Between the Vosges mountains with their thick forests and the valley of the Rhine lies a picture-book landscape of romantic ttimber-framed villages, renowned vineyards and wonderful artistic treasures. Along with its magnificent cities of Strasbourg and Colmar, the region enchants visitors time and again. The Alsace region, the easternmost part of France, borders on Germany and extends south as far as the Swiss border. It is a popular destination for a day trip or a holiday, which means that delightful spots along the Alsatian wine route, in particular, are sometimes like mini-Disneyland, with everything directed to the needs of tourists. The landscape is a mirror image of the country across the Rhine in Germany. The Black Forest and the Vosges were originally part of a single mountain range, which split down the middle in the Tertiary era 65 million years ago to form the Rhine rift valley. For administrative purposes, Alsace consists of the departments Bas-Rhin in the north, with its capital at Strasbourg, and Haut-Rhin in the south (capital Colmar), with the border between the two running roughly along a line through Selestat, Strasbourg is the main city and economic centre of the region.