June 10, 2022 Bourges FR

We picked Bourges as it moved us in the right direction and had a UNESCO World Heritage Site we could visit. The drive over was easy and today we elected to go across country and avoid the autoroutes. I should say we elected to avoid paying for autoroutes as we spent about 1/3 of the drive on a free section of the autoroute. But today was spent mostly on national roads which are wide and generally bypass big cities so it was enjoyable.

Bourges had one of the nicest collections of timbered houses we have seen.

We checked into the campground which seemed nice before heading to the city center to check out the Romanesque Cathedral. Bourges is not on the typical tourist route and while the cathedral is quite beautiful it is a little rough around the edges. I think for that reason it charmed us and we spent more time than normal walking around checking it out.

The interior of the Romanesque Cathedral started in 1180 and finished around 1320.

Bourges has an interesting city center with a lot of half timbered houses, probably as many as any town we have visited, and you can see where attempts to build a tourism infrastructure have started. But for now it seems to be stalled, a lot of the storefronts are empty, and the ones that are open do not seem to be thriving. The locals seem to be heading to the newer part of town in the evening for fun, and there are not enough tourists to give the medieval town a sense of energy. We both thought Bourges has good bones for tourism and could quickly develop into a hot spot with just a little luck.

It was early but the cafes were not buzzing like in large tourist destinations.

When we arrived back at the campground a large group of about 30 people were gathered around a bunch of cabins near us. They had arrived while we were in town. It looked like a family reunion or a reunion of friends. They were a little noisy but it was early. Then about 8pm a concert started complete with a sound system cranked up to rock concert standards. Our Dutch neighbors and I walked over to see what was going on and there was a poster of a guy displayed on one of the cabins and apparently he was the one singing. Well quiet time in the campground was listed as starting at 10pm so we shrugged and headed back. The concert was over before 10pm, but unfortunately the party carried on until 4:30 am, so we did not get a good nights sleep.

Nice stained glass from the 1300’s.

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