Accidental Tourism Vindicated!

Saturday, May 29 – Kintzheim (Alsace): I’m always amazed when a string of good luck extends beyond a few fortuitous beneficences. And I’m sitting here amazed! Following on from our dinner last night, we spent the lunch hours in Strasbourg, able to park a few feet from the area recommended by Steves as good restaurant territory. A very cute neighborhood called “Petite France” — we surmise because it was the ghetto for the French after Germany took over Alsace in 1870 — with nothing but one tourist-trap restaurant after another. I was just about to give up and go shopping for a picnic when we heard some amateur music being played down the street in a courtyard and noticed a banner which said “Bric-a-Brac — Tarte Flambee”.

We turned in to find a local fundraiser where they were selling grandma’s attic (got some marvelous things for roughly 10 cents an item) and preparing the local specialty, tarte flambée: a very thin cracker-like crust spread with fromage blanc and sprinkled with onions and lean lardons.

After failing to find a parking place within walking distance of the cathedral (and thus missing seeing the mechanical figures dance on the quarter-hour), we went on south towards Colmar, our next destination. We stopped at a small town to the north, inquired at the tourist office and found this chambre d’hote:

When we arrived, thanks to the iPad’s stunning GPS function, we were stunned to see that we had reserved a large room with kitchette and Wifi in a small village in the wine district.

We accepted our hosts’ suggestion to dine at the small local restaurant within walking distance up the road and could only properly have the local specialties: another tarte flambé (this time with muenster added) and choucroute royal (which means that to the usual meats is added a most tasty pig’s knuckle):

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