Déjà Napoléon perçait sous Bonaparte,
Et du premier consul, déjà, par maint endroit,
Le front de l’empereur brisait le masque étroit.
Alors dans Besançon, vieille ville espagnole,
Jeté comme la graine au gré de l’air qui vole,
Naquit d’un sang breton et lorrain à la fois
Un enfant sans couleur, sans regard et sans voix;
Si débile qu’il fut, ainsi qu’une chimère,
Abandonné de tous, excepté de sa mère,
Et que son cou ployé comme un frêle roseau
Fit faire en même temps sa bière et son berceau.
Cet enfant que la vie effaçait de son livre,
Et qui n’avait pas même un lendemain à vivre,
The watch industry, for which Besançon remains the French capital, endured a major crisis in the 1970s when the advent of quartz watches from Asia knocked out the traditional watch industry in the space of just a few years. Since the 1980s, Besançon's watch industry has clawed its way back on the basis of its historic reputation and quartz watches, establishing itself in a number of niche markets including customized watches, high quality watches, and fashion articles.
We are there because our lorry-driving chum, David, recently spent an overnight break there and subsequently reported on the new tram system (opened late 2014).
Besançon had trams until 1952 when they were all replaced by buses.
Until 1987 it had a funicular railway.
Its SNCF (and predecessors) service is also of interest.
Its local transport (bus and tram) has yet another clever brand ...
Tomorrow we take a backwards glance at Besançon's "anciens trams", replaced by buses completely in 1952.
Here is the on-board display of a train travelling (with fbb as passenger) westwards from Salisbury.
Then again, on the way back from Shoreham by Sea yesterday, the 1627 from Clapham Junction had warped back one hour in time to 1529.
Pity, saving an hour would be a good sales pitch; perhaps even arriving before you departed? More work needed by Uncle Brian's techie people?