Two villages or small towns in North Alsace are famous for their potteries, Betschdorf for its traditional blue/grey design
and Soufflenheim for the more colourful decorations. Betschdorf is very small, but has a pottery museum besides many pottery shops.The museum is in the village centre, 2 rue de Kuhlendorf, open from 10-12 and 13 - 18 , Sundays only in the afternoon, in the summer.
I didn't have time enough to go there, so I cannot tell you anything about it.
The entrance is in the tourist information.
Soufflenheim is the larger of the two villages, but also here the main theme is pottery. Some of the shops and private houses are decorated with very colourful tiles and ornaments. I liked the statue of the four town musicians from Bremen, high up on a roof(picture 3).
Prices differ only a bit and none of the pots, baking dishes, pie pans or ornaments is cheap. This is a craft still done by hand, not by machines, so it has to be expensive. Expect to pay around 18 Euro for a pie pan, the more ornamented the more expensive. My favourite ornaments are the storks, the bird of Alsace.
I looked and browsed in several pottery shops, but spent most of my money in this pottery: J-L Ernewein-Haas on Grand Rue in Soufflenheim.
The dishes are all microwave and oven proof and are supposed to be used in the kitchen, not just as beautiful ornaments on a shelf in the living-room.
What to buy: The French pates are more than delicious! Every time we go to France (which is not all that far away from Karlsruhe), we do take an assortment of these with us. And rillette is my absolute favorite!!!
What to buy: French cheese has an excellent reputation. My favourite is the chèvre - a cheese made from goat milk. But going shopping and having a look at the variety of delicious cheeses is such an adventure by itself!
The Alsace has so many vineyards - so it is almost self-explanatory that one should buy some wine of the region!
Since I am no specialist, I can't recommend any wines, but we do have some real specialists here on VT - e.g. MEdelmann. You might want to ask him for advice!
There are quite a few fleamarkets in the Alsace - do check the local newspapers, if you are interested. The fleamarket in Eguisheim was FANTASTIC! It was such a joy to stroll around and have a look at all the goodies that they had there.
What to pay: Do bargain!! It is possible in German, French and usually in English, too!!! And it is fun!!!
In the Alsace you have a winery around every corner. Some only have special opening times or you have to reserve in advance but at most wineries you can just ring at the doorbell. Don't come during lunch time the french love dining and it's not appropiate to disturb them.
The winery of Andre Blanck is in Kietzheim two towns after Riquewihr. He is very nice and speaks French and German, don't know of any more languages since I haven't tried.
What to buy: Taste the wines first then you'll know what you like most. I love the Riesling especially the Grand Cru Schlossberg. The Cremant d'Alsace (champagne) is also fantastic and he has several kinds of schnaps, my favourite is the poire de williams
What to pay: Riesling from 5 to 10 Euro
Poire de Williams 23 Euro
1190ff per room per night. Superb location, excellent standard of decoration and lovely public...more
We stayed 2 nights in 2004. When we arrived we were given keys to a small attic room which was...more
16, Rue Vauban, Wissembourg, Alsace, 67160, France
Good for: Couples