish from Heimbach spring

Herbs butter and Mushroom puree.

Egg cooked at 64

Salmon like gravlax and dill

Chocolate and Pear

Chocolate form and Pear Ice

Petit Four

A Day Trip to the Medieval Village of Eze

France

Things to Do & See in Eze

Eze is located between Nice and Monaco. It is a 1000+ years old village on a high cliff (1,401 feet above sea level). Looks like we will have some uphill walking/climbing today.

We rent a car and drive from Toulon and it takes about 2 hours. We arrive almost around noon. The tourist information office is excellent providing assistance in many languages, maps and time tables of the buses and trains. Hence, we book a walking tour from the tourist information center. I’d suggest that you arrive early because you cannot drive up with your own car and parking in the tourist parking lot is limited. It takes us quite a while to find the parking space.

eze

Lunch at Le Pinocchio
We have lunch at “Le Pinocchio” at the base of the old village. Afterwards we take a leisurely climb up the winding street to the old village.
eze-lunch

Upon entering I feel transported back to the Medieval period while walking up the uneven stone streets through narrow passages. Beautiful old town hanging on a cliff side overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with fabulous views.
eze

1. VIEUX EZE

The village is very well preserved and chic. It’s full of winding medieval cobblestone streets with quaint little shops and cafes. Many of the old residences have been converted into jewelry shops, art galleries, souvenir shops, and boutiques.
eze-village

Church of the Penitents of the White Brotherhood
The construction of the chapel dates from the year 1306.
eze-church

2. LE JARDIN EXOTIQUE D’EZE

The garden has an interesting collection of exotic cactus. Quite a climb but worth it for the views. Go there and be wowed!
le-jardin-exotique_deze

Panoramic view over the coast!
le-jardin-exotique-deze

A breathtaking view!
eze-garden-view

3. Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption

Located at the foot of the Village. The inside is an explosion of Baroque colors and dramatic design.
the-church-of-eze

Easy Day Trips in Toulon

Easy Day Trips in Toulon

France

Toulon is located in the southern of France between Marseille and Nice. It is not a major tourist destination like other cities in France. We are visiting Toulon mostly because our friend’s mother-in-law lives here and she is on a vacation to somewhere else. We are lucky to stay at her place and have our friend Zoe tour us around Toulon.

Things to Do & See

1. COURS LAFAYETTE

Typical french market with huge selection of fruits, cheese, vegetables, and various merchandise. It’s the heart of the old town near the harbor. The market stretches for many blocks. We bought some food and went home made our own lunch. Closed around 1pm.
cours-lafayette

cours-lafayette-fruits

Breakfast at La Cade
Our friend Zoe said she must get the baked chickpea pancake each time she visits Toulon. It tastes really good and unique!
cours-lafayette_la-cade

Lunch
We bought fruits, olives, cheeses, veggies, meats, and breads from the market. Made ourselves a great meal!
cours-lafayette-lunch

cours-lafayette_lunch

2. TELEPHERIQUE DU MONT FARON

Fun gondola ride to the top of Mt. Faron. You will need to take the bus to the lift. We purchased the ticket at the tourism office near the Cours Lafayette market. The top of Mt. Faron is a pleasant stroll for an hour or so.
toulon_cable_car

toulon-gondola

toulon-city_view

3. RADE DE TOULON

The Rade de Toulon is the largest French naval port in the south of France and the Mediterranean. If you want to get on the water there are various tourist boat tours. We took the boat to Porquerolles. It’s very enjoyable!
toulon_harbor

boat_porquerolles

boat-to-porquerolles

4. PORQUEROLLES

Porquerolles is the largest and most westerly of the 3 islands in the Îles d’Hyères. Day trip to Porquerolles was a lot of fun. Rent a bike when you arrive. It’s the best way to visit different beaches, shores and vineyards.
hyeres

porquerolles_bike

Lunch at Il Pescatore
porquerolles_lunch

porquerolles_swimming

porquerolles_beach

Dinner at La Flambee
la-flambee

Dinner at Au Point Gorumand
au-point-gourmand-toulon

toulon_au_point_gourmand

Lille

Lille

France

Things to Do & See

1. LA GRAND PLACE

We visited Lille for the Christmas Market. The atmosphere was really festive with an illuminated Ferris wheel and enormous Christmas tree. Great to walk round with a warm glass of mulled wine or hot apple cider.

lille

lille-grand-place

lille_xmas_market

lille-xmas

2. LE VIEUX-LILLE

lille-city

lille_old-town

le_vieux-lille

le-vieux-lille

Lunch at A l’Huîtrière
a-lhuitriere

a-lhuitriere-lille

lille_a-lhuitriere

lille-a-lhuitriere

Paul
lille-paul

3. LA VIEILLE BOURSE (OLD STOCK EXCHANGE)

The stock exchange is a striking building in the center of Lille. Inside courtyard was a small antiques fair used by traders selling second hand books, antiques, and records.
lille-old-stock-exchange

4. LE TRIPOSTAL

Always fun checking out the cool modern art in a new town. The museum is big and inviting. Plenty of space to walk round. The exhibits are so varied, that there’s something for everyone.

le-tripostal_lille

lille_le-tripostal

lille-le-tripostal

5. PORTE DE PARIS

It is a commemorative monument for the victories of Louis XVI. It served as the town gates as well as an Arc de Triomphe.
lille-porte-de-paris

Dinner at La Menara
lille-la-menara

Paris

Paris

France

Things to Do & See

1. EIFFEL TOWER | 2003

eiffel-tower

2. MUSEE DU LOUVRE | 2003

louvre

musee-du_louvre

musee-du-louvre

3. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL | 2003

notre-dame-cathedral

4. BASILICA DU SACRE-COEUR DE MONTMARTRE | 2003

basilica-montmartre

montmartre

montmartre

5. SAINTE CHAPELLE | 2003

sainte-chapelle_paris

sainte-chapelle-paris

6. VERSAILLES PALACE | 2003

versailles-palace

versailles_palace

france-versailles-palace

versailles

versailles_palace-inside

versailles-palace-france

7. CENTRE POMPIDOU | 2003

centre-pompidou

paris-centre-pompidou

8. PONT ALEXANDRE III | 2003

alexander-bridge

6. LUXEMBOURG GARDENS | 2003

luxembourg-garden

luxembourg-gardens

9. GALERIES LAFAYETTE | 2003

galeries-lafayette

galeries-lafayette-paris

10. PRINTEMPS | 2003

printemps

11. PALAIS GARNIER | 2003

opera-national-de-paris

palais-garnier

11. PALAIS GARNIER | 2012

opera-national-paris-2012

palais-garnier-2012

12. ARC DE TRIOMPHE | 2012

arc_de-triomphe

arc-de_triomphe

13. RIVER SEINE | 2012

notre-dame-paris

paris-2012

paris2012

Pierre Hermé| 2012
pierre-herme

Lunch at Le Procope | 2012

le-procope

cafe-procope

les-deux-magots

Lunch at L’entracte Opera | 2012
lentracte-opera

Dinner at Zoe’s | 2003
paris-zoe-2003

Dinner at Zoe’s | 2012
paris-zoe

Ronchamp

France

Things to Do & See

CHAPELLE NOTRE DAME DU HAUT

This chapel is designed by Le Corbusier and completed in 1954. It must have been the most amazing modern building in those days. This place has a calm and timeless atmosphere. Not crowded, allow time to thoroughly explore it.

notre-dame_du-haut

notre-dame-du-haut

Photos cannot supply the perspective that actually being there in person presents. See the dim and how’s the light shining through the different sized, colored, and shaped windows.

notre_dame-du-haut

notre-dame_du_haut

notre-dame-du-haut_dorm

Dinner at Au Bureau
au-bureau

Belfort

France

Things to Do & See

BELFORT CITADEL & THE LION OF BELFORT

The citadel is very large, though much of it has been destroyed during the war. The huge lion was created to mark the city’s brave fight during the German siege under the French-Prussian war.
belfort

belfort_cave

belfort_cafe

belfort_dessert

From the platform there is a brilliant view over the city and the landscape. Worth the walk to the very top to see the perspective of the town.

belfort_city

belfort_view

belfort-view

belfort_wall

Mulhouse

France

Things to Do & See

1. CITE DE L’AUTOMOBILE

We spent several hours at this museum. The car collection is huge and really impressive. The exhibition focus on European cars, especially Bugatti and a host of early French manufacturers. A superb history of the car, well presented from the very earliest days to latest technology.

cite_de-lautomobile

cite-de-lautomobile

cite-de-lautomobile_mulhou

cite-de_lautomobile

cite_de_lautomobile

2. MULHOUSE OLD TOWN

Mulhouse was nearly totally destroyed during War World II so therefore it has been rebuilt. We stopped by the old town after visited the automobile museum. There happened to be a summer concert and it was a lot of fun. Great to have a beer and watch the world go by!

mulhouse-old-town

mulhouse_old_town

The pink city hall and the cathedral are the main attractions at the main square.
mulhouse

kaysersberg-dinner

mulhouse-dinner

mulhouse-concert

mulhouse-night

Colmar

Colmar

France

Things to Do & See

1. LITTLE VENICE

The river flowing through gives it a very slight resemblance to Venice. We enjoyed our day trip to Colmar, especially the 30 minutes boat ride on the canal. The first part of the trip takes you out of little Venice and upstream for a little way. The water is so clear, you can see fish inside!

colmar_little_venice

colmar-little-venice

2. OLD TOWN

Colmar is one of several beautiful old Alsace towns. An interesting combination of German and French influences. Wonderful cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, canals and the flower-decked bridges. We took the little train for a mini tour of Colmar.

colmar_train

colmar-old-town

colmar_old_town

3. MERCHE COUVERT

I always like strolling around local food markets to see what local products are being sold. Here you find the local cheeses, wines and sausages. Nice place to grab a snack and look around.
marche-couvert_colmar

colmar-marche-couvert

4. EGLISE ST-MARTIN

Lovely cathedral in the heart of old Colmar. A wonderful place to sit for a while and take in the beautiful architecture and windows.
colmar-st-martin

Lunch at Cave Wolfberger
cave-wolfberger-colmar_lunc

cave-wolfberger-colmar

Kaysersberg

Kaysersberg

France

Things to Do & See

It’s wonderful to spend a few hours or an entire day in this quaint medieval Alsacian villages. In the late afternoon we pulled into Kayserberg. Fantastic place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.

1. VILLAGE DE KAYSERSBERG

Emperor Constantin fountain
kaysersberg

kaysersberg-town

kaysersberg-village

2. Eglise de l’Invention de la Sainte-Croix

Historical little church in the middle of the old Kaysersberg. Inside you can see a combinations of Romanesque and Gothic, the atmosphere was very calm.

village-de-kaysersberg

kaysersberg-church

Dinner at Inca
kaysersberg-beers

kaysersberg_dinner

kaysersberg-dinner