Michelbach to Vallerois-le-Bois

Another good night’s stop and in the morning we had rain, which is not a hardship after all the great weather to date. We have welcomed the cooler weather and even the long trousers have had to come out.

I’m a bit clearer as to where we’re heading today. I’m reverting to trusty old Dorling Kindersley France, and I can see that Belfort and Besançon should give me the next steer.

For purely practical reasons, I headed into Belfort anyway just to get some free water from their motorhome aire. Sophie unexpectedly did some research and suggested we visit the citadel there. There was convenient parking (closer than the aire), and no problem for our very modest 6m length. We enjoyed a good walk around the battlements, and also checked out Belfort’s famous and enormous stone lion up there, that looks out over the city. We passed on the opportunity to pay €1 each to go on the special terrace to see the lion from a different angle 😉.

Next stop was the famed Le Corbusier’s Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, a sort of futuristic looking church on a hill. We took photos of as much as we could see without paying to actually go in. You may well be seeing a trend in how we generally treat entry fees 😉.

After a wild goose chase to find some remains of the local mining industry, and then a look at a lake where the campsite had the intriguing name of Les Ballastières, we were off again.

From this point on we really began to notice how very attractive the Franche-Comté scenery was. Before long, one of those annoying “Chateau” signs appeared and once Sophie saw that we were obliged to race around the countryside in search of some ruined buildings. As it turned out, it was a great drive in a very pleasant setting of gentle rolling fields, trees and cows, all set off by that magical light one hour before sunset. The private chateau, too, didn’t disappoint and whilst Sophie circumnavigated it with her phone so as not to miss out on any possible angle, I did the practical thing of finding somewhere to stay.

Within 15-20 minutes of more great driving, we found our little rural carpark on the edge of a small village. Nice and flat, pleasant views, and as quiet as you can imagine. A great find.

*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***

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