Stage 13 of the 2009 Tour de France begins in Vittel and ends 124.3 miles later in Colmar; a quaint town with a mixture of French and German known as the Alsace-Lorraine Region. We visited
RAIN dampened the action but didn’t stop an early break away by 7 riders that quickly reduced to three. For a long time there were three….then there were two….and finally in the last stretch there was only the German Heinrich Haussler! A 25 year old born in
No serious attacks today, probably because of the weather, all the main leaders remain the same except for the loss of Levi Leipheimer who broke his wrist yesterday and is now out of the race!
The leaders are:
#1: Rinaldo Nocentini
#2: Alberto Contado +.06
#3: Lance Armstrong +.08
#4: Bradley Wiggins +.46
#5: Andreas Kloden +.54
Top Team Overall: Team Saxo Bank
Today I thought that I’d print out a journal from our visit to
September 10th, 2002
Bonjour Amis et Famille…. September 10th, 11th & 12th
September 11th: As you can see by the salutation, we’re enjoying being back in
Up this morning and out the door early for our last trip to the Laundromat. Had fun conversing with a mother and daughter who travel for a month every summer in
We spent the afternoon walking the town of
Then we went to the Tanners’ Quarters and found a Creperie for lunch. Mine had thin slices of ham, cheese and topped with a sunny side up egg in the middle. They make a wonderful light lunch. Especially when washed down with a beer! Afterwards we visited the churches and a Museum in town. The Museum had some unusual Altar pieces and one entitled Isenheim Altarpiece by Grunewald had the face of Christ; in the words of Rick Steves: “a psychedelic explosion of Resurrection joy…is the spiritual equivalent of jumping from the dentist’s chair directly into a Jacuzzi”. Jim had seen this image used in a television program once and wondered where it came from. Finally came back to the hotel for the newscast of the 9/11 Remembrances. They were carried live on almost every channel on TV. Had hoped that I would hear some church bells ringing in town but didn’t.
Spent the whole day touring the “Route Du Vin” and we were surrounded by vineyards of all different types of grapes on every road we took! Grapes are definitely their one and only crop in this area. It will be the same in Beaune. Contrary to recommendations, we didn’t tour the wineries but instead spent our day in the picturesque little towns that dot the hillsides in between the vineyards. We went to the best one first but even then it was hard to stop taking photos all day. I’ve taken 225 photos in the last three days. Good thing I use a digital camera. One of the things that we noticed was that many of the vineyards had a full size Crucifix at the corner of their plot of land. Interesting that there are so many religious icons everywhere in
Our very first stop this morning was up the hill in the forest to walk a quarter of a mile in to see three old Chateau Ruins. Could have been a great view but it was hazy from all the moisture in the air. Rained all day yesterday on and off, today was beautiful but cloudy. Couple interesting things; first we saw a wonderful sign on the road going up that showed a diagram of a car with a masked man dipping into it. I think they were telling us to beware of auto burglary in the area. Then when we arrived at the ruins there were two young men in costume. One was dressed all in white with a devil’s mask and a white plastic space gun, he was sitting inside one of the towers in the doorway. Allowed me to take his photo but otherwise was silent. Strange was the only explanation.
Next we went to Eguisheim; I couldn’t stop taking photos. First thing we saw was a 1000-pound stork’s nest at the peak of the church tower. Flowers were in every window and ledge in the half-timbered buildings. Buildings were painted all different colors. Baskets of flowers were hanging on light posts, and every other conceivable open space that could hold a blossom. We finally had to leave as we had lots of other villages to visit today. We stopped for lunch at a local Cafeteria along the highway. Knew the food was excellent as it was full of locals. We were right!
Then we stopped at Kayersberg, the birthplace and home of Albert Schweitzer, another extremely picturesque village in every detail. Saw another stork’s nest at the peak of a tower but this time it also had a live stork nesting. She followed us with her eyes as we walked around the base taking photos. Then at the bridge we saw a fly fisherman in the stream. Walked around to another bridge near him and took video’s of his catching two different trout within a few minutes. The first was about ten inches and the second one had to be sixteen to twenty inches in length. He had a wonderful way with his rod and the line whipped through the air like strokes on a canvas creating a wonderful visual image.
Our next stop was in the