A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: patsaunder

Fun times

sunny 24 °C

On arrival ... first things first. "To the pool", said Olivia

Who loves to spend all day at the pool?

Lunch by the pool

Looking from the top field to the mountain beyond.

The couple who own the property work during the day until 8pm or so, so we had this to ourselves each day. How lucky were we?

Fun in the pool with Nana. So pleased to have been able to spend this time together.

The obligatory holiday 1000 piece jigsaw. This one was a great challenge, but done in four days.

The last piece goes in

Checking out youtube together

Mexican stuffed zucchini, fresh from the house garden . Yum

Playing with dad

Olivia's 'eat it or wear it' challenge. Dad ended up wearing mixed herbs, coffee, flour and oats. Olivia got away just with chilli sauce

Another special holiday together.


Posted by patsaunder 12:28 Archived in France Comments (0)

La maison de Louis Pasteur


Unbeknownst to Aaron and Rikke (both microbiologists) when they booked their summer holiday accommodation here at Marnoz, Louis Pasteur grew up in this area, and actually lived in Marnoz for a short period of his childhood. His family moved to Arbois when Louis was 8 years old. As an adult his studies took him elsewhere (Besançon, Paris, Strasbourg) but in 1879 his affection for his family home and the local area impelled him to purchase and renovate the house to accommodate his family - his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and his two grand-children . He continued to live here until his death in 1885. HIs family conserved the house as he had left it, and in 1935 his grandson donated it to the Friends of the Pasteur Society. It is now the property of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of France. They have meticulously restored the home so that it feels that time has stood still and the family are still living there.

Pasteur provided an 'open door' to his home to local residents who wanted to seek recommendations or advice. For example, he provided assistance to the local wine growers in preventing the germs in their wine. It was during his experiments with these that he proposed the heating of the wine and thus developed the process of 'pasteurisation' which was patented in 1865. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Pasteur for this development which is widely used in today's food processing, thus protecting us from a variety of illnesses. He continued to make himself available as an advisor to his fellow residents.

Included in the renovations of the house was his laboratory on the top floor which had direct access from his bedroom. Pasteur was especially particular about hygiene and insisted that his colleagues wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water several times during the day. It was his work which encouraged surgeons to follow his lead in preventive sterilisation of instruments and gowns and disinfection of wounds and bandages after operations. Another initiative from which we continue to benefit.

At this time it was not understood why food went bad. They did not know about bacteria. Pasteur showed that a closed container could be heated and afterwards remain sterile, but people still believed that the rotting came spontaneously from the air. But Pasteur knew that the rotting came from bacteria carried through the air on dust. So he developed an experiment where he heated food in a container that was open to the air through a long, curved tube. The curving of the tube meant that dust and small particles in the air could not move up into the container, and while still open to the air it remained sterile. The glass cases display that container and it is still sterile to this day - after 150 years.

DSC_0904.jpg. Aaron explaining the significance of the glass containers to me


Pasteur provided support in identifying problems in many manufacturing industries: wine and beer fermentation, silkworm diseases, and the discovery of the vaccination principle, and was awarded several National awards for his service to the national economy, and was internationally famous.

He died on 28 September 1895.


Posted by patsaunder 02:52 Archived in France Tagged buildings france historical Comments (0)

Bastille Day, 2017


Map of Arbois
Map of Château-Chalon/Voiteur
We missed the Bastille celebration while holidaying in Andlau (Alsace) in 2015. Aaron and Rikke again missed it while visiting here last year. So, as we found ourselves in France on 14 July this year we were determined to check out how the French celebrate their national day.

It was difficult to find much info about it when we visited Arbois the previous day, but signage indicating 'No parking from 5am on 14/7' along the main street gave us a hint something would be happening. We finally learned there was to be a parade at 11am. Aaron and I arrived with heaps of time, and found a great vantage point. There was a sense of holiday with a decorated town square, flags, market stalls, and people enjoying coffee in the square. As 11am rolled around, more people lined the street, but not as many people as we expected (I guess it is a relatively small town!!).

Then we heard the band which was leading the parade. It was nice to see it was a community band with young and old members. They were followed by local veterans, fire-fighters (and their cadets), the official dignitaries (e.g. the Mayor), and many local residents bringing up the rear.

Once the parade had passed through the main square, we joined everyone for the official ceremony at the town cenotaph .. this consisted of music from the band, placing of a wreath by a young lady, a speech by the mayor, and singing of La Marseillaise by everyone attending. It was fun to be part of it. (On a side note:: During the ceremony several of the fire fighters were called to an emergency (via their electronic beeper). They immediately left their place in line, the other members of their team just moved up to fill the space, and the ceremony continued.)


As evening celebrations were being held at various villages in our local area we decided to go out to dinner and stay to enjoy the evening with the locals. Rikke checked the map and decided on an restaurant at Château-Chalon in the hills, with the local village Voiteur in the valley below. The plan was to find a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the valley. Bingo!! The 'le p'tit castel' was perfect. As there were no vegan options on the menu the chef generously put together a delicious special meal for me, while Aaron went the 'full hog' ... so to speak. It was not quite what he expected, but . ... it was accompanied with a healthy serve of lentils. 🙂

B831E8AEF6C91F20A213E57F4FA6BDB1.jpg. Panoroma .. vineyards and Voiteur village in valley below Château-Chalon
IMG_1826.jpg. Looking up to Château-Chalon from Voiteur village

Any national day celebration has the obligatory fireworks display, and so it was in Voiteur. Unfortunately, as it doesn't get dark until 10.30ish in a European summer it was a long wait for the fireworks to commence . .. about 10.50pm. Some young people were 'playing' (not very safely) with crackers and rockets while they waited for the main event to commence ... we haven't been able to do that in Australia for quite some time. The display started slowly, but the final burst was spectacular with sparkles bursting and seemingly falling over the top of us.

A very late night .. but a fitting ending to a lovely day.



Posted by patsaunder 23:50 Archived in France Tagged france national historical Comments (0)



Besançon is in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is one of the best preserved cities in France dating from pre-Roman times. Its location at the crossroads of two major trans-European routes, and in the loop of the river Doubs proudly protected by the Besançon Citadel, has ensured it has remained a strategic city. It was labeled a 'Town of Art and History' in 1986.

In pre-Roman times, it was the capital of an area known as Sequania, but was first recorded as Vesontio in 58 BC after being conquered by the Romans. In the 4th century the letter 'V' was replaced by a 'B' and over time the name underwent several transformations to finally become Besançon in 1243.

There is much to see in Besançon but the most visited tourist attraction is the 17th century masterpiece, the Citadel, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The imposing Citadel stands on a massive rock - sheer on both sides - that blocks the entrance to the loop of the river. The site is encircled by ramparts topped by walkways, as well as watchtowers and turrets. The walls are up to 20 metres high and 5 to 6 metres thick. The Citadel offers visitors spectacular views over the old town of Besançon and the surrounding hills.

Click here for complete view of the Citadel Besançon Citadel

The delightful old centre of the city, the central area of which is pedestrianised, has survived more or less intact against modern day challenges. The streets are lined with houses and buildings from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century, built in the local two-coloured limestone. Once we had negotiated our way to the carpark, it was very pleasant to wander through the streets, and very easy to find our way.
IMG_1441.jpg. Navigating the modern way.

If you drive or walk to the Citadel, you have to pass the imposing Besançon Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Jean de Besançon). The Cathedral, dates largely from the 12th century, though construction continued into the 14th century. Simply spectacular. It also has a 19th century astronomical clock, which unfortunately was closed when we visited.

On the approach to the cathedral is the imposing 'Porte Noire' triumphal arch, the primary remains of the Roman city that once stood on the site. The inscriptions and art works on the arch are amazing.

Beside it in the Square Castan is a collection of archaeological remains probably dating from the 2nd or 3rd century, comprising a number of Corinthian columns and the remains of a water distribution system from a local aqueduct which supplied the city at this time. The garden in which they are located was created in 1870 to preserve these monuments, and was itself registered as a historical monument in 1945.

We had a wonderful day wandering through the old town, with Aaron, Rikke and Olivia having great shopping successes (due to the very good sales on offer). I had checked out 'Happy Cow', the international dining guide to all things vegan/vegetarian to find interesting options for lunch and dinner .. always an exciting part of travelling to different parts of the world. Dinner at the funky Betises et Volup The was very good, and the desserts were exceptional.
IMG_1442.jpg. Lunch at CouCou
20170711_203410.jpg. Betises et Volup The
20170711_201009.jpg. Simple, but beautifully presented
Let me in .. I want to come home!! We observed this little fellow stratching on the window of the building across from us as we waited for our meal.

20170711_204354.jpg. Streetart - Digital connection ..a sign of the times.

It is always wonderful to visit these old towns. I love wandering marvelling at the old buildings, and observing the goings-on. I always ponder what the lives of residents would have been like, and how it must be to live here in today's modern world.


Posted by patsaunder 08:50 Archived in France Tagged churches buildings france historical Comments (0)

Summer holidays 2017

semi-overcast 24 °C

Aaron and Rikke planned a 2 week summer holiday in Arbois, and invited me to go along with them. (Arbois is a French commune in the Jura department in eastern France).

This is our holiday home .. Gîte des Mouillères . Click on the link to check out the photos. It is located at 1 Rue Pasteur, Marnoz. Yes, this is the area where Louis Pasteur grew up .. and no doubt we will be visiting his house.

It is not a tourist area, but is in rural France with beautiful views to the mountains. It is on a large area of land with lots of beautiful large trees, and a wooded area at the back.

19800574_1..545455551_o.jpg Summer holiday begins.

We left Aarhus around midday on Friday with a planned stop-over somewhere in the south of Germany. We had to travel through Germany, and about 4 hours further into France - approximately 1300 kms (12hours without stops).

Not a lot happens when travelling long distances in a car, but one point of interest was on the approach to Hamburg which was the site of the G20 meeting. There had been many protests on the Thursday with a number of police injured so they called for reinforcements from other areas. We saw about 100 police cars driving at high speed with lights and sirens travelling towards Hamburg, luckily for us on the other side of the motorway. It was certainly impressive.

After a stay over in Heidelberg, (and a quick breakfast in Walldorf),

180_IMG_1403.jpg. Breakfast in Walldorf, Germany
IMG_1404.jpg. Village centre, Walldorf, Germany

we headed south, stopping to replenish our stocks for the coming weeks at Ruhlmann Dirringer Vineyard, and enjoy a lovely lunch in the quaint village of Dambach-La-Ville.

IMG_1405.jpg. Lovely quaint wine tasting cellar - Ruhlmann Dirringer vineyard
IMG_1407.jpg. Ruhlmann Dirringer home
IMG_1408.jpg. Stocking up for the next two weeks at Ruhlmann Dirringer Vineyard, Dambach-la-Ville
IMG_1409.jpg. Delicious lunch at Dambach-La-Ville
IMG_1410.jpg. Cafe where we enjoyed lunch at Dambach-La-Ville

We arrived in Marnoz late afternoon Saturday and settled in. First stop for Olivia ... the pool. Yeah!!

After a trip to the supermarket to stock the pantry, we enjoy our first meal together in our holiday home. Delicious. And our traditional holiday toast. "Here's to the start of a great holiday" . .... Yeah!!

IMG_1411.jpg. First holiday meal at Gîte des Mouillères
90_IMG_1414.jpg. Gîte des Mouillères

Posted by patsaunder 12:11 Archived in France Tagged landscapes mountains france holiday summer family_travel Comments (0)

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