Bienvenue en Alsace 2017

Dive into Enchanted Fairy Land

Experience the Medieval Village life with friendly locals while making new friends 

 Speak French, English, Gibberish, Food, Laughter with the locals

Meet Kindred Spirits in Kaysersberg

Enjoy a peaceful river ride the “Little Venice” part of Colmar

 

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Connect with Wild Life in the Vosges Mountains during Sunset

 

Don’t wait, reserve your place today!

Our home in Kaysersberg

Nestled in the beautiful medieval village of Kaysersberg, our lovely rental house will provide us with a home base, a place to rest, relax, play, connect with our Kindred Family and local guests, your new friends. One or 2 bedrooms in each of the 3 floors allows for much private space whenever needed. While in the heart of this lively medieval village, we are located in a quiet street and a balcony will

Let us relax in the balcony

allow us to relax outside. Birth place of Albert Schweizer, Kaysersberg has been nominated as one of the “preferred Villages of French people”. Much exploration can be enjoyed by foot: the village and its treasures, the castle (What is left of it) and several surrounding charming villages reached by trails through the vineyards.

 

Kaysersberg, our Home village, one the French’s favorite

 

 

From this home base, we will explore our surroundings:

In the west, the unique beauty of the majestic Vosges mountain range.

Renew yourself in breath taking hikes -Route des Crêtes, Vosges-

 

In the East, we can glide on a boat along the Rhine river through the charming town of Colmar: the best preserved historic city center in Alsace, (Old Town) with its Fairy Tale feel and its half timbered houses.

North and South, we will follow the legendary “Route des Vins” -Alsace Wine Route- enjoying numerous attractions along the route (see list below) and…  May We? Mais Oui!… taste some of its famous wines.  One of the oldest in France, Alsace’s Wine Route includes a multitude of charming flower- decked villages, each with its own timeless feel.

Many of our activities take place in the fresh outdoors and several visits are geared around many Medieval Villages, offering local restaurants and boutiques, old castles, Local Vineries and Vineyards and we will also enjoy beautiful and stunning views (on a clear day, even though it is a few hundred miles away, you can even see the Mont Blanc!) of the “Route des Crêtes”: Vosges’s much, much shorter version of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Because of the small numbers of travelers, Kindred Voyages gives you choices in your level of participation. For instance, some may want to walk up from a village to visit 3 different castles while others may choose to explore the village in depth, or simply relax, taking time to sample local food, coffee, wine or beer. The fall is a great season to be in Alsace. We will find several opportunities to participate in some local festivals, including: “Musique baroque et ancienne” festival of the “vin nouveau” exploration of the 5 senses, etc

The list below gives a few examples of available options: While there are some “not to miss”, (incontournables), Kindred Voyage is mindful of the input and mood of the group.

Some of our optional explorations

Featured: 

Water color class with Patrick

Water color class with Patrick

  • Water color class with Patrick France who will also guide us through vineyards

And also

Follow the guide through vineyards

Follow Patrick through vineyards

  •  Breathtaking hiking trails
  • Wine tasting and Vineyard Walks
  • Canal boat ride on the Rhine river, flowing between France and Germany or through the little Venice part of Colmar, a center of culture since the 13th century
  • Visit to a Spa/Hot Spring whose properties were first discovered by the Romans 2000 years ago. These baths in Plombières-les Bains, were visited by the likes of Montaigne, Voltaire, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Many savory Gourmet experiences
  • Thematics: convivial evenings including local guests, some bilinguals and others French speaking only
  • At 10 PM, meet the Night watchman, dressed in period costume, carrying a lantern.
  • Visit many charming villages (many of which inspired Belle’s village form the Beauty and the Beast) , Castles & some of the 90 Museums among which:
  •      –Kaysersberg, our home base, one of the most preferred villages of the French, also referred to as “the mountain of the Emperor”, is the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965), theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician and is just about entirely a pedestrian center
  •     –Riquewihr, accessible by foot trough the vineyards, is classified as one of the most beautiful French villages, this medieval village’s surname is “The perl of the Alsatian vineyards”
  • Ribeauvillé and its Castles: A great hike from Ribeauvillé to  Castle Saint Ulrich, Girsberg Castle, and Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle
  •      -Near us also, Eguisheim, an enchanting town who inspired the opening scene of Beauty and the beast

    Chateau de Kintzheim

  •      –Kintzheim – the Eagle Park (Volerie des aigles), a center for the conservation of eagles and birds of prey. On site there is also a castle
  •     –Haut-Koenigsburg castle. Legendary hilltop castle.
  •     –Bergheim : small town on the wine trail, completely surrounded by its 14th century   wall
  •     -Ungersheim : between Colmar and Mulhouse. Alsace Open-Air Museum
  •     -Abbaye de Murbach
  •  And so many more wonders to see, savor and explore

Don’t just see France. Experience it!

When: 2 weeks –  16 – 30 September 2017 – Limited to 6 Kindred Voyageurs –

Where: Alsace, Lorraine, Vosges Mountains

Cost (excludes airfare, includes initial transport to/from Strasbourg or Colmar where you will be picked up):

2 week stay | $3 750  – Ask MayaJoëlle about our discount for 2 or more family members
and/or discount for friends signing up together –

What is included?

  • Your guide, MayaJoëlle, herself local to the Vosges mountains of France, will  share her extended knowledge of your surroundings with occasionally other local guides. In this particular voyage, you will spend time with other Kindred Spirits: Bilingual Marie and her american husband Caleb, and not yet bilingual Patrick, Nathalie, Chantal and others who will guide us, teach us, share a meal, a hike, a story, laughter etc.
  • 7 or 14 nights in double occupancy according to the length of your stay (single occupancy may booked for an additional $250 for 14 nights) in a rented beautiful home in a medieval village
  • All meals taken in our home (at least 6 catered dinners and most breakfasts) + one unforgettable meal at a local auberge along the Route des Crêtes (Ridge Parkway) after a spectacular hike. Opportunities to savor Alsacien specialties from local merchants, farmer’s markets and pastry shops from medieval villages. For day trips, there will be the choice of bringing a self prepared complimentary lunch from our home base (the kitchen pantry and refrigerator are always filled with local healthy food) or experiencing other local food in the visited village at your own expense
  • Admissions to one castle, one boat ride and one activity (ex: water color class)
  • Rides and visits to medieval villages and shops, castles and wineries in a comfortable car rental
  • The opportunity to practice your French with MayaJoëlle and with your local new friends
  • A translator into English when needed
  • A fun, inviting, caring environnement
  • Many unplanned treats…

“A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language”
– Noam Chomsky

Walk up to Fairy Land

View from Haut Koenigsbourg

View from Haut Koenigsbourg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful Region:

Route des Crêtes, Vosges

The Vosges, old crystalline mountains flanked by sandstone, have gently rounded. The highest point is the Ballon de Guebwiller (4,672 ft/1,424 m). Many of the hikes are breathtakingly beautiful.

 

 Heritage and culture: 
Alsace is a region of France lying on the west bank of the river Rhine in the North East of France. The Rhine separates France and Germany. On the west of Alsace you can see the majestic Vosges mountains.
Since in the last two centuries, Alsace has been back and forth a part of Germany and France, to this day a proportion of the population speaks or understand “Alsacien”, a dialect form of German and speak French with a German accent.

Most villages in Alsace are brightly-painted steep-roofed half-timbered houses, giving this area of France a Germanic flavor and the local Alsatian style.

Gastronomy:  A few classic specialities: foie gras, famous Baeckeoffe, (a dish composed of three types of marinated meat and potatoes in white wine), the delicious “choucroute garnie à l’alsacienne” Alsatian Braised Sauerkraut filled with mixed smoked meats and sausages, the matelote du Rhin fish dish, le coq au Riesling (chicken or rooster in wine), Flammekueche, a mouth watering traditional tart on a thin crust, covered with cheese, (fromage blanc) mushrooms and local ham, pain d’épices (similar to ginger bread), Kouglof (sweet, bun-like speciality with raisin macerated in kirsch), macarons and, of course, Munster cheese. Alsace is also famous for its beer (for example, Kronenbourg or Meteor).

PS/ A note to vegetarians: While certain regions of France such as Alsace and Dordogne have a food culture based around meat, we can work around it. Last year, we had a vegetarian, Charles, in our group of 6 in Alsace and Charles ate very well. Contact me if you have concerns…

Kaysersberg, birthplace of Albert Schweitzer

Eguisheim- Alsace

Eguisheim- Alsace – Inspired the opening scene of recent movie “Beauty and the Beast”

360º view in Vosges Mountains

360º view in Vosges Mountains

Walking to château through vineyards

Walking to château through vineyards

Bon appêtit

Bon appêtit

Mystical time in the mountains

Mystical time in the mountains

THE DETAILS OF FINE PRINT: *Prices do not include airfare. Accommodations are limited to 6 people. Reservations are available on a first come first serve basis and require a non refundable $500 deposit to hold the space. Full payment due 2 months before the voyage date to guarantee space.  Refunds after the final payment is received is less 10% administration fee.
No refunds 30 days prior to travel date.
Tours can also be tailored to suit your own small group’s needs.