Today we were invited to the house of Pascal and Lucille, who live near a city to the southwest called Belfort. They had a very cute house with a beautiful backyard and garden.
We enjoyed a long leisurely lunch with the family. There was a potato dish that had melted cheese that was out of this world. Pascal served us some truly amazing wines as well. Between champagne, chardonnay, 1995 Bordeaux, and homemade schnapps, I was feeling pretty happy and toasty by the end of the meal!
Pascal’s daughter had made him a big rendition of the family tree on a corkboard that we ogled over, and filled in dates where we could.
After lunch, we headed into the city of Belfort. This is a city made famous by it’s strategic position, and features a colossal stone fort dating back to the 17th century. It has survived periodic German occupation as well as long sieges.
We took a guided tour through the gates of the fort and to the top, which boasts a spectacular panoramic view of the area. The fort itself looked impregnable, with steep thick stone walls.
Commemorating a long siege of the fort, the famous sculptor Bertholdi (who also designed the Statue of Liberty) built the Lion of Belfort, a sphinx-like statue adorning the front of the fort. Urban legend had it that Bertholdi killed himself because he forgot to sculpt a tongue inside the lion’s mouth, but I guess a recent renovation actually revealed that the statue does indeed have a tongue, it was just hard to see.
Pascal took us on a tour of the town, and we went to the stables near his house where his daughter keeps her horse.
We headed back to the house for a lovely dinner with a huge dessert course. Unfortunately my camera battery died at this point. We lingered long into the evening talking and sipping moscato, before bidding our goodbyes and coming back home to pass out. Another fantastic day!