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The three-borders news blog and community: Basel-Baden-Alsace

Southern Alsace seen by an American couple

Southern Alsace seen by an American coupleSouthern Alsace seen by an American coupleSouthern Alsace seen by an American couple

An article written by Charlotte Loll & Zoé Schmitt - 1ES3, Lycée Jean Mermoz, Saint-Louis

"The Alsace region is situated between Switzerland and Germany. In 2015 it counts around 1 868 000 residents. It’s a specific region in France through its history because formerly it was sometimes a French region and in another time a German region. A new language was born: Alsatian.

Through the double nationality, Alsace gains the Christmas' tradition from Germany. Christmas markets take place at a time before Christmas when Alsatian’s people get to the market to see illuminations and the fairy of Christmas' atmosphere. There are also little shops where you can discover our "vin chaud": hot wine with spices, bretzel, bredala (delicious biscuits) and artisanal stuff.

Alsace is famous for culinary specialties; you can for example eat flammenkueche, choucroute or kouglof and drink some “eau de vie” or sweet wines like Gewurztraminer or Riesling. Many tourists are visiting our region, especially thank the proximity of Switzerland and Germany, and also the dynamic of the Euroairport Basel- Mulhouse-Freiburg, and the Entzheim airport.

In 2015 the Alsace region welcomed 18,5 millions visitors. They are attracted by our typical villages like Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, Colmar or Strasbourg. We can note that this year, Riquewihr was elected as the Japanese's favorite French town. These towns are attractive because they possess Half-timbered architecture, one symbol of the faceted Alsatian’s culture. Another symbol is the bird storck who is associated with birth and fertility. Alsatian’s music and traditional costumes are as well part of the tradition. To finish let's talk about a famous Alsatian sculptor: Bartholdi. He made the Statue Of Liberty in 1886, known as one of the most famous monument in the USA!

We did also realize an interview with an expatriate couple living in Alsace : Susie Woodhams is an American girl, she was living in the southwest of France near Bordeaux. But in 2008, she had to go to Alsace for her husband's work because he works in Basel. They were suprised to find our region so different from the rest of France. They live near the Euroairport and not far from both the city life of Basel, as well as the Black Forest in Germany. Their small village has many nature trails and farmland. They are only 45 minutes by car from some of the most beautiful and wine producting villages of the region, which are particularly wonderful to visit at Christmas and summer. So they are very happy with the diversity they have found in Alsace, as well as the fact that the region is very proud of its old traditions, and has a rich history."

You can check Susie Woodhams' Facebook page : The Expat's Guide to Southern Alsace

Thank you Charlotte and Zoé !

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