Car Heaven in Mulhouse

October 11
We had a half day free before our flight to Pisa Italy at 6pm so we decided to see Mulhouse’s Old Town. Nice stroll in early morning revealed a nice cathedral and a pink City Hall, a quiet park putting on its autumn display. Sightseeing in the early hours allowed us a tranquil way to truly enjoy the city.

Passed many shops. And a McDonald’s. Of course we went in. Familiarity is valued when traveling and that’s partly why there likely be a McD wherever you travel.

Then it was time to drop B&T at Schlumpf Cité de l’Automobile wherein lie the greatest collection of antique Bugatti. And Mercedes. And Ferrari. Heaven for car enthusiasts!

Too many cars for just one man. Owned by Fritz Schlumpf, whose fortune from wool mills allowed him to collect expensive cars secretively. But the downturn of textile industry forced him to shutter his mills and turned over his collection to the French government in a contentious legal battle. It’s now a National Heritage Site in France to be enjoyed by the paying public. Vive la France!

As time to fly approaching, we met up with Q&D who had been browsing at the nearby mall. We returned our Automne to Hertz uneventfully. Hertz in Mulhouse Airport was a joy to deal with from beginning to end. No pressure tactics and expedite processing! Our Ford Fiesta was a pleasant surprise performing magnificently during our trip. Thumb up to American Ford!

Boarding EasyJet in Pisa was a nightmare. We neglected to read the small prints thus overpack with an extra piece of luggage each. Stuffing all into one piece fattened our carry-on making it impossible to fit in the required dimensions. We escaped unnoticed when flying from Copenhagen but now had to pay extra €60 for each oversized/extra luggage. Highway robbery but partially our fault. We thought we could beat the system flying cheaply but instead we got … slapped. Ouch, the injustice!

It was a memorable gesture of welcome to Italy.

Arrived in Pisa late evening, we picked up our car rental at Hertz, purchased with full insurance which turned out to be a good move in hindsight. GPS and prior consultation of Street View quickly guided us to our Lucca Airbnb late at night. A lovely spacious apartment decorated in Italian style right outside of Porta Elise with a lovely backyard but with old finicky bathroom lock that temporary trapped us for few hours that evening. Another memorable welcome from Italy!

Dinner was delicious pizza at the friendly neighborhood restaurant followed by gelato from La Bonta. Our first gelato of many and it was the best. Fruity and suitable for our palates. La Bonta also is a patisserie with gorgeous mouthwatering display of cake and pastries.

Aftter desserts, everything began looking better! We excitedly look forward to our first day in Italy.

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