Photo Friday Series. Alsace


This photo was taken on day 9 of a seven week trip in Europe. I know this, because I had just spent 8 days in Amsterdam by myself, then took the train to Frankfurt to pick up my husband so we could drive straight to Switzerland. We didn’t have reservations, but we had town destinations. This is our favorite way to travel. (I usually web search ‘most romantic small towns in x country’, which never fails me.) 

As we were zipping along, GPS set to non-highway, non-toll, I started to see signage about wineries. Everywhere. 

Back in Oregon, we live in a wine region and I feel very comfortable around this industry and I have learned to really appreciate the craft of winemaking and care of the vineyards. 

The classical music was playing softly, (I am not making that up) we’ve left Germany, and needed to make a quick pass through France to arrive to Switzerland. Surrounding us are vines and winery signs, and I spot the word Alsace. I have only heard of the Alsace wine region in conversation or when I’ve been lucky enough to be with the right crowd and enjoyed a bottle or two. I became instantly giddy! 

A pinch me moment was happening and I’m in awe of our good fortune to have stumbled upon the Alsace wine mothership. 

Like mice with a long string of bread crumbs, we followed sign after sign and drove down side country roads to end up in the town of Riquewihr, France.  

Clearly a very touristy village, we shook our shoulders and remembered we too, were tourists. So, off we went, in through the hugh stone wall entry gate. The cobblestone streets, wide enough for a tiny car were filled, no jammed, with people from all over the world going this way and that. We followed the masses around the main corridors and then snuck away. 

This is when we stopped thinking about wine for a moment.  

Stealing into a side street, and worming our way back towards the homefronts of the locals, my mind is filled with imagining life on a daily basis here. I’m transported. The streets are quiet, doors and windows mostly closed up, and yet, as if to say, life is here, flowers everywhere. 

What I love about this photo, not only are the building colors, the textures and the flowers but the pulley, and the combination of it all.

Yes, the pulley. 

I am fascinated by pulleys, weird, I know. I love how they have been a staple tool for, well, for ever. I love how pulleys are the quiet champion of the work world. They are the tool no one really thinks about but when something really clever needs to happen, it’s usually the pulley that saves the day. Pulleys were used to hoist food, water, furniture, and so much more, to and from high floors in the midieval era and now to the modern city life. 

So here we were, strolling aimlessly around the back streets of Riquewihr staring at this pulley. This pulley, who’s long life could tell so many stories, I am sure.

Yes, we also enjoyed some wine.