The Canal du Rhône au Rhin: Besançon, the Citadelle

Besançon’s citadel, the Citadelle de Besançon in French, is the commune’s most unmissable attraction. I mean this literally: Unless you enter Besançon in the trunk of a car it’s hard to not see at least some part of the commune’s … Continue reading

The Canal du Rhône au Rhin: Besançon, Horloge Astronomique

Besançon’s astronomical clock

Besançon is considered the watch making capitol of France. This is by intent. The commune’s formal watchmaking role began shortly after the French Revolution. It was then that the French government decided to create a production center to compete with imports from England and Switzerland. The French government chose Besançon to be their horological center in part because of its location is near the competition: 50 miles to the west of Besançon, just across the border in Switzerland’s Canton of Jura, are famous Swiss watch making towns of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle. La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle are still important watch making centers and are home to some of the world’s most famous watch brands including Rolex, Tag Heurer, Patek Philippe, Tissot, and more. Continue reading

The Canal du Rhône au Rhin: Poulet au Vin Jaune et Morilles en Besançon

Poulet au vin jaune et morilles

Food in France is regional. So it was no surprised that when we left Burgundy and entered the Jura region the restaurant menus changed reflecting the specialties of the current region. Burgundy’s big three, the jambon persillé, bœuf bourguignon, and escargot, are less frequently seen in Jura restaurants. Replacing them are dishes built around the specialties of the Jura: The sausage, the ham, the famous cheeses, and the distinctive wines. Continue reading

The Canal du Rhône au Rhin:  Ranchot to Besançon

Just below the commune of Dole the western portion of the Canal du Rhône au Rhin connects to the flowing River Doubs for the first time.  From its intersection with the canal the River Doubs continues down to its confluence … Continue reading