Alsace Castle

We hiked up a mountain in the Rittersberg forest in Alsace, France to get to this castle called Chateau Ramstein.  What a wonderful hike and you could hear the birds chirping so loud everywhere.  I enjoyed that so much I even made a recording of it on my iPhone!  We then hiked on further to yet another castle called Chateau Ortenbourg where we had a picnic.  Both were in the Vosges mountains not too far from a town called Scherwiller.  This one here was built by Albrecht Von Hagsburg after he came to thrown in 1298.  It was his siege castle after he had burned down the one above.  This one also was finally burned and destroyed by the Swedes in 1633.


Exclusive to the Alsace region in northeastern France near Strasbourg is this Strisselspalt hop.  It's a unique variety of hop that gives beer an unrivaled aroma and a superior taste.  It is considerred by many to be the caviar of hops and is what France uses to make it's popular Kronenbourg 1864 beer.

Renting bycicles in Paris, France

These bicycles known as Vélib's are used all over Paris.  The word vélib is a contraction of vélo for bike and liberté which stands for bicycle freedom.  They are cheap to rent and you can see people riding them everywhere.  There are actually four times as many bike stations in Paris as metro stations.  Amazing!  And it's really simple too...  you rent it, ride it and then return it to any station.  It's a great way to get around!!