Thursday, 31 January 2013

A ghost town let down.

Day 197 27.01.13 Besancon to Mulhouse

Mulhouse town square in the snow
Well we’re still alive!  Last night was much milder than the previous one and we’re certainly thankful!  Once up and about we get on the road for our next stop in Mulhouse.  On arrival we discover it’s a bit rough around the edges and we amend our parking plans accordingly.  After a bucketload of faffing we end up parked in the carpark of a massive Super U supermarket which is closed for the day.

It’s a bit of a walk to town but we let off laptops in tow with hungry bellies since we have no food in the van that doesn’t require heating and the gas is still refusing to play ball.  

We arrive in the centre of Mulhouse to a ghost town.  All of the shops are closed apart from Subway, McDonald’s and an overpriced Carrefour city mini market.  Absolutely everything else, down to the tourist office is closed for the day.  As a result we pass another human being only every ten minutes or so!  We plumb for lunch at Maccy’s and grab a baguette for dinner.  McDonald’s wifi is so terribly slow that I can’t get the blog updated which is rather annoying indeed.

Onwards into Mulhouse I have to say I’m disappointed.  When I looked it up online the old town looked wonderfully quaint and charming with lots to see.  No such joy unfortunately though.  Whilst there are some authentic old buildings some of which are lovely, they are certainly in the minority.  Much of the delightful details on the buildings I’d seen in photos turn out to be PAINTED ON!!! 

Mulhouse town hall, FranceMulhouse cathedral, FranceThe cathedral is undoubtedly fantastic looking with soaring spires, no doubt inside is impressive too although we wouldn’t find out since it’s closed for the entirety of January and February!  The town hall is a quirky, dark pink masterpiece with grand paintings adorning all sides but even the brick work is painted on!  Aside from these two, the William Tell building is very nice and there is a lovely arch way high above the street in the old town that deserves a mention.

That’s about the lot for Mulhouse though really.  The rest of town is rather dull on the architectural front and littered with two of France’s major detractions; graffiti and dog poo (seriously its everywhere!). 

William Tell building in Mulhouse, FranceWe find a free art museum and pop in for a look around.  There are some fine portraits amongst some not so great pieces.  One of the large paintings of a young couple is particularly striking and the museum is worth a visit for this alone. 

Satisfied we’ve seen all that town has to offer (and worried that it’s about to chuck it down with rain) we head home for dinner.  The carpark seems to have been transformed into a training ground for learner drivers with 4 youngsters in different cars doing loops of the carpark.  At times a couple come worryingly close to Van Diesel and threaten to give us the heart attack those sandwiches didn’t!  Thankfully soon the failing light and abundance of rain has them all clearing off sharpish.

Time for dinner, films and bed.  Tomorrow we’re off to Colmar and I AM EXCITED!

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