the last stop on our epic post-lockdown, pre-twins euro roadtrip was the fairytale town of colmar, in the french region of alsace. our time in colmar and the surrounding area was the perfectly sweet icing on the cake of our amazing summer adventure.
after a long day of driving, we arrived in colmar in the early evening. ian encouraged me to set out to explore right away with moses while he and gabriel settled into the airbnb. our airbnb was a little studio right at the most picturesque spot along colmar’s canals. (we stayed in the white building just to the left of the yellow building in the picture below!)
within minutes, i was sending ian text messages that said, “oh my gosh babe this place is soooo magical!!” colmar really does feel straight out of a fairytale. i was instantly obsessed with all the colour and charm, and mo thought it was pretty cool too! we roamed the streets delighting together as it started to get dark.
we found some (hilariously bad, as it turns out) takeout for dinner and enjoyed it at the playground, and then after the boys were settled in bed i headed back out on a little walk to see colmar at nighttime.
in the morning, ian snapped some photos of gabes and i in the window of our airbnb and then we hit the streets together, just wandering and enjoying.
with some playground time thrown in too 🙂
moses and i went on a boat ride together after lunch. it was so fun to ride the canals and learn a bit more about colmar’s history from our boat driver guide!
after discovering an awesome playground the night before, we found another very kid-friendly spot on the other side of the village – a super fun fountain to splash in!
we said goodbye to colmar with some family selfies…
as we drove out of town, we passed by this replica of the statue of liberty. turns out the sculptor of lady liberty was born in colmar!
we were stunned by the beauty of the countryside around colmar. miles and miles of super verdant hills covered with vineyards and topped with castles. i’d love to go back and explore more of alsace one day.
we stopped for gas and happened to see at the station an expat family that we had met at the playground the night before. they asked us if we were on our way to monkey mountain. we were like, “huh? what’s monkey mountain?” with our animal-obsessed boys, we decided we had to go check it out. but gabriel had just fallen asleep for his nap in his carseat, so first we drove to a couple nearby towns that we had noticed that seemed worth an exploring stroll. ian stayed in the car with the boys as i walked through two impossibly beautiful villages and snapped photos with glee.
and then we headed up to monkey mountain, knowing that this detour would mean a late night of driving to get to our last airbnb near the english channel. i’m so glad we embraced spontaneity and went for it because this random extra excursion is now such a fun memory. and, as expected, the boys loved monkey mountain!
it’s just an area of woods where hundreds of monkeys run free. you can get really close to them and interact with them. it was pretty neat (and sooo random, haha!).
then, we were officially headed out of france and home to england. we saw more incredible sunflower fields, stopped at mcdonald’s for dinner, changed the boys into jammies and had our bedtime routine in the car, and then drove white-knuckled through a heavy rainstorm in the dark to our last airnbn.
we decided to take the ferry rather than the eurotunnel back to england, just to mix it up. riding the ferry was such a fun experience – we all loved it. it was particularly exciting when we spotted the white-cliffed coast of our beloved green and pleasant land. super neat to approach the white cliffs by sea.
then, it was a two hour drive home to london – the last of over sixty hours we spent in the car during our trip. what a truly epic, awesome adventure we had! i’m writing this six months later and i’m not sure a week has gone by without ian and i gushing to each other about how glad we are that we took this trip and talking about all the beauty we saw and fun we had. such a bright spot amidst a wild pandemic + twins year. here’s to hopefully traveling again one day 🙂
This looks like the town from Beauty and the Beast 🤩 😍😍
I believe it was the model for that movie. We visited in 2016 for their Christmas market, it was magical.
Thanks for sharing your road trip Charity. Your photos and descriptions allowed me escapes from our locked down, mask wearing, COVID reality. It was a lovely treat.
Your whole trip is the stuff of dreams! My husband and I have so many ideas for our next Europe trip (when we can travel again ugh) and I’m going to show him the places you visited to add them to our someday list!
What a great trip! Your photos are so amazing!!!
You find some many cute places to stay and playgrounds for the kids!!
I thought that Colmar reminded me of Disneyland or something – now I know why! I’m sure Monkey Mountain will be the part of the trip that the boys will ALWAYS remember the best. Who knew you could even have monkeys not caged in?????
You are adventurous and courageous souls. I admire your spirit!
What a dreamy adventure! What a blessing! So beautiful! Thank you for sharing your adventure with all of us here on the internet.