Mulhouse la gran desconocida de Alsacia
In this part of France two cities hog most of the visitors – Strasbourg, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in France, and Colmar, capital of the wine-producing region. However, the little known jewel in the newly created region of the Great East is Mulhouse, once an independent republic, located where three counties meet – France, Germany and Switzerland. Possibly on account of that privileged position, Mulhouse is now one of France’s most active cities in terms of creativity and culture, also partly driven by its importance in the 19th century as a textile centre, which has endowed the city with an interesting industrial heritage.
Mulhouse is the City of Art and History, the first city in the Alsace to be awarded this distinction. One of its major reference points is the Place de la Réunion, the heart of its historic centre, where the easily recognisable standout feature is the pink-coloured old Town Hall. Another landmark in the square is the Protestant Church of Saint-Étienne, with a campanile affording stunning views of the city. Permission is required to go up it.
Mulhouse was one of the first major centres of the textile industry in France. This is attested in the Museum of Printed Textiles, which each year hosts a thematic exhibition linked to some well-known designer. Likewise, the Wesserling Park - Textile Ecomuseum which offers dramatized tours and fashion shows. Other major draws include the examples of industrial architecture (reconditioned former brickwork factories), and the street art and contemporary art to be had in the city centre.
Another venue worth visiting is the Cité de l’Automobile (featuring the Schlumpf Collection), situated just five minutes from downtown Mulhouse. Considered one of the leading automobile museums in the world, it showcases over 400 vehicles, prominent among which is a large collection of Bugattis. The Automobile City, divided into five distinct areas, is a truly interactive museum. Interesting audiovisuals about the automobile industry are screened, while a number of simulators enable visitors to experience what it feels like to drive a racing car.
On the outskirts of Mulhouse, the town of Ungersheim is home to the Alsace Ecomuseum, the largest of its kind in France. Here you can learn about the traditional divisions of the Alsace, what their schools used to be like and what the leading trades were. The most important craftsmen were blacksmiths, cartwrights and potters. It is also amazing to see how they used to cook in earlier times, and how they distilled local spirits. Additionally, you can taste some authentic, traditional dishes like celery gelatine, potatoes with nettles and basil sorbet.
Lastly, if you want to try Alsatian cuisine, we recommend you head for a winstub, the equivalent of a pub in the Alsace – the Restaurant Le Cellier is an ideal example. There you can taste such local specialities as fleischschnakas, an exquisite dish of noodle dough stuffed with meat, flammkuchen or tarte flambée, thinly rolled out bread dough with a topping of raw onion, bacon and single cream, and sauerkraut, accompanied by delicious Alsace wines. And, the best place to go for a drink at night is Le Gambrinus where the atmosphere is welcoming and the craft beer is excellent (bière du Bollwerk).
Mulhouse lends itself to a weekend tour. The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, shared by France, Germany and Switzerland, is just 30 minutes away from the city centre. More information on the flights here.
Text by Tusdestinos.netmore info
Pau A Balcony Over the Pyrenees
The English discovered Pau in the mid-19th century, fell in love with its mild climate and turned it into one of their favourite summer resorts. This is borne out by the well preserved oldest golf course in Europe outside the United Kingdom. The capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Département, well known as a city of art and history, offers visitors generous helpings of history, cuisine and fine wine, in addition to an adrenalin rush in the watersports available to all-comers at the Pau-Pyrénées Whitewater Stadium.
Pau – A City with History
The historic centre of Pau is distributed around its castle, the birthplace of Henry IV of France (and III of Navarre), known as "Good King Henry", France’s first king of the Bourbon dynasty. The hallmark of this castle is its architectural diversity and, like all national museums in France, admission is free every first Sunday of the month. Opposite the castle stands the Parliament of Navarre, set up in the mid-17th century after the edict of unification between France and the historical region of Bearn. It is now the seat of the General Council of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
The old town features a number of interesting sights, including such emblematic buildings as the Church of Saint-Martin and the Maison Sully, a 17th-century mansion. Touching its doorknocker is said to bring good luck, so you are advised to go through this ritual before leaving the city, just in case.
The Boulevard des Pyrénées – A Balcony Overlooking Nature
One of the landmark spots in Pau is the Boulevard des Pyrénées, designed as a replica of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. It connects the castle to the Beaumont Palace and affords beautiful views of the mountain range separating France and Spain. A pastime very much in vogue among locals and, by extension, among many visitors too, is to sit at one of the terrace cafés and soak up the fabulous mountain views.
Several museums are open to sightseers in Pau, notably the Bernadotte House, the birthplace of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a French general who ascended to the throne of Sweden, and the Fine Arts Museum, which houses a collection of paintings by Victor Galos, as well as works by local artists and even Degas and Rubens.
Cuisine and Sports in Pau
Pyrenean cuisine, with its standout local sausage and tasty cheeses, is another of the major attractions in the capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. One highly popular dish is poule au pot (casseroled chicken), an icon of traditional Bearnese cuisine. Prominent among local wines is Jurançon, which comes in two flavours – dry and sweet. Lastly, to burn up the calories ingested, watersports come highly recommended, notably rafting and hydrospeed. And, they can both be done at the nearby white-water stadium which in 2017 will be hosting the Canoe World Championships.
Be sure to visit this beautiful city – book your flight here.
Text and images by Tus Destinos
Images by Jean Jacques BROCHARD, Alban GILBERTmore info
The main activity of Marrakesch focuses on the lively square of Jemaa el-Fna , full of people all day and all night long.
Herbalists, vendors, henna stalls or snake charmers get together there during the day. Dancers and many different activities encourage visitors to take part for a few coins The square attracts the highest activity with the sunset. That is when it is full of steaming food stalls and cheap orange juice to satisfy the stomach of any.
From some of the cafes on the sides, like Cafe de France, one will have the best and most quiet views over the spectacle that is in itself Jemaa el-Fna.
Picture by Carlitos0802
We have come forward to going to Marrakech? Here our cheap
It is easy to get to the Ouessant Island by ferry from Brest. Ouessant Island is a place with just 1,000 inhabitants and a place so windy that no tree grows there.
Its name literally means “island of terror”. Despite this sinister name, its traditional houses and black sheep grazing freely on the grass of the island make this area a lovely and quiet place. In this place of extreme western France, people live in harmony with nature and is ideal for a recuperative holiday.
The island is part of Armorica Regional Nature Park and one can spot a variety of birds, some of them endangered. His other attractions are museums Ecomuseum Ouessant and the Museum of Lighthouse.
Fancy visiting Brest? Book your flights here
Picture by Oli44more info