This morning we began again with fresh baked goods Sherrie picked up at the patisserie – danishes, pain au chocolate, and brioche. We headed to Metz to explore the Lorraine region and more of central France.
The Lorraine is nearby the Alsace and is filled with rolling hills and farms growing sunflowers, corn, hops, and cabbage. It was raining at first during our drive but cleared up when we arrived at Metz.
We parked at the cathedral and first tried to enter the covered market, but found the door frustratingly hidden – or it was closed. Either way, we found a restaurant on the cathedral square which looked appetizing. Sergio had the plat du jour (chicken fillet and pasta with mushroom sauce), Sherrie had pasta carbonara, and the kids shared gnocchi with tomato sauce and a ham and mushroom pizza.
The cathedral was a classic example of gothic architecture. It was heavily damaged during World War II and some of the scars are still visible in new stonework, artillery damage (conspicuously left un-repaired), and beautiful stained glass by contemporary artists – such as Marc Chegall.
We then headed down to the river and Metz’s many bridges to explore the city. It was beautiful in a unique way and the river and bridges added much to it’s allure. As with many of these cities which have seen the ravages of war, the mix of 20th century buildings nearby medieval structures reminds us always of the devastation these places and people saw.
After a nice walk through the city we headed to Strasbourg for dinner as it was on the way back to Colmar. Strasbourg is well known for “petite France” which is an area of the old city which still maintains its medieval character and many of the original buildings. We parked a bit further than intended but it was a blessing as we were able to walk and enjoy more of the city and the water front.
We found a nice Alsacian restaurant and had a great dinner by the river. Sergio had some wonderful duck with mushrooms and scalloped potatoes, Sherrie had Salade Strasbourgeoise (cheese, lettuces, and sausge), while the children shared a plate of ham and potatoes. We finished the meal with ice cream and some great creme brulee.
The walk back to the car was great as we got to experience a little of Strasbourg at night with the medieval buildings lit up and everyone out to dinner. It was a nice day exploring some of central France and some more of Alsace!