Last weekend I went to Besançon to meet Juju (for those who don’t know her you have to go back in time and to read very old articles about Swedish winter, Swedish stormy weather and Swedish drunk elks).
Besançon is a little town in France’s far East: not far from Switzerland. It is surrounded by hills with military forts on their top. The biggest fort is called “la Citadelle”, it was built by Vauban under the request of Louis XIV. The town is surrounded by the river Doubs and, if you were able to fly, you would see that the river takes the shape of a horseshoe.
What I will never forget about the weekend was the trip: I left a rainy Paris on Friday night…at first I didn’t want to leave my cosy flat to travel late and to wait in the cold of Gare de Lyon, but what motivated me was the fact that it would take me less than three hours to reach my destination. Of course I was wrong. The train stopped after just 20 minutes it had left the trainstation. Passengers waited patiently to know what will happen next, some of them were a little worried because lights went off several times. My biggest fear was to spend the night in rainy Paris. In some way, the train managed to arrive at Besançon Viotte…at 3 a.m.!
We had a really short night because in the morning I was itching for the city sightseeing. So, we hurried outside through the little charming streets of the centre. The weather was not kind to us because it rained, but we didn’t care: we saw the church of “la Madeleine”, we walked along the “Quai Vauban” and we discovered some green areas such as “Chamars” and “La gare d’eau”.
The towns smells like Middle Ages, fresh rain, “Lush” soap and scented tea.
The two main kind of shops you can find there are tea rooms and hipster/vintage dressing shops.
If you are wondering where you can drink the best tea in Besançon the answer will be quite hard to find because there are tea rooms almost everywhere and all of them look welcoming. Since there is some competition, every tea room is a little special: some offer home baked pies, some others cats (not to eat, just to cuddle), some others books and some others different types of pastries such as toddlers made of chocolate (true story!). I went to a tea room called “Bêtise et volupthe” which looks like the house of the Mad Hatter from “Alice in Wonderland”.
The next day, we went to the famous “Citadelle”. The place looks like a typical medieval fort but actually it is much more now: many museums were created in there but what I preferred was the zoo and the farm.
Within “la Citadelle” many animals can be found: monkeys, tigers, sheep, goats, parrots and many more. Some of them wander around freely (of course I am not talking about the tigers!).
But of all the animals I had the chance to meet, Rango was the best. Rango is a beautiful and psychaedelic chameleon: you may find him in the lab of the insectarium. He lives in a little cage that he hates and spend his time planning a break out. He always tries to lift the cage cover up and to climb on the ficus above the cage. My friend Juju knows him well and she told me how fond he is of human beings (maybe he doesn’t know they are the cause of his imprisonment). He always tries to climb on people or falls on them when they get too near to the ficus. His jailbreaks are famous at the “Citadelle”: once he was found lying in the rubbish bin of the lab!
As all good things, all the weekends have an end…but I was very happy to spend some time in Besançon!