I've just spent a fabulous break with some dear friends in Alsace. About 70Km from Strasbourg in the high hills near the German boarder. Over the last century soverienty has changed between France and Germany three times. The house had been on the boarder and during the last two world wars had been commandeered by the invading German army for it's strategic position.
Alsace is still deeply connected to its rich agrarian culture. In houses, cafes and shops, food labels, plates, crockery, table linen, fabrics, virtually everything bears images of agricultural reference; chickens, grapes, storks, cattle, pine trees, ploughs and bunches of grapes.
The region is lush with verdant pine covered hills and fertile, abundant valleys rich in produce and vineyards.
I hardly saw another English visitor, it does seem to be an area largely unnoticed, as everyone speeds down South.
The industrious keeper of the house is a fifth generation Alsation. The cellar of the house was a treasure trove of old agricultural tools, a foundary, animal skins, sauerkraut ceramic pots (boy was I jealous of that), the remains of a smokery, logs artfully stacked, axes, ropes, raffia, boots, sledges, skis, war memorbilia, bottles, jars, onions, garlic, jams, and preserves. I was happy to wonder around marvelling at the neat and beautifully stored wonders.
A peak in the cellar