Well, it turns out that how much travel bits I see depends on which re-broadcast I am watching. If its one of the edited ones they tend to skip a lot of what happens in the first half, so the number of things I see is limited. Though after the length of the previous post I was happy to seemingly have a short day.
This one is a bit of a twofer. This was the aerial shot while the presenters were telling of the successful repopulation of the storks in Alsace.
The small village itself is actually an eco-museum where they have brought together a number of very old alsatian buildings to form a quaint village that represents how the people of the region lived long ago.
What you cannot see in the photo are some large stork nests on the roofs of the houses.
Add stuff about the numbers dying etc.
- Official Site
- France Travel Planner – Storks
- The Slow Road blog
- Folkrealm Studies
- My Weekend in Alsace
- Nature Photography
Nowadays you will see the white stork all over the Alsace region. They often make their nests on the roofs of building and they are not small, so make sure to look up if you are touring the area. The fact that you see so many is due to a concerted effort to repopulate,
By the mid-1970s the stork population had dwindled to less than 10 mating pairs. This was largely due to human development. While they did still breed in other parts of central and southern Europe, they were almost extinct in Alsace, which was horrible given that the stork is historically an emblem of the region
In 1976 the Renaud family established the Center for the Reintroduction of Storks along with a number of other organizations. They raised storks in captivity until they had a sizable breeding population and then works to reintroduce them into the wild.
Today there are roughly 600 mating pairs. A definite success story!
Le Parc du Petit Prince
They made a theme park based on the world created by Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince.
An agreement between his great-nephew and the estate director was signed in 2013 and the Park opened a year later. The park is 24 hectares in size and has 36 attractions.
The Park is organized around three major themes: flight (aviation and astronomy), travel, and meeting animals and Nature.
Château d’Engelbourg, l’Œil de la Sorcière (The Eye of the Witch)
The Eye of the Witch! How could you not love that.
Château d’Engelbourg was in 1224 by Count Frederic II of Ferette to guard the entrance to the Thur Valley. It was damaged centuries later during the Thirty Years War.
Following the Treaties of Westphalia that gave Alsace back to France, the border was therefore pushed for the Vosges to the Rhine river. The strategic importance of this location went with it. In 1673, Louis XIV ordered the castle to be dismantled. During the destruction, the main tower broke into sections, with the main part falling on to its side with the hole facing the town of Thann below. It acquired the nickname The Eye of the Witch as it stares off into the horizon an on to the roofs of the town below.
Today you can hike up to the spot via a steep stairway or you can walk through the vineyards. The view over the valley is said to be magnificent.
- Michelin Travel Guide
- Wikipedia on Thann, France
- Tourism Alsace
- Aerial Footage – YouTube
- Haute Vosges d’Alsace
One thing I am quite partial to when watching the Tour are the winding roads and switchbacks. We have yet to get into the high mountains where they are more common, but I did notice a smaller one near this dam.
Coming from a family that likes to drive, and has a lot of motorcycle riders, these roads just look like fun!