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Alsace: Hidden gem of France
A short tourist guide to Alsace
- Alsace, France; - regional guide and tourist attractions.
An introduction to the Alsace region of France - regional profile and principal tourist attractions.
Map of Alsace
When the roads are covered with flowers
Sometimes you come across the most amazing things when you least expect them. We were cycling through the vineyards and quaint little villages of the lower Alsace Region in France when we suddenly got stopped by a roadblock.
It was Fête-Dieu (Corpus Christi), a religious holiday which is usually 10 days after Pentecost. In many parts of the world this sacred day is celebrated with huge and colourful processions. Priests dressed up in lavish garments followed by a crowd of faithful churchgoers. We had seen it all before but nothing had prepared us for this: The procession came down a long road which was totally covered with flowers. Not just scattered flowers but neatly arranged ones. The local people must have spent hours if not days creating colourful flower carpets which seemed to flow seamlessly from one quaint alley to the next. We were stunned, to say the least. In total awe we stood there watching the procession go by. Several altars had been put up alongside the road. The procession stopped at each one of them and the priest proudly displayed a golden monstrance, mumbling a few words.
The whole spectacle was over in minutes. The townspeople dispersed and went home for a Sunday lunch. The road block was removed and the traffic started flowing again. Cars driving over all these beautiful flower carpets, as if they didn’t exist. The flowers were crushed by car tires and slowly wilted away.
However, the impressions of that day will stay in my heart forever.