Thursday, February 25th, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn
As an avid fan of hiking and the outdoors, I was looking for places to hike in and around Metz long before I arrived. This past weekend I finally had a chance to venture to the nearby natural wonders with some friends. Gone were the characteristic limestone buildings of downtown Metz and the hullabaloo of the city center; and even though we were still technically in Metz, it felt like we were much farther away.
We peeled ourselves away from the narrow cobblestone streets and toward a dirt path that lead us into the hiking trail system of Mont Saint Quentin. The trails even took us along an exercise course, where we had fun trying to figure out how to use the miscellaneous gym equipment.
I’ve come to realize that I’m a sucker for quite a few things and small, picturesque towns in Europe are quickly earning their place in that list – alongside other things close to my heart, like Krispy Kreme donuts. This past weekend I fell absolutely in love with the town of Colmar, France; a city, funnily enough, my group didn’t even originally plan to visit. A last minute decision led to us hopping off of our train a few stops early in Colmar on our way to our originally planned destination, the town of Mulhouse.
This turned out to be the best decision to make. We spent three hours walking around the “Little Venice” area of the town, appreciating the unique architecture and ducking in and out of open shops. Colmar is nicknamed as “a fairytale village”, and it is often said that it was the inspiration for the setting of The Beauty and The Beast. Walking through the streets certainly felt like I was traversing the pages of a storybook.
We passed by a cafe with the doors wide open. The scrumptious smell wafting through the air was the first thing to capture our attention, but the second was, upon closer inspection, we realized that the seats in the cafe were filled entirely by teddy bears. They ranged in size, color, and age. Seeing teddy bears propped up at the seats of the cafe as if they were on Valentine’s dates just further cemented the whimsical setting of Colmar, and was a bear-y good opportunity for some puns.
Feeling content with the delightful scenes we had seen in Colmar, my friends and I returned to the train station to set off to our intended destination, Mulhouse. Mulhouse had a much more industrial vibe than the whimsical streets of Colmar. The main square of Mulhouse was as colorful and picturesque and the streets were teeming with fashionable shoppers walking in and out of the multitude of clothing stores. We did some window shopping until the clock struck 5:30PM, which was our cue to head to the train station to return home. On our ride back to Metz, I was surprised with a small treat: a view of the sun dipping below the mountains with hardly a cloud in sight.