Saturday, July 10, 2010

Museum in Colmar

We slept in this morning….so nice….kept the window closed last night and survived the night with no new mosquito bites. After a picnic breakfast in the room we headed towards the shops that surround our hotel. We found that most of the shops were clothing outlets but one had a clerk that spoke English and when we told him we were looking for an electric fan he told us to go to Cora that was located just a short distance away. Sure enough…we located it easily and it also had a gas station and being Saturday it was time to get our gas-oil for the weekend. Another experience as we had to wait until the fellow in front of us paid; there was one cashier booth for about ten pumps…but it went much quicker than we’d expected. We drove on over to the store; it was a super, super, super Wal-Mart! You name it….they had it…including a food court. We purchased a fan for less than fifteen Euros and two cokes as we’d forgotten our water bottles.

Off to the highway to Colmar. One of the first things we saw was a fifteen to twenty foot tall Statue of Liberty; later in the day we heard that the designer of the Statue of Liberty was born in Colmar. We drove around the city and found free parking that was only a short distance from the city centre.

We easily found the Unterlinden Museum; a wonderful collection of everything but especially the Isenheim Altarpiece. I remember this one piece out of all of the many I’ve seen because it includes the risen Christ with blood hair! It was very exciting to see it again. To quote Rick Steves, “Jesus rockets out of the tomb as man is transformed into God. As if proclaiming once again, “I am the Light,” he is radiant.” Another find was a five fingered vase….I look for them everywhere as my friend Shari has a collection. This was labeled as a Tulipiere, from the eighteenth century. So many wonderful things; since we have both a new grandson and our first great-granddaughter arriving in October and December….I loved seeing all of the old cradles.

One room had musical instruments; a glass harmonica from 1805 was made of glass bowls. One of the last exhibits that we saw was a large exhibit of the art of Joe Downing, an American Artist that lived and worked in Paris after WW II. His work would be considered modern art, a contemporary of Picasso who admired his work and arranged for exhibits for him.

Leaving the museum we walked further into the city center with all of the half timbered buildings. Hopped onto a Mini Train that took us around the Cathedral and other areas; finally dropping us at the Petite Venise: a collection of colorful, half-timbered house that are reachable only by the canal. We took one of the boat rides years ago so enjoyed our mini train ride this trip. From there we walked back to St. Martin’s Cathedral and enjoyed a cool moment inside the church. We are watching for shade to walk it; it’s very hot and humid.

Tomorrow we will venture back into Colmar so that Jim can visit the museum again….this time with his Flip Video Camera; he forgot it today. I’ll bring something to read along the cool waters of the canal. We easily found the car and headed back towards our hotel that is located in Houssen, a suburb of Colmar. It’s a lovely little village with a huge barns behind nearly a third of the homes. It’s definitely a farming area but the homes and barns are all located together. There we headed for the Cora Store and did some shopping; including a multi plug extension so that we can run the fan and charge the computers at the same time. We have only one outlet in the room; I bring an extension cord with me but it only handles American plugs. Yes, we found a 3 port one for only 2.50 Euros. After shopping for breakfast foods for tomorrow and Monday we headed for the Mandarin Restaurant in the food court for a wonderful dinner of beef and mushrooms plus vegetables and a drink for only six Euros each. Jim is finding the tuna and rice canned dinners can get a bit boring after a while. So we’ll have to supplement sometimes.

Our dinner at McDonalds last night was good and it turns out they now have “free wifi” at all of their restaurants. So tonight after I get everything typed we’ll head over for some wifi time and maybe a dessert.

We arrived home in time to watch the end of the race after Jim put his new fan together. Good thing we had a pocket knife with a mini screw driver….but it’s working beautifully and Jim is a happy camper. The race results were different today after their first day of mountain climbs. Sylvain Chavanel of the Quick Step team took first place and also the yellow jersey. Lance gained some of his time back today but until we sign on to the Internet we won’t know where he stands after today’s ride. They only post the top ten on the television. Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank took the white jersey today for the highest rider under the age of twenty five years of age.

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