"My immersion experience in France" Besançon by Bunsch
Besançon Travel Guide: 71 reviews and 178 photos
You can see immediately that my experience in Besancon is extremely dated. Indeed, I recently marked the 35th anniversary of my visit -- which was fully twice as many years as I was at the time I originally descended from a train, very anxious to see with whom I would be spending the next six weeks of my life in this birthplace of Victor Hugo. It turned out that I was to become another daughter to the house of Gillmann, owners of an appliance emporium. They did not have sufficient room in their spacious apartment above the store for me, however, so I was given an attic room -- five flights up, with buttons you had to push to briefly turn on the electricity -- with a bathroom shared by other tenants in the hall. For a 17 year old American girl, it was heaven. My room looked out on the cobblestoned courtyard adjacent to the local cinema, from which periodic bursts of music or laughter would waft. I had a bidet, which I thought was useful for washing out my smalls, and I was given a VeloSolex which made travel in-town and in the immediate countryside not only possible, but actually thrilling.
After our homestays, the group (accompanied by some of our French brothers and sisters) spent another three weeks touring the Franche-Comte, nearby Switzerland, and the south of France, camping in many places, winding up in Paris for several days. During the trip, I became very close to a somewhat older Frenchman, and thereafter we paid several transatlantic visits; his cousin even studied at Babson College, next door to my alma mater in Wellesley. So the last visit I list is actually one to see him, though unfortunately it occurred after he had been paralyzed in a skiing accident at Val d'Isere. I got married shortly thereafter to a man who didn't like France, so we didn't visit again. But I remember Besancon as being a wonderful, vibrant place -- and some day, I'd like to return to see how much it must have changed over these many years.
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