Besançon

(This way to the tourist office..)

This is a really interesting town! So this morning after coffee at a place just 2 minutes from our aire I went off in search of the tourist office. I couldn’t find it on my phone (in google maps) so I had to go back to the old way – following signs.

(And here are the opening hours of the tourist office)

The sign pointed along by the river so I walked that way. Then it pointed over the bridge so I walked that way, then there were no other signs. None. I was now in what seemed to be a business area. The next sign I saw pointed to the citadel, oh no…. what if the only tourist office was the one at the citadel… at the top of the hill? Why didn’t I ask when I was there yesterday?

(There’s a fountain on the river called Minotaur)

Well, I don’t know about you but this kind of talk is very familiar to me and not at all helpful… it starts with a doubt and then a bit of blame and criticism of something that happened yesterday! Too late, internal voice!

(Lovely reflections from the river)

So I stopped walking. Turned around and walked back to the last sign, the one before the citadel one. On the way I saw another sign, I’d missed before. This one was pointing back over to the other side of the river. But how can that be right? I was on that side when I followed the sign to this side.

(Oh… on the way back from the tourist office I noticed the sign I had mis-read earlier… the top part says there are no pedestrian crossings on the road ahead. The second sign says to take this little path under the bridge to the tourist office. I thought it meant turn right over the bridge. Mystery solved!)

Ok this is also familiar… questioning why I got it wrong…. Later I did find out that I am only learning to read French signs and sometimes I mis-read them… But in the moment I don’t need to question why I got it wrong, the best thing I can do is, follow the sign and carry on. Oh and Be Quiet internal critic voice!

(Very nice view from inside the tourist office)

And that’s how I found the tourist office. And they were great, free WiFi, loads of information, brochures and a recommendation to go on a boat trip!

(Cute chess set in the tourist office based on the citadel)

So I went on another boat trip! And there were locks! Two of them. One manual and one automatic! And a tunnel! …under the citadel! Yes, I went under the citadel in a boat. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!

From the sunny, not stormy, east of France, Mairead.

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