Metz (March 2016)

Lake Bouzey

One of the advantages of having a motorhome is the flexibility to move as the mood takes you.  I did not know I was going to visit Metz until a few hours before I arrived, initially I was set on Strasbourg.

My route to Strasbourg included a stopover near Épinal at Lake Bouzey.  The views of the lake from the campsite are great, whilst it did not offer much in the way of amenities, it was perfect for my needs.

IMG_3634

Lac de Bouzey

Metz

I cannot explain why I chose Metz, maybe it just seemed the logical choice considering where I am heading, but more about that later.  Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region, which over its history has switched ownership between France and Germany several times.  This has ultimately shaped its architecture and can be seen in the Germanic Imperial Quarter and Quartier Qutre-Seille.

The Porte des Allemands displays both Gothic and Renaissance architecture, typifying the blend of influences the city has undergone.

Similarly, the Place St-Louis in the Quartier Outre-Seille symbolises Tuscan architecture from the middle ages and subsequently typifies the character of the city.

Metz is situated between the Moselle and Seille rivers and offers a variety of water based activities, such as canoeing, kayaking and rowing, not forgetting the obligatory boat trip.

As you move towards the centre of Metz, you cannot fail to be impressed by the St Etienne Cathedral, it is the largest of a number of churches in Metz and was built between 1220 and 1552.  It is nicked named “God’s Lantern”, due to its resplendent stained glass windows.

I stayed on the Aire next to the Moselle river, the municipal campsite, like so many in France at this time of the year was closed.  From the first night of this trip, I have experienced issues with my leisure battery, it does not hold a charge for more than a few hours.  This is making it difficult for me to stay on Aires where there is no electric hook up. Hence, my stay at Metz was unfortunately limited.

There is a lot more to see in Metz, such as the Pompidou Centre and Cour d’Or museums, or the former Arsenal converted into concert hall.  In July, Metz is seemingly transformed into a seaside resort, with sand and deckchairs, an addition that is surely welcome in Lorraine.

I will return to Metz, if for nothing else, but to view the city at night, particularly “God’s Lantern”, but for now my journey continues.

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