If a year of retirement has taught me anything I guess it's that I really need to learn to pace myself a bit better! This past week I've been so tired but it's not surprising I guess really is it, what with the work I got done on the house, four different outings over four week-ends and of course the run up to Christmas! When it all gets too much for me I just basically do bugger all, don't even turn on the computer (hence I haven't been commenting on your blogs) and veg for a few days to get some "oomph" back. So yep I probably need to learn to pace myself a bit better. A year's retirement has confirmed to me that I absolutely love it, although if I'm honest I do miss the company of my work colleagues occasionally. It's quite something else to live totally on your own and then not
have your colleagues to chat to, but for the most part I'm ok with it. That being said, this near constant rain we've had for the past month would get anyone
and that's saying something for a Brit! I haven't found the TV to be a problem in retirement - I'm definitely not sitting glued to it - but I do have it on as a bit of background "noise" sometimes in the evening. I guess the real problem is the computer. Man, I can stay on this thing all day sometimes so that's definitely something I want to knock on the head in the new year! I have gotten back into reading and also cook every couple of days so I'm glad about that, but I have to admit I do miss having someone to cook for on occasion! Never happy am I?
I mentioned previously that we had an overnight trip up to the Christmas market in Colmar (Alsace) last weekend and again it was very good, although the trip up there was horrendous!
The wind and rain just roared all the way up but the odd thing is as soon as we got off the bus the rain stopped and the sun came out! Every single time, it was weird! It also wasn't particularly cold given that it's December so it really did work out well for us. We had a late brunch on the way up there (I guess the driver has to stop every so many hours), about four hours to wander round Colmar, and then on to dinner at our hotel - choucroûte garnie (sauerkraut with all the trimmings). I'm not a great fan of sauerkraut but once a year I can enjoy it, especially with that wonderful Alsace white wine!!! But it was a long day so I think we were all
glad to hit the sack that night!
I love this architecture (Tudor?) as it reminds me of the little country villages back home and oh was everywhere just so pretty (the mulled wine went down pretty well too as we were walking around)!
|"Little Venice", Colmar|
The next day we were up in time for breakfast before heading out to the village of Ribeauvillé, which was probably the prettiest on our trip, but not as big as Colmar! I almost made a complete pillock of myself at breakfast though as I picked up a hard boiled egg and some bread but just as I got back to my table I realized they had had boiling water right next to the eggs for you to "boil your own". I'm just glad I didn't crack raw egg all over my neighbour!!
|A real guy - the "peasants" were apparently "revolting" that day!|
Not a great picture but the stork is the symbol of Alsace - and look where that
one made her nest - right on top of the church steeple!
As I say, I think Ribeauvillé was probably the most beautiful of the villages but Riquewihr had the best crafts, so we put a few dents in the bank card yet again, but I really don't mind when it is such pretty stuff!
After Riquewihr the driver decided to give Kaysersberg a miss in favour of our planned trip to a winery! This was interesting, all the more so when they came round with five different wines for us to sample!!!! It was funny though because on our trip to Cinque Terre earlier in the year we met an older lady and her daughter, and they were on this trip also. Now the daughter had what appeared to be quite severe Down's Syndrome and was, I would think, quite a bit older than she actually looked. Hard work for mom but I can only applaud her there. I tried chatting to the daughter a few times and asked her what she had bought but there really wasn't much conversation to be had. Well, at the winery the daughter picked up her glass and went "head-to-head" with every sample before the mother realized! To be honest it was only a smidgeon at the bottom of each glass but she was knocking them back like they were going out of fashion. Mom jumped up and took the glass off her but even she had to laugh at the big smile on her daughter's face after that little escapade!
After that we headed back home - our last trip of the year. Next year I think we are looking at Amsterdam and the tulip fields in May but nothing much else right now, apart from our "ubiquitous" annual trip to Turin market, probably around May or June time.
I'm not sure if I'll get time to post between now and Christmas, so if not I hope you all have a lovely time with your loved ones and I'll look forward to catching up with all the gossip in the new year! Merry Christmas!
Oh! The stork on the steeple is my favorite!ReplyDelete
These trips look like so much fun.
Those ladies managed to build nests in the weirdest places! And they are lovely trips (very well organized), but exhausting too!Delete
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Those trips look like fun, we have nothing around here like that at all. I would like to go to Europe in late November/early December one year just to experience some of the decorations and marketsReplyDelete
Merry Christmas to you too. Yes it was really pretty and we so lucked out with the weather - which definitely helps!Delete
Hi and merry Christmas. I’ve commented many times on your blog but they never seem to come up. Thought I’d try one more time.ReplyDelete
I love your photos of the trip. One of my wish list trips is to visit Europe in winter and visit some German Christmas markets. I love the half timbered houses. (Of course you know they are not called Tudor - as the Europeans didn’t call their times after English kings and Queens. Fachwerkhaus!)
Lucinda from Lucinda Sans Wordpress blog
Hi Lucinda, I had the same "comment" problem on your blog too (same as Northern Living Allowance on occasion). Glad it got through this time though. And I knew the house style wasn't called Tudor but that's the only name I know for them. Still beautiful though aren't they, although in "Tudor" times there would be a channel running through the centre of the street (as there was here) that carried away all the "poo and pee" and sometimes people on the top floor just threw the contents of their chamber pot straight out the window, so it wasn't all sweetness and roses! Still beautiful, and I hope you do get the chance to visit Europe in winter!!!!Delete
Yay, I got through. I used Tudor to describe them too. Fachwerkhaus just doesn't have the same ring to it. The thought of open drains does kind of ruin the beauty of it all!Delete
My next trip to Europe will be a summer in 2021 in Britain, which won't be part of Europe by then. lol. I think it will be Christmas 2022 before I get to see Europe in Christmas and winter.
That wine tasting tale is a hoot! I have a good friend who works with aging adults who have Down's Syndrome and I can tell you 'difficult' is an understatement.ReplyDelete
Have a good holiday, eat, drink, and be merry!
Thanks Dave, yep this young lady was obviously hard work for mom, and we did wonder what would happen to her later as I would say mom was about 75! Next door's grandchild has Down's also and while he is an absolute sweetheart it certainly opened my eyes to just how difficult life can be for the parents. And happy Christmas to you too!Delete
I would love to see a Christmas market as well, perhaps some day. Keukenhof was absolutely beautiful in May 2015, though we were a little late for some of the best showings.ReplyDelete
I think most of these villages are stunning at any time of the year, but Christmas just adds to the atmosphere doesn't it. And merry Christmas to you!Delete
Merry Christmas and keep on rocking the retirement lifestyle. PS pictures are inspirational and have had the map out to check on feasibility of a winter trip alreadyReplyDelete
I guess the Vosges is pretty in winter anyway, but of course the alpine villages are even more so. Hope you get a winter trip booked though. AnnaDelete
Wishing you a very merry christmas too. I've been off the computer a bit too as my son is home from Australia for Christmas so he's been keeping us busy, although now he's beginning to recover from his jetlag he'll be out and about more visiting all his friends and we'll have more time again! I'm enjoying his company while I can! I love seeing all the lovely places you are visiting. You'll need to spend this year getting fitter to be able to enjoy more trips!! xxReplyDelete
Enjoy your son, when they live that far away you have to treasure every moment. When I lived in the States, although it wasn't as far away as Australia, I really missed being able to "pop over" from Switzerland like I used to and see my family. And you might be on to something about my needing to get fitter. Enjoy your Christmas, especially with your son. AnnaDelete
Thank you for the tour. I am in love with those villages and towns.ReplyDelete
Have a Merry Merry!
They are beautiful aren't they! Have a lovely time over the holidays (and keep on bloggin'). AnnaDelete