after a little break due of my short travel in Germany for the Ragnarök Festival, i finally find the time for tell you about a multiple-times travel i did in Franche Comté, France.
Franche Comté is a wide region in the total East side of France, which borders with the french Switzerland side. Mostly part of the territory is made of mountains (Vosges for specify), forests and nature like the near country. At the same time this wonderful land don’t host just nature, but also some big car industries like Renault and Citroen, that made of it the biggest car production region in France. Many rivers flow in Franche Comté, four of which i had pleasure to see: the Saone, the Doubs, the Hérisson and Ail.
But let’s start to see now what this magic region give us! 🙂
Besançon is the capital city of Franche Comté and count around 115.000 people. Is a town with a big cultural and historic heritage, not for nothing have been in 2008 a heritage of UNESCO. A pretty nice city, well known for the astronomical clock and even more known for be hometown of the famous french writer Victor Hugo, author of the romances “Notre Dame de Paris” and “Les Misérables”.
In this amazing town up to the hill there’s a fortress of the years 1668-1711 create by Vauban, one of the most important engineers of all time. The position where the “Cittadelle of Besançon” – this is it’s real name – is located permit to have a stunning and romantic view of the whole valley, one of the most loved places by the tourists. This place in origin was chosen for a particular reason, the engineer Vauban took longtime for study the territory and the geology of it and at the end his decision to build it up to this mountain was dicted by the risk of seasonal river floods and the possibility to have more chances to win against the enemies that wanted to conquer this fortress.
Here a statue of Vauban:
In the Cittadelle there’s also a botanic garden and zoo with a big variety of plants and animals. Unfortunately 5 years ago i still hadn’t my 60D so the quality of the photos is pretty low.
In “Le Jardin Zoologique” you can have the chance to admire red ibis species, tigers, flamingos, boars and many other wonderful creatures; a good way in my opinion for spend one day between history, culture and nature.
Besançon is also the capital of Doubs department, which take its name from the river that flow in it. A river long 453 km, that across the regions Franche Comté, Saone, Bourgogne and Jura but that flew for a small part also into Switzerland. A magic place create by these wide green forests and the crystal clear water of the river, the fishing men that sit on the border hope to bring home a well dinner for their kids; don’t looks like to be in a Seurat painting?
Following the path of Doubs if you have luck with the weather and the season you can have the pleasure to see the Waterfall “Saut du Doubs“. Good known for be the most famous Waterfall of Franche Comté, a real breathtaking spectacle of the nature. For reach it you must walk 6-7 kilometers, so i advise you to ask some people that return from there if there’s water, or you will just walk many kilometers as i did for see nearly nothing!
Something similar to it can also be a very exciting experiece to do, in a day you wish for adventure and try the risk from head to toes, i suggest you to visit the Waterfalls of Hérisson. In winter the path for reach this majestic icy waterfall is mostly part frozen and to a side there are no guard-rails so is easy to fall in the canyon; so just do it if you feel sure to can reach the end and if you have good shoes for stand on the ice without glide away.
What else you can have in Franche Comté?
In Franche Comté you can also have the opportunity to eat super tasty food and drinks, as the french tradition wants. Something i can permit me to really advise you is the well known Wine of Jura, another department of this region where you can see many wineyards, a romantic unforgettable landscape. The other delicacy you must absolutely taste before return home from your Franche Comté travel, is the cancoillotte à l’ail, a sort of liquid cheese with garlic flavour you can find in any supermarket. Spread on a piece of baguette is the perfect start for a well french dinner.
In the region Franche Comté next to Alsace, there is a very small department called Territoires de Belfort, which also merit a lot to be visited. The style of Belfort, capital city of it, is a mixture of the alsacian and comtois architectures, it looks like a thypical east french city, which full of history and culture will let you discover thousand shades of this France side.
At the end of this photography travel i tried to rebuild in my and your minds (was a little bit difficult remember me all, i avoid it!), i can just suggest you to visit these lands a little bit out of the standard french touristic towns and places, and to see how the traditions and style change in each France region. Every of it have something different to offer you and merit to be discover, you can find other landscapes and other food and drinking in every department you go. If you have a good budget, turn all over france and ask for thypical things, the pleasure will be TOP! 🙂
See you in the next adventure!