IMG_1658Another good nights sleep at the Vauban despite the noisy road. Breakfast is simple but expensive really for croissants and bread however it is just downstairs.

Today is off to the Ballon d’Alsase per the Michelin but Doreen has gone on strike claiming she knows nothing of France. My fix last night was plainly way off. Groan.

Luckily the Ballon is well signposted but unless you climb up some way from the road there’s no view to speak of - it’s also very cold up there and fairly low cloud. We passed but on a nicer day it would be a delight.IMG_0314

We did have a nice picnic lunch at the not so nice town of Le Thillot on the main N66 road. Nice spots with tables/seats are hard to come by.

The whole area is quite different to Burgundy with a very Swiss/alpine feel. Still very pretty however.

The afternoon is taken up with a tour of the Plateau des mille Etangs (plain of a thousand ponds). We counted 10 but the others may have been having a long lunch. It is very scenic however.

IMG_0316I’ve not completely given up on the Logis de France and we’ve selected the Hotel le Strasbourgois at Plombieres-les-bain. This proves much harder than I though as the’ve changed the name of the bloody thing to La Campagnard. Doreen is of course no help and I have to ask the man at the garage who simply points over the road. Huh! Just in time before the afternoon thunderstorm.....

The Hotel Alsace is an eye opener. We have struggled to find anywhere open on a Thursday night in Plombieres-les-bain however the Hotel Alsace is and it’s excellent.  This splendid olde worlde hotel full of the elderly, all come for the spa and they each have their own napkin and wine bottle left at their own table for them (napkins in the envelope provided please).

It’s fantastic. None of this old folks home stuff, you just go and stay in a nice hotel with a bunch of other oldies. Now this is for me, it’s taken a while to work out what needs to happen as we get older, now I know! Next time it’s the Hotel Alsace for me.IMG_0318

This is really just another fantastic find although madam, it has to be said, is not a fan of the Alsace wine (it is very sweet).

It is time to give up on the Logis de France, La Campagnard. is another dog. Tired, plastic mattress protectors, torn sheets, room smelling of cigarettes, just very poor. Just paid the bill it was only 48 euros so perhaps it can be forgiven a bit....