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Saturday, 25 June 2016

My First Weeks Back in France, Part 3: Turckheim

Hello everyone! Welcome back! In today's post, we conclude our three-part series on my first set of adventures back in France. Today, Juliette and I roam the village around her home, Turckheim!

Turckheim is a small, quaint, beautiful town, with stunning surroundings. The homes are packed close together, but in apt European style, each home is distinct and well-adorned with property. 

As Juliette and I started on our walk, the first thing she pointed out was the almond tree, seen all alone near the top of the hill in the picture below. We'll see this almond tree again later.

Not very far away from Juliette's home, we see the Drackenloch, or Dragon's Hole! The story goes that a dragon once lived there, and as it was battled, hunted, and killed, its blood spilled over the hill, causing the light coloration and making the wine taste extra good.

This hill was pretty amazing to behold. So, behold!

I mean, look at it! A tall hill with different-coloured strata, some kind of old, ruined, medieval wall, and the dragon hole! It was pretty cool, let's get closer!

It was a gorgeous day. Sunny, bright, but not hot as there was a beautiful breeze. With Juliette's hand in mine, it was absolutely perfect and I took several moments to stop and take a deep breath of fresh air.

By the way, Juliette took most of these photos (probably all of them, actually), so I thank her here and now for doing so.

Now, this is as close as you can get to the Dragon's Hole as the hill is private property. Here we see a little apiary. The hole was sealed not too far from what you're seeing above, but still, it was a cool little bit of fun to walk up there.

Turning back, and continuing up the road which rounds the hill, Juliette pointed out an old wall, or the remains of it. There used to be many fossils all around but it seems most had been stolen. Still, this standing stone was left on the side of the road and there were plenty of interesting things to see.

Some white roses near the top of the hill

Couldn't tell if it was a hawk or not, but I thought it pretty lucky to be soaring above the vista

One of many views of Turckheim from atop the hill

A convenient sign showing you the geographic particulars, and different wine-growing regions, of the area. Refer to the picture below.

You can technically see Juliette's house from here, but I won't tell you where, haha

We had finally made it to the almond tree; a first for me. There was a lovely bench, as seen below, and we could see much of the town. It was very nice. By the way, Juliette wouldn't "let" me take pictures of her, I did try.

Well, enough of me and my new European pants, let's keep going! Continuing along the trail, we started descending the hill toward the town.

Now, I didn't get too many pictures of the next 300m or so, mostly because they wouldn't turn out well, but honestly, it's pretty cool. The trail thins out near the top of the hill, and as it descends, it becomes so that you can only go single file. Squeezed between an old wall and a vinyard's fence, the trail feels more like a secret path as it descends toward the town. Then you fall through a secret garden and land on a staircase right beside the town.

Turckheim is well-known for its three doors. One points to the Munster valley, another to the roads leading to Colmar and the rest of France, and this door here, leading to the start of the wine trail.

Turckheim has one big main street, and here it is. Another interesting feature involves a person, dressed in typically classic clothes, singing a particular Alsatian song along the street every night between May and October. We did not stay late enough to hear, but it sounds like a fun time. 

The Renaissance house

This concludes our walking tour of Turckheim. It's a beautiful little town surrounded by a lovely countryside. Things have settled quite well for me here in Turckheim; work is going well, and Juliette and I are working to secure an apartment in Strasbourg.

I hope you enjoyed your stay with us, and I look forward to reporting on more adventures soon!

Thanks for reading!

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