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40 Years Later 40 years later, the gnome takes a step out the door to pick up where the trip turned back many years ago.


FRANCE | Thursday, 9 April 2015 | Views [358]

Buying the train ticket north through Switzerland to Basel was magnificent past tall snowy peaks and quintessential Swiss farm houses dotting green pastures, and it was easy. Buying a ticket on French rail was another story. First, unknown to the traveler, a French ticket can't be bought in the  red train station machines, so it's off to wait in line at information. The girl smiles like she does this every minutes. You go down stairs to France, and buy a ticket in the machine. So, down the stairs is an automatic door that says France ( apparently the station is in both countries). The green billeteria machine is only in eloquent, lengthy French phrases with no boxes for choices or even any words that say train or destinations. We go though the door to France, which leads to tracks, but no window for help, and locks behind us. 

May the Lord bless merciful strangers, like the one who helped us back to Switzerland, and with the odd machine, which never had drop boxes of choices, but instead a brass wheel that turns for choices. Even with tickets in hand the schedule of stops on the wall was bizarrely configured, unlike Italy or Germany, so again, a kind person let us know that the train to Srasbourg did stop in Colmar.

One can fall in love with the quaintness of Colmar in five minutes. More extensive than the old towns in most cities like Strasburg, it continues in curved streets of half-timbered and stone houses with patterned tile roofs, two large Gothic churches, and wonderful old altar paintings.

Tags: cobbled streets, colmar, gothic, half-timbered


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