Fall travels: 3 countries, 8 fairytale destinations, and a surprise ending

Funnily enough, the coming of the colder months brought us more travel opportunities. It makes me glad because I seem to be more adjusted to the climate and more prepared with clothes so now having fun outside is possible even if it is not 30 C.

Our adventures this Fall started in the Alsace, a historic region in France with Old Towns every bit as perfect as those inside snow globes. I do not think I will ever get over it.

In the capital Straßbourg, we spent our time exploring Petite-France, a heart-stopping quarter with beautiful fachwerkhäuser on old cobblestone streets, surrounded with quaint canals of the Ill river. It was so pretty, like a Disney-dreamworld where talking squirrels and birds won’t be a surprise.

I also discovered a love for macarons. I hated them in The Ph – like eating overpriced, pretty cardboard. Markus encouraged me to try them here in France in full context and they proved a revelation.

The texture was perfect: crunchy, marshmallow-y, and incredibly flavorful. I was immediately hooked and I suppose will forever hate macarons outside of France while secretly plotting how to make my own from home, too.

Next stop is Colmar, a perfect fairytale town not too far from Straßbourg. One look at its Old Town and I wanted to move here. It has the same features as Straßbourg, only smaller, cozier, and slower – everything I live for.

I could not get enough of the small shops with their endless lines of baguette, kugelhopf, chocolate, and cheese. What a dream! We walked around town with our baguette and cheese, just like in the movies.

We also spent a lot of time in one shop selling mountains of nougat – the shopkeeper talked to us in English and explained the magic of nougat while giving us all the bites we could ever ask for.

Nougat is not a thing in The Ph and I first had it at a specialty market in Germany from a French stall. Markus thought I will find it too sweet but I probably ate half my weight in nougat and I was more than keen to eat more in Colmar. I really love everything about this place. I will definitely go back!

The next weekend after returning from France, we found ourselves exploring more of southern Germany. Markus’ parents know all the best places here honestly!

In Bavaria, we saw the cozy Old Towns of Dinkelsbühl and Lindau by the enormous Bodensee. Colorful and relaxed, Dinkelsbühl is another historic town with beautiful buildings, fachwerkhäuser, and its own traditional pastry known as schneeball.

I saw it from outside the window and had to gasp. It looked so cute! Twisted balls of colorful pastry with nuts and all things nice. How can one not want to eat that?

In contrast to Dinkelsbühl, Lindau has a bigger harbor, seaside vibe that is hard to miss. It is busier and more metropolitan with a subtle vibe of money. Still very pretty though, especially its cobblestone paths leading to the Bodensee.

We saw the full moon rising over the lake and it was stunning, probably the best full moon sighting I have ever seen. The image of this enormous, brilliant orb hanging low in the sky over the iconic lighthouse and lion of Lindau is something I won’t forget for a long time.

Opposite Bavaria, we saw the other end of the Bodensee from the city of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, and another small but incredible town called Herrenberg.

I was impressed by Konstanz actually, not only because of the beautiful Bodensee but because of its quaint vibe given it is a larger city.

My favorite part though is how colorful this place is – the stripes of the fachwerk, the elaborate painted houses, coat of arms, and street art are amazing. Now that I think about it, it has a little of the Dresden appeal that I love, only bigger and more grown-up.

And then there was Herrenberg. This town in the middle of Baden-Württemberg claims they have the prettiest Old Town in all of Germany! It was definitely charming. I kept saying ‘Wow!’ with every turn of my head.

I have never seen so many giant fachwerkhäuser in one place; five, six levels in the prettiest colors imaginable. Literally breathtaking, also with all the staircases around the main square leading to the big church.

I cannot say it is the prettiest Old Town in Germany though because I have only been to six Bundesländer so far. My beautiful German classmate from my yoga teacher training course in India said I am seeing more of Germany compared to the average German and I really want to visit all 16 states!

Then a little over two weeks ago, we were in St. Gallen in Switzerland. It was cold and rainy, an authentic experience. I like St. Gallen though, small, quiet, functional, and picturesque.

In the grand Swiss fashion, the city is surrounded by sweeping mountain views and stairs that will definitely keep you fit! I can see how this is a nice student city though it must be difficult because everything is expensive.

We mainly stayed around the Kloisterviertel near our accommodation. That was enough steep walking for me! In my German orientation class, I learned that Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons and this makes me laugh because in The Ph, canton is a kind of noodles.

I loved the fall colors here, very heartwarming, something I wish my family can see soon. It is always the case, isn’t it? We travel to all these gorgeous places and want to share it with our loved ones, too. I really hope we can make something happen next year. I feel it is about time.

So after this long stretch of travel, Markus and I arrive home and stay in our apartment to recover. After five days, he goes to Frankfurt and two days later, gets Covid. After two years and multiple scares, we finally caught it.

We are over a week in and still testing positive. It is a mild inconvenience at this point compared to the first days when the symptoms were really bad. Markus’ parents were a dream as always, helping and supporting us every day.

I also got lucky because I have all my medications with me and my physician sister can manage my care from The Ph. I was terrified to get Covid given my co-morbidity, but at least now I know that I will live. Hopefully, we will be free at the end of this week.

Really hoping all of you are well and sending lots of good health and love your way! Tell me, have you been to any of these places or have traveled to similar memorable places lately?

51 thoughts on “Fall travels: 3 countries, 8 fairytale destinations, and a surprise ending

  1. Cutest couple ever! And I love the pictures and stories you share. It has been a few years since I have been out of the US, but I have seen a bit of Germany, which I adore. I have family in Bavaria & a friend in the northern part of the country, although I cannot remember the name of her village. I have done lots of road tripping there as a result. How wonderful that you can travel in this manner. But How frightening that you got Covid! Good to see you are recovered. Have a wonderful week ahead! 🌞

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      1. It was beautiful – totally unlike anything I’ve seen in the US. Lots of little villages connected by narrow roads. And so many window boxes with flowers! The church buildings and other architecture was astounding. Little statues everywhere. And I connected with a group of vegans, believe it or not, which was an extra-special treat! 🌞

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  2. Seems like you had a fantastic time in France and Germany! I’ve only been to Strasbourg out of all the places you mentioned and it truly feels like a town from a Disney movie! I have also heard a lot of great things about Colmar so I might have to get there soon! I loved all your pics from Germany and can’t believe how colourful all these houses are! The schneeballs also sound absolutely delicious!
    I’m sorry to read that you have both caught covid, and I hope that you will both get over it soon! Take care!

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    1. Colmat is lovely, lifted from a fairytale and less busy than Strasbourg. You have been pretty busy traveling as well as I see on your Ig posts – really glad I follow you there as I get more travel inspo every time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First – I hope you’re both feeling better now!
    Second – thank you for taking me along on your travels, even letting me sample some amazing food! I visited Bavaria, and Germany generally, back in 2000. So pretty, making me understand, finally, why the German tourists I’d encounter while living in western Washington said that state’s mountains felt like home to them. Seeing so much history was exciting for me, growing up in the western part of the US where old = mid-1800s.
    Third – My paternal ancestors came from Germany in the late 1700s, giving me an affinity for the country. Maybe that’s why I love pretzels??!

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    1. I wish I can send you pretzels. I love them, too. What did you like about Germany when you visited? I really want to see all of the country. I am halfway there. And super cool that you have roots here as well!

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  4. So much fun and such beautiful pics… I kept thinking “oh and they are finally healthy and I’m so happy” and then I read the end.
    Dang.. so sorry.
    Can I tell you what i was hoping?
    xo 💗

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  5. I love your pictures from your travels. Definitely a fairy tale town. That one tower even had Rapunzel’s braid hanging down. I’m glad you’re feeling better from Covid

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  6. I looooovd all the pics but most especially those of you two, abd the cheese shop!!
    I have a nearly identical photo of my holding a macaron! They are really hit/miss on quality! https://leendadll.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/20180131_155215-1-613081398.jpg
    I’m sorry to hear you (both of you?) got covid but glad yoh appear to have caught one of the ‘lesser’ variants!
    I wish I could travel with you IRL but greatly appreciate the vicarious adventures!
    No Oktoberfest??

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    1. Thanks for that macaron photo! I looovee them. Did you adore them right from the start? I remember when macarons had a moment on the internet. Yes, we both have Covid and are recovering. Seriously, it’s taking so long. I expect it to be gone after 5 days but we still test positive after a week. And yes, many times I think about traveling to the US just to meet all of you lovely people – the joys of blogfriendship!

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      1. Are you feeling better and onlyvteeting pos, or are you also still sick?

        Yrs, I think I liked macarons from the start. I don’t recall where I first got them. The least pleasing were to be expected – so nicely pkg’d mini macarons I picked up at 7eleven.

        My first blogging site, Vox, hosted meetups. The biggest was about 75 people in SanFran, where they were based. I met a,lot of people IRL and am still friends with all but 1 (she’s an author and got too famous/busy to stay in touch). So maybe we’ll meet one day too!!

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        1. Still sick, unfortunately. I think this is my Day 9 or something. Wayyy overdue for recovery. In the Ph, people are mostly sick 5 days tops. I guess the cold and my asthma plays a lot into it? And yes, I will hold on to this dream! In the past, I have met with blogfriends, too. It is very cool because I feel I know them right at the start.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a lovely post, full of colour and beauty. We lived in Germany for a while but in Nordrhein-Westfalen, so not so pretty! We loved the people and the food, and the Christmas Markets really have to be seen to appreciate them fully.

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    1. Hi Peter! Funny you say that, I went to Cologne in NRW and didn’t enjoy it very much either, but I heard their Christmas market is awesome. Then again, as you say, Christmas markets in Germany are always top. How long did you live in Germany for?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely pics and text! I’d love to see those picturesque old towns, but wonder – what can a vegan find to eat? On a short holiday in France, many years ago in my pre-vegan days, I lived on baguettes and cheese, and it was great!
    It’s reassuring to have got past Covid when it’s no longer dangerous. My whole family had it too. Hope you’ve recovered completely. Take care!

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    1. Thank you. These old towns are incredible. I always imagine what they were like before, what was life like back then. We eat plant-based and survive on bread, salad, warm potatoes, fruit, and Asian food! It is not always easy when traveling so we make a point of booking accommodation with a kitchen, too. Thanks for the well-wishes! Covid is hard and I can’t imagine what this is like at the start.

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  9. My word! What a glorious post! And you both look so well and happy although catching Covid could be scary! So you are eating your way around Germany, France, Switzerland (did I leave anywhere out?) and loving it. Those little shops with all those cheeses to choose from!!!! I would be in there every day! (We have just had our Covid booster plus winter flu vaccinations. We spent a miserable weekend at home). Love this travel post and all your great photos! 🌹🙋‍♂️

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    1. Yes, exactly my thoughts about these shops, especially the ones in Colmar. The colors, scents, and sounds are intoxicating. Can’t get enough of it. I heard wine in the Alsace is excellent, too, but I don’t drink so you may have to test that for me. I am glad you got your health covered. Stay warm and healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your pictures are beautiful! So many quaint and charming towns. Your prose and your photos communicate that you are having a wonderful time. I am glad you are recovering, and I hope it will be quick!

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  11. What a marvelous post!! I loved every paragraph and every photo. I looked at comments on my blog before reading this and was hoping I hadn’t missed a post from you. This was a great reward.

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    1. Thank you, Anne. Writing about our recent travels brought me joy and a little break from Covid. And there’s no way I wouldn’t go to your blog every time I have the chance to be on WP! I hope Kate recovers well, too. Even if this is mild compared to the start, it is still difficult to manage!

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      1. I loved your post. We stayed in Ismaning the Christmas of 1981 and went to church in Munich. That was glorious. I wish we’d had time to explore lots of towns. A good friend grew up in Landshut, but he was never in Bavaria when we were.

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        1. Christmas markets here are awesome. In general, I revel in the spectacle the Germans make of the holidays. As soon as 1 September comes, you see Christmas cookies everywhere! My favorites are the ones from Nurnberg, gingerbread to die for! There is a seasonal shop that opens where we live and we have already tried the gingerbread of the year. It’s tasty but I still think last year was the best.

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  12. Such beautiful photos Micah
    Each one made me gasp. You write so nicely as well. It’s great to travel in the cooler months as it’s not so busy. I hope you are recovering well.
    My hubby and I have just got over flu which was pretty bad.

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    1. Thank you, Ali. I am discovering this, too. I remember going to Prague over the summer and it was infested. What is your favorite Fall destination? Glad to hear you’ve recovered your health. More tea and warm hugs!

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      1. Well that’s a difficult question
        Depends which country I’m in! So in Australia it’s good to go down south in Spring and Autumn
        It’s Spring here now

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    1. It was a lovely stretch of traveling, Michelle. I will never get over cozy, small towns with tons of delicious food, but I guess I will not say no to visiting Vegas once. Haha. Traveling is such a joy, isn’t it? We learn so much and become more ourselves. Do you have a favorite Fall travel destination?

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        1. I agree. Close to our apartment is my favorite cobblestone street lined with colorful trees and the occasional cute cat lounging in the fallen leaves. The seasons are so pleasant when we are truly present.

          Liked by 1 person

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