Viking Rhine River Cruise: Colmar, France

After you have booked your Viking River Cruise you gain access to My Viking Journey, an online portal that allows you to see all the logistics of your trip, as well as organize any add-ons you might wish.  One of the things you might add on are the optional excursions offered on each stop of your cruise.  The optional excursions cost extra, so we only chose a couple for our trip, the first of which was a trip to the medieval village of Colmar, France.
We boarded the coach shortly after lunch and drove across the Rhine River into France, then about 30 minutes into the countryside before arriving at Colmar.  Our tour guide kept the majority of the passengers entertained with facts and jokes about the area (this was something that I had to get used to...I am much more of a ride in silence and enjoy the views kinda girl!).  We did learn that Colmar has been in the middle of a long game of tug-of-war between Germany and France, and had been considered a part of each country on and off for years.

Once off the bus, mom and dad joined the tour group that rode a little scenic train around town, and Bryn and I followed the walking tour into the town's historic center before bidding our group au revoir and heading off on our own to explore.
One thing that's special about Colmar is that it is one of very few French towns that was not destroyed during WW2.  It's windy cobblestone streets are lined with colorful half-timbered houses, many of which seem higgledy-piggledy and crooked, giving it a very Diagon Alley-esque feel (that's a Harry Potter reference incase your were born yesterday!).
There are also canals that run through Colmar, and one of the most popular postcard views is of an area called Little Venice.  
One of my favorite things about the European towns with canals running through them were the flowers on all of the bridges.  They are all so colorful and happy and it's easy to get a little snap happy with your camera!
After our walk-about, we met up with mom and dad in the main square, and Bryn and I helped dad out with breaking one of his large euro bills by indulging in the first of many ice cream cones of the trip.  There is just something SO GOOD about the ice cream they sell from little carts in this part of Europe.  I discovered it on my first trip to Europe when I was in high school, and have looked forward to it on every trip since!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and it was time to board the bus for the drive back to the ship to get cleaned up for dinner. 

Our excursion to Colmar was easily one of my favorite parts of this trip, and I cannot recommend a visit enough!  If you happen to be going on the Viking Rhine Getaway cruise - definitely make sure you include this excursion!

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