To Mulhouse: The amazing Bugatti museum - A River Route through Europe searching for a good cup of coffee - CycleBlaze

August 31, 2011

To Mulhouse: The amazing Bugatti museum

It was not the nightmare leaving Montbelier it had been arriving as the track was all along the canal so we didn't have to mix with the awful traffic. The first 15km or so was very industrial as although Montbelier itself isn't a big town it is in a nest of lots of smaller towns so the whole urban area is big and seemingly rather chaotic. Although pleasant the route along the canal lacked the magic of yesterday's trip. One point of real interest to us was when the canal started going the other way and there was a series of about a dozen locks like a ladder to get the boats to the required height.

We were undecided on what to do. One idea was to go straight through Mulhouse and find a small place between it and Basel. The other was to cut the day short find a place with a workmen's lunch and having eaten and drunk our fill stay put ( there is no way we could ride after one of those). We decided on the latter but left it too long to get off the tow path and really were just in the suburbs of Mulhouse. Another change of plan we would go into Mulhouse, find somewhere to stay, have some lunch and go to the car museum there (might make up a bit for Ken missing the Peugeot one yesterday). So thet is what we did. We found a good and very cheap hotel, had a massive lunch with a very nice red wine then caught the tram to the museum.

The museum is astounding. It is the collection of the Schlumpf brothers. They had a wool business and the older one Franz became completely obsessed with collecting and perfectly restoring cars. This obsession was such that eventually the collection took over the whole of the warehouse for storage, they employed 40 people full time restoring them. No one was allowed to see the collection, it was a secret. Naturally they began to run out of money and in the mid 1970s the very disgruntled wool workers tore down the warehouse walls and what they found was priceless. The French government, the Alsac Council and many other bodies came together to take this unique collection over and it was opened in 1981 as the Cite de l'Automobile. We had visited it not long after its discovery and opening in the 1980s. The main hall occupies 17 acres packed with perfectly restored priceless cars. Ken had a wonderful time but even he said that he found it overwhelming . My legs gave out after a while and had me searching for a seat

A very pretty lock
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a general view of the museum
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t would feel more elegant travelling in this than on a bike
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they have a great system of trams
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The wonderful public transport sysyem makes the city centre lovely
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Today's ride: 61 km (38 miles)
Total: 1,340 km (832 miles)

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