Bonjour mes amis! Here we are back in Beaune and our bike tour completed - which we are a bit sad about, despite the serious bum pain. After leaving Puligny Montrachet the other day, we quickly discovered we were riding into a freezing headwind & this continued over the 40kms or so until Nuits-Saint-George. Needless to say, we were very happy to reach our hotel, "La Gentilhommiere" where we found a roaring fire in the 17th century area of the main building (see photo below). We had an AMAZING dinner that night, included in our package, and drank a bottle of white wine recommended by the sommelier, as we had no idea. He was spot on however & the wine was wonderful. Unfortunately, the next morning was still cold & windy & we were both completely knackered so decided on a Day Off, rather than the suggested itinerary of more hills, villages & wineries. Instead, we caught the train to Dijon & explored the city, which was fascinating. By the by, the trains here are fantastic and so fast! The TER (the "slow" train) travels at 160km/hr. The local tourist bureau have put together a great walking tour, highlighting all the historic sites so we were able to see the 13th century Notre Dame cathedral, the 15th century houses and the palaces of the Dukes of Burgundy, which dates back originally to Roman times but was renovated in the 14th century.
So, while it was a tiny bit of a biking "cop out", we still had the most fantastic day, followed by a meal of fairly heavy duty Burgundian food and a glass of the famous Nuits-Saint-George red, which was quite good .... I guess. Oh, I am a barbarian!! Yesterday saw us riding back to Beaune via the little villages of Chorey les Beaune, Ladoix-Serigny, Cussigny & Quincey. Once in Beaune, we realised it was market day so were able to wander through the stalls selling the most incredible local produce: canard, poulet, pate, champignons of multiple varieties (see photo above), sausages +++ which caused Steve to drool, and berries, breads, pottery, mustards, soaps, onions of at least ten varieties, artichokes the size of bowling balls, cabbages like basketballs, celeriac.... You get the idea. It was heaven! It's times like that when I wish we were renting a little cottage with a kitchen so we could try cooking some of this delicious food! However, there is always a next time, n'est ce pas?
On our arrival back in Beaune, I was greeted by Claude le chien, returned to me in a small box via the French postal service! I must admit that I had been sceptical of ever seeing him again but he has returned, none the worse for wear but possibly with a taste for fromage? This little French bulldog was one of the only friendly dogs I have yet met and we bumped into him in the Place de la Liberation in Dijon.
Here we are warming up in Nuits-St-George & enjoying the comfort of a soft cushion under our bums.
It's currently Sunday afternoon & I am taking 20 mins to catch up on my blogging while Beaune is closed for lunch. Everything in France closes between 12 and 2.30(ish). I want to tell you about our INCREDIBLE, AMAZING experience yesterday afternoon, visiting the Hospices de Beaune (aka Hotel -Dieu). It rendered me speechless with it's detail and architecture and history. It is one of the most incredible places I have ever seen. However, my photos aren't downloaded yet so I will rave more about it in the next installment. Check out the website though to get an idea. Leigh, we had dinner last night at Le P'tit Paradis & it was wonderful! Thanks for the recommendation. We are really loving Beaune. It's a fabulous spot! Au revoir!