Alsace is a narrow province in north-eastern France, which sits squeezed between Germany, Switzerland and the French region of Lorraine. The region is home to the dense forests of the Vosgos Mountains and the steady waters of the River Rhine, and this landscape has been the setting for a famously turbulent local history that has resulted in Alsace changing hands between Germany and France on a number of occasions. But this has also lent the region a distinct cross-border charm and its citizen's today identify strongly with both the French and German cultures situated on either side of the Rhine.
The architecture of Alsace's quaint towns and villages is a clear example of this shared heritage, with timber-framed houses and wide cobbled streets. Walk into a restaurant in Strasbourg, the regional capital and you'll discover choucroute - the Alsace region's own take on sauerkraut - on the menu. In a patisserie next door, however, you'll find French treats piled high, with buttered-croissants, sweet brioche and kugelhopf, a delicious Alsatian marble cake.