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Holidays in Eastern France   By: (1836-1919)

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[Illustration: ORNANS VALLEY OF THE LOUE (The Country of the Painter Courbet.)]


"Travelling in France without hotels, or guide books," might, with very little exaggeration, be chosen as a title to this volume, which is, indeed, the record of one visit after another among charming French people, and in delightful places, out of the ordinary track of the tourist. Alike in the valley of the Marne amongst French Protestants at Montbéliard at Besançon amid the beautiful scenery of the Doubs at Lons le Saunier, from whence so many interesting excursions were made into the Jura in the very heart of the Jura highlands at Champagnole, Morez, and St. Claude, it was my good fortune to see everything under unique and most favourable auspices, to be no tourist indeed, but a guest, welcomed at every stage, and pioneered from place to place by educated ladies and gentlemen delighted to do the honours of their native place. Thus it came about that I saw, not only places, but people, and not only one class, but all, peasant and proprietor, Protestant and Catholic, the bourgeoisie of the towns, the mountaineers of the highlands, the schoolmaster, the pastor, the curé. Wherever I went, moreover, I felt that I was breaking new ground, the most interesting country I visited being wholly unfamiliar to the general run of tourists, for instance, the charming pastoral scenery of Seine and Marne, the picturesque valleys of the Doubs and the Loue, and the environs of Montbéliard and Besançon, the grand mountain fastnesses, close shut valleys, or combes , the solitary lakes, cascades, and torrent rivers of the Jura.

Many of the most striking spots described in these pages are not even mentioned in Murray, whilst the difficulty of communication renders them comparatively unknown to the French themselves, only a few artists having as yet found them out. Ornans Courbet's birth and favourite abiding place, in the valley of the Loue is one of these. St. Hippolyte, near Montbéliard, is another, and a dozen more might be named equally beautiful, and, as yet, equally unknown. New lines of railway, however, are to be opened within the next few years in several directions, and thus the delightful scenery of Franche Comté will, ere long, be rendered accessible to all. For the benefit of those travellers who are undaunted by difficulties, and prefer to go off the beaten track even at the risk of encountering discomforts, I have reprinted, with many additions, the following notes of visits and travel in the most interesting part of Eastern France, which, in part, originally appeared in "Frazer's Magazine," 1878.

In a former work, "Western France," I treated of a part of France which was ultra Catholic; in this one I was chiefly among the more Protestant districts of the whole country, and it may be interesting to many to compare the two.


CHAPTER I. The Valley of the Marne

CHAPTER II. Noisiel: the City of Chocolate

CHAPTER III. Provins and Troyes

CHAPTER IV. Among French Protestants at Montbéliard

CHAPTER V. St. Hippolyte, Morteau, and the Swiss Borderland

CHAPTER VI. Besançon and its Environs

CHAPTER VII. Ornans, Courbet's Country, and the Valley of the Loue

CHAPTER VIII. Salins, Arbois, and the Wine Country of the Jura

CHAPTER IX. Lons le Saunier

CHAPTER X. Champagnole and Morez

CHAPTER XI. St. Claude: the Bishopric in the Mountains

CHAPTER XII. Nantua and the Church of Brou


Itineraries. Outlines of Franc Comtois History. Notes on the Geology of the Jura





How delicious to escape from the fever heat and turmoil of Paris during the Exhibition to the green banks and sheltered ways of the gently undulating Marne! With what delight we wake up in the morning to the noise, if noise it can be called, of the mower's scythe, the rustle of acacia leaves, and the notes of the stock dove, looking back as upon a nightmare to the horn of the tramway conductor, and the perpetual grind of the stone mason's saw... Continue reading book >>

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