We were up early today and out the door by 8:30… on the promise of a Maccas morning tea! The nearest was shut so we headed onward until we found one that was open in Besancon. The real reason was reliable WIFI as we had nowhere to sleep. That was easily solved and we also found that there is a cool old citadel in Besancon which has a zoo inside. Old buildings for the old folks and big cats for the young-uns. Off we went but trying to get there, we realised that we are back in France. Driving is more arrogant here – they simply think you should know where you are going and get it right! Annoying differences between GPS maps and the real roads made it a bit difficult but we eventually got there.
The Besancon Citadel is basically a castle at the top of the hill with its surrounding fortifications and internal buildings. It was built in the 17th
century by King Louis XIV as a strategic military base and has been used that way until recent times. There are a couple of museums in the buildings, one dedicated to the French Resistance in WWII. The
main attractions are the Aquarium, Insectarium, Noctarium and the Zoo. The insectarium had a great display of many types of insects but the spiders certainly raised the hairs on Mel’s neck! The zoo is a very different use of an old castle but it is just the right size to keep the youngsters interested through the whole thing. The big drawcards are the 20 species of monkeys and the big cats – Asian lions and Siberian Tigers, both endangered. They even had Emus and Kangaroos!
After lunch it began to rain so we left and continued our journey to Poissons and our B&B for the night. A quick stop for a leg stretch at a lovely little playground, we finally got there. It is a beautiful place with really lovely rooms and a very cool massage shower. Our host recommended a local pizzeria for dinner and though we had a bit of trouble finding it, it was a nice little restaurant. Not Italian pizza but pretty good all the same!
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