It’s amazing how many ideas for a weekend getaway you can find just by sitting in a hospital waiting room. That’s when I first found out about the Museomotel located in the town of Raon-l’Étape in France.
So the first thing I did when I got to a computer was to check out their website. And then I called to see if I could reserve a night in their “love bubble”. (I await your comments on my choice of bubble, dear reader…).
You know you’re onto something good when you’ve got a 6 month waiting period. Two weekends ago, the waiting came to an end we drove to Raon-l’Étape to see what the bubbles were all about.
You can read more about the history of the place on the website. But to make a long story short these bubbles were built by an engineer (a Swiss engineer I hasten to add) in the late 1960s. In all there are 9 bubbles on site, each decorated to a different theme.
A few years ago a group of friends took over the place to restore it to its former glory. The results, at least of the “love bubble”, can be seen in the photo below.
Architecturally the bubbles are fascinating. The view from the outside is deceptive as the rooms are surprisingly spacious on the inside. And I needn’t have worried about the abundance of red in the ‘love bubble’ as it was far from being overpowering. Getting into the grounds can be a bit of hassle if you have a big car. The little bridge that takes you onto the ‘island’ is a tricky entrance to maneuver especially from a roundabout.
Personally, I found the town of Raon-l‘Étape disappointing, though I’d be willing to give it another chance in warmer, sunnier weather.
The Musemotel – though only a 5 minute walk from the centre of the town – exists (dare I say it) in a bubble. It’s hidden from view and like us you may have to enlist the help of a local to point you in the right direction. You enter a zany, colourful world once you cross the bridge onto the island – a world that nevertheless seems to coexist happily with the traditional French look of Raon-l’Étape.
It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area as is the town of Saint-Dié that’s about a 20 minute drive. It’s a unique experience for a couple or family and should be a “must-do” for everyone with a penchant for the out of the ordinary.