April-August 2008

French flag

Paris is not France, though it sometimes seems that way. No, there is a "France Profonde" which has a great deal of charm. This year we got another chance to see a special corner of it, a corner that Louis XIV managed to convert from its independent, bourgeoise, Germanic life to an integral part of France. Conveniently close to Basel, we made day-trips to Mulhouse, Belfort, and Colmar. And, even before them we were off by foot for a few hours to St Louis, nominally named for a saint, but in reality for the great expansionist.

History is ironic. Three hundred years ago the Sun King's economic siege of twenty years made Belfort, Colmar, and Mulhouse "willingly" join France. To day there is a new gravitational center and that is Basel; its attractive force has captured St Louis (which truly is next door) and Mulhouse (which is just 20 minutes down the street). Belfort and Colmar, each an hour away, have retained the degree of indepence of a teen-age child who doesn't carry a mobile phone: Not within calling distance, but unable to do much that doesn't take into account who's who.

This Page is a place holder for a future description of what we visited and saw. We'll also add some photographs.


Month, 2008