I friggin’ love this place.
Saturday, March 12, I went here with Alison, Brittany and Pierre-Jean. We did this mountain climbing thing called Via Ferrata (way of iron), which also exists in the U.S. It was sick! It may have been the scariest thing I have ever done in my life, and I loved it.
Essentially, you wear a harness with two metal carabiners for attaching to these metal cables that run all along the mountain. You basically climb across and up mountains only with metal rings and tiny steps to use. There are cables everywhere though, so if you slip off a step, you still stay attached to the cable (even though you’ll be dangling 100+ feet off the ground…). We climbed an enormous amount, and my legs killed the day after. I put some photos below to better explain it a bit.
Sunday, March 13, I returned (ironic, I know) for a trip with my class, “Société actuelle française” (Modern French Society). We explored the village, and visited the “taillanderie” (where they make metal tools for agriculture and such). It was awesome! We saw the factory inside, anvils, hydraulic-powered machines (water wheels), forges, furnaces, tools, etc.
After the taillanderie, we met some families from the village (the village only has 145 inhabitants, which is incredibly tiny). Then, we went back to the houses of our assigned families, and we ate for about 2.5 hours. The food was soooo good. The lunch started with some pork with carrots, celery cooked a way I’ve never tasted before (because it was actually good), and some other vegetables. Afterwards, we had beef bourguignon with fries, carrots, green beans, cannelini beans, and something else that I forgot. Then we ate a ton of cheese – Chamembert, Morbier (I’ve already tried it in the U.S.), and Comté, of course. Finally, we ate some dessert: it was some thing with raspberries from the family’s own garden.
Later, after the meal, the wife brought us to Salins-les-Bains to visit this big salt museum. This town is famous for its salt production in the past. The tour guide showed us all the processes of extracting salt from the water, and such. It was crazy, and there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I’d like to do the work they had to do.
Finally, around 6 p.m., we returned to the village, then returned to Besançon (by bus).
– Matt Lipinski