Loire Valley is about 1.5 hours out of the way.
Honestly, I'm a WWII history buff type, my Grandfather was in D-Day at Utah beach - Normandy is anti-climatic. If you want to eat and drink and check out lots of old places, Loire Valley is more interesting by a wide margin.
I've only driven to Strasbourg via Stutgart. The Autobahn on the German side of the Rhein was completely torn up and diverted when I was last there in June-near Offenbach. Hellacious traffic...smart to take back roads.
Last edited by filmoreslim; 12-01-2012 at 03:16 PM.