Magic day! From St. Pierre, Joshua had what turned out to be a fantastic idea. Instead of going around a little mountain on the small bike route roads, we followed a small, unmarked road over the mountain. Sometimes, the best route is to abandon the bike route. And of course, we found magic. In Rosheim we stopped at a lovely natural foods store and bought second breakfast, lunch and dinner, then rode to the gate of the old town and ate our second breakfast in a little park. Rosheim's stone wall is still standing around much of the border of the old town and in the middle is the church, which is decorated with snakes, beasts, and rock carved goblins riding humans. They were having a local artist show inside the church, so we saw some radical paintings of naked people in this church that was clearly built when the 'church' was trying to appeal to the pagan population.
and apparently we missed the Escargot festival... shucks
From Rosheim we climbed up to Rosenwiller, a very small and lovely town. The road we wanted to follow was still paved as we headed out of town, but the pavment ended after less than 1km and we bumped down the hill on a rocky, sometimes gravely road. Even on a mountain bike it would have been technical riding over gravel and rock, but it was absolutely worth it to be in the quiet French countryside on an unknown road.
Chicken had a spill though, due to the bumpiness
and we made it to Gresswiller where the road resumed.
After the irresistibly named town of Still (got love for the streets, Kenefick), we rounded a corner and finally got the French sunflower view Ramona had been waiting for. It turned out to be the best place for a picnic, beside a stone bench that has probably been a picnic stop for 500 years.
Huge, magic day. We made it to Saverne and were in a good mood for it. Magically, a local vintner had her wine tasting truck parked there so we got to have one of the local specialties with our fabulous Greek salad dinner. The wine was so good, we went back for a second bottle and carried it the next day. On a bike, in a French region known for wine, that seems crazy. This wine was worth it.