A week from Montbéliard to Besançon

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Last year I spent a week in Marseille with my grandparents and this year I visited my parents on their way from Montbéliard to Besançon. A week long vacation is a little short but with exams coming up on my part this year and my girlfriend being unable to stay a little longer last year, we just had to cut our holiday a little short. But a week is better then nothing, you just need some different air from time to time.

France is always a pretty convenient choice for us simply because it’s damn near and an awesome country. My parents rented a little boat with which they travelled the whole way from southern Germany to Besançon. It takes ages to travel on the water and so we were able to catch up pretty quickly by car and join them for a week. We had some rain, a little sun and a lot of Gin. Great Gin. I’ve always been a fan of Crémant (the Alsace alternative to Champagne) and good locally made sparkling wine which is a very vague English description. It’s called “Sekt” in German and there are a lot of differences in quality and price. But know I’m totally into Gin and Tonic.

My little hometown isn’t very well equipped when it comes to charming small stores but when it’s Wine and Alcohol in general, it’s a dreamland. I posted this pic on twitter before I took off in the evening (and I always wanted to insert a tweet in one of my posts. Looks kinda professional)

The Gin kept it’s promise and tasted incredible. My recommendation. To accompany the Gin my girlfriend bought a good selection of various Tonic watts which all have a very distinct flavor. To be precise, she bought all the ones which were available in the store. After a solid week, testing each single one of them my definite favorite is the one called Fever Tree. It’s available in two different flavors, mediterranean and premium indian. Both are great. I think I’m tasting a little salty flavor with the mediterranean (which reminds me of the French sparkling water Badoit) but that’s probably just me.

Picked up a bottle of ungava gin yesterday and can’t wait to try this one. It originates from Canada and as a little gimmick the Gin is colored yellow. I know this is not necessary but you have to admit that it looks great in this stylish bottle.

All that talk about Gin, I think I’ll need to make a short stop at the freezer and try the new one I bought together with a bottle of Fever Tree.

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Thomas Henry isn’t bad either but I still prefer Fever Tree.

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Yeah, these are the good ones. Try them if you like Tonic water.

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Traveling with a boat is really a unique experience. The landscape was stunning.

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I recently bought a great book with lots of Japanese grilling recipes. Already tried a couple one of these at home and prepared some salmon steaks with a miso marinade for our trip. Tasted great on the grill and the little rice balls (on which we added some soy sauce for them to carmeralize) made a perfect lunch.

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When we arrived in Besançon we stayed right in front of a newly build museum/culutural center which was built a year ago in collaboration with famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The building itself is stunning but with juvenile hanging around at night, throwing their glass bottles on the ground and generally behaving like ass, you can already see them heavy use on the building which just shouldn’t be the case after a year.

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I bought some take-away sushi in Besançon which was actually quite tasty. Of course you can’t compare this to the real deal but when seen in the fast-food category this was a nice treat in the evening. And you have to admit, it looks tasty.

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And now you know what I read among the Toriyama Short stories (highly recommended for fans) this summer. Just can’t get enough of Dr. Slump and everything by Toriyama in general.

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And some more pictures of the building by Kengo Kuma.

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This was probably the best selected comic boo store I’ve every been to in France. The manga selection was amazing and to top it off each series they offered was complete. Each month the proprietor is presenting one or two mangaka and showcases some of their works as reading suggestions. What a great idea. If you’re in Besancon just pay the store a visit.

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I think it’s a good idea to make a post like this every time I go on a little vacation. Let’s make it the first Japanese Tease tradition.

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