The high fortress that dominates the city serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its warlike past. Together with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, Kaysersberg was annexed by Germany during a period of 48 years, between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War.
Kaysersberg is one of the finest wine-growing areas in Alsace. The first vines were brought here in the 16th century from Hungary, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town's economy today. Wine produced from the pinot gris variety is a local specialty.
The city runs on tourism and the grape vines that surround the city and the region.
A popular tourist attraction for its historical architecture, Riquewihr is also known for the Riesling and other great wines produced in the village. Riquewihr looks today more or less as it did in the 16th century. It is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, or Les plus beaux villages de France. It is located on the Route des Vins (The Wines Road), close to Colmar.
Driving to Verdun, we briefly stop to visit the Montsec American Monument built here during the 1930s by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The monument, dedicated in 1937, commemorates the American forces who fought in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in World War I.
Our last French baguette - from a vending machine of all things. And Tim had to try a McDonald's offering made famous by the movie "Pulp Fiction". "No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the heck a Quarter Pounder is. They call it a Royale with cheese."
Our tour of France is complete - we spend a couple of evenings relaxing at an ultra-modern hotel adjacent to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport. We are left with several bottles of wine, champagne, and beer which we cannot take on the airplane - so we drink it, even having to pour the last of the champagne to drink in the terminal.