Lorraine - Toul, Épinal, Plombières-les-Bains

In 4 hours we drove through 3 countries: Germany, Luxembourg, France. This is difficult to imagine for someone coming from Australia where it can take a couple of days or more to transverse one state.


Our destination was Toul in the French region of Lorraine. We wanted to check out the Toul marina for our winter mooring. The harbourmaster, Jean-Pierre, and the English mechanic, Duncan, were both very friendly and helpful. We liked the marina and booked the Freshwater in for this winter. The town itself seems lovely and we are looking forward to exploring it more when we return in September. 


The next day we drove from Toul to Épinal. Surrounded by the Vosges mountains, Épinal lays on the Moselle, the Canal des Vosges looping past it on its way north. Grand squares bear witness of the towns political history, St. Maurice Basilica and the adjoining Chapitre quarter of its religious past. A plague on the "Place des Vosges” commemorates the fact that the people of Vosges were the first to pay taxes after the French Revolution. I bet since then a lot of Frenchmen have stood underneath this plague swearing! Taxes are very high in France (the top tax rate being 75% and the average small business tax rate 66%).


One more stop on our return trip to Montbéliard was Plombières-les-bains. This once glamourous town with spring water feeding spas and drinking fountains was already frequented by Napoleon and his wives. The diverse baths houses, casino and hotels are adorned with decorative wrought iron balconies, grand windows and beautiful arcades. 

Of course, while in Lorraine we had to have a Quiche for lunch, which we order from Madam at the local street café! We got individual quiches freshly made - served with madam’s personal french charm!

© Austin Robinson 2019