But, as in any adventure, our trip began a few hours earlier although this time at the Madrid Airport (there is also connection to Basel from Santiago de Compostela for those of our "tenderness").
It must be recognized that flying for just 60 euros each, suitcase and reservation costs included, is not common for someone who lives in Galicia and produces great satisfaction. If we add a Easyjet flight at 13'10 and a short ride, it could be said that the conditions lend themselves even for a getaway of less days (small breakfast at the airport for 5.80 EUR)
What this time has failed us is that sandwich that Isaac's mother usually makes us on this first day of travel, and as it shows (is that these mothers, they know a lot). If the food of the airplanes is usually bad, the low-cost does not include it anymore, which is almost sometimes preferable for journeys like this, so we have chosen to take some sandwich and water from a machine (5.40 EUR)
It's around 15:30 when, after a pleasant flight of less than 2 hours, we land at Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport or "Euroairport", a somewhat different concept to the traditional one since it is considered "binational", with a Swiss and a French part.
It is important to know this, especially if you rent a car, since Easyjet for example lands in the Swiss part and once you pass the controls you will find some rent a car counters, but there are different ones going through customs with France that found when leaving the baggage claim area in the background (all very well indicated).
Be careful when choosing, as there are differences, both in price and equipment.CAR RENTAL IN SWITZERLAND OR IN FRANCE:
exist differences between renting the car in Switzerland or in France. The first is economical, since the French option has more affordable prices. Why? Because Switzerland includes mandatory winter wheels, the famous "sticker" to drive on Swiss highways and some extra complement
Our choice? If the time of the year were different, it could have been the French one, but the fact that we are at a time of the year where snowfall is expected and that we do not have a definite route (we may enter the Swiss highways -or not-) makes We have chosen to pay a little more. You have all the information in
Do we have everything Paula? Suitcase, car and GPS post. At first they wanted to give us an automatic one, but at our insistence we have finished with a manual Audi A1 just out of the package (with only 10 km) very well prepared.
!! We are going to Mulhouse !! where we have taken an Ibis to stay, and that is less than 25 km from the airport (Basel is 5 km away)
The route is fast, and is done by a well-marked highway with stretches of 130 km / h, which still maintains a customs pass from Switzerland to France. The truth is that in the times that run, it seems like a delay, but hey ... there we pass at 10 km per hour, to arrive around 17:00 at our destination.
He Ibis Mulhouse Center Ville, which we will talk about later, has private parking, WIFI and is 5 minutes from the nerve center. What else can we ask for?
Mulhouse, the gateway to the most Christmas Alsace
No one would convince us today, as we walk through its streets, that Mulhouse was once one of the first cities to industrialize. Textile, chemical and mechanical have left the focus to its impressive historical monuments whose particularity has led it to be called "City of Art and History" and today, for us, gateway to the most Christmas Alsace.
But what can we see and do in Mulhouse as travelers? We have been investigating and this we have found.What to see and do in Mulhouse ?:
- He Historic helmet, which includes The Reunion Square, the Temple of Saint-Etienne
- Christmas Market in these dates, in the old zone
- Zoo and Botanical Gardens, of those who speak very well
- Marché de Mulhouse or Covered Canal Market, of regional specialties (closed today)
- Museums: The car is one of the most visited, but also the city of the French Railroad Train-Museum, Electropolis, Printing on fabrics, Wallpaper, Fine Arts or the Historical Museum
- Eat the most traditional dishes such as kougelhopf, choucroute, local cheeses, fleischschnakas, flammekuecha and other Alsatian specialties in awinstubs (typical restaurant that recreates local life)
- Taste the wine of Alsace from your entrance door, such as Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling in the wine growers' houses
- Events: Carnivals, Fashion and Textile, Automobile, ...
Do you guess why we have opted for ourselves? Siiiiiiiiii! We're going to the Reunion Square, starting with the Temple of Sant-Etienne and letting us trick the Christmas market, on a route similar to this one (although museum lovers, this is their city)…
Mulhouse is a large city on the High Rhine, on the banks of the Doller and III rivers and the truth that we read about it surprised us the amount of cultural offer, leisure and natural attractions around it, when perhaps it was not Because it is a perfect entrance to Alsace, we would never have stopped here.
Today, at night (at this time of the year we have a light schedule from 8am to 5pm), you can see the big difference between the modern part and the old town. The first very lonely, just with some trams of a clueless passenger, or large stores of closed firms in the most privileged area
But everything changes at the moment we begin to wander through the squares of the old area, where the first big Christmas tree announces us to the place we have arrived
Dozens of stands They begin to show us the way, to which more striking and original, from Christmas decorations to products made of aromatic soaps.
We do not love Christmas products, in fact our house shines with dozens of ornaments from many other places that in addition to providing it with some magic, is our way of saying that the "world is very small" and these details make it even more
We also take the opportunity to snack some churros with chocolate (4.50 EUR) that also serve to kill a little hunger (we have not eaten too much today) make us warm. !!It is very cold!! and it seems that temperatures are coming below zero the next few days
He Saint-Etienne Temple That dominates the square is really !! beautiful !! In addition to being the main icon of the city. Built on an old S.XII church in 1858-68, it is a neo-Gothic Protestant church that is truly spectacular
Although perhaps the most outstanding of all are its spectacular preserved windows of the first church, and that are a claim for any visitor.
But today, even the Saint-Etienne temple itself has to be redeemed before the spectacle of lights and colors that we have before us. The famous Christmas market at Mulhouse!, the first one we see and one of the most important of the more than 100 markets that make up the Alsace at this time (is that why they call it the Christmas region in Europe?)
Christmas market hours and dates in Mulhouse:You can check it directly in the Christmas web in the Alsace in case it varies another year, although they usually keep the same dates.
- Dates: From November 24 to December 28
- Hours: From 10am to 8pm from Monday to Sunday, except December 24 (from 10am to 6pm), December 25 (closed) and December 26 (from 2pm to 8pm)
Paula's eyes have widened, haha. And is that if there is someone who loves Christmas like nobody is her, and in this unique environment that we have come this year, it will not be missing.
All kinds of products intermingle throughout the square. In addition to Christmas decorations, decorative elements, we find the typical mulled wine stands that will not be missing (2.50 EUR + 1 EURO glass slogan -which are very cool and we will collect them-)
The facades of the buildings surrounding the place are also suitable for the "gala", "dressed" literally with the best textiles they can present in a month like this
But there is something that stands out above all others ... !!the giant ferris wheel!! which rivals in prominence with Saint-Etienne herself
It is seen that the "Marché de Noel" (as this market is called here) has evolved over the years and now also surrounds the temple and is scattered through some alleys, with stands the sea of curious (not to be missed none)
With hunger squeezing, and Paula making "friends", in the end we have had a good time until we have managed to de-hypnotize the "charm"
Looking for a place to take shelter from the cold and have dinner, we ended up going down Rue Henriette to the "Winstub Henriette". I think we are going to find the "Winstub" concept a lot these days by Alsace, something like a Tavern of typical local dishes as well as excellent regional wine
The place is very nice and picturesque, with desserts written on blackboard and a kind lady who paints something like French, English and Spanish with the intention of making herself understood.
Quick we began to distinguish that we are in an area that has great Germanic influences. The famous (and calorific) Choucroute and all kinds of meats and knuckles are not lacking. However we opted for something more typical following the advice of the friendly waitress.
A "soupe d'onions" hot to comfort us and some main dishes consisting of some foie kidneys and a Fleischschnakas (Is it written like this?)
In addition, the atmosphere of the place is magnificent, and although we have entered with it almost empty around 19:30, it has not taken long to fill up (which implies that we will have to vary our meal schedules a bit)The dish of the day - Fleischschnakas:
Today we have tried this typical Alsatian food !! and we liked it !! Maybe something repetitive and heavy if you put a lot, but it's worth it. It consists of a kind of noodle dough covered with boiled meat which is usually stew rest and that is made as if it were a large roll of sausage but then cut and cook in the broth and served on the table accompanied by potatoes and / or salad
The day is not enough, and after paying dinner (38 EUR) we head back to our accommodation tonight before leaving tomorrow for Colmar and several villages in the area and although maybe this year we have been privileged to hunt Santa Claus on the 24th at night (and make the first selfie of the story with him, haha) ...
... we are in a region where Christmas is breathed in every corner we go through and where people kindly enjoy one of the most beautiful things we have created: our own traditions!
We are going to try to get Paula to close those eyes like dishes from this fantasy world she has gotten into and sleep for a while in the Ibis Mulhouse Center Ville, what do we need? !!More tomorrow!!
Isaac and Paula, from Mulhouse (France)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 57.20 EUR