28 September 2008

Oooo la la!

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!

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Anonymous said...

I really should start reading this on a full stomoch. All I get is food cravings as I read of your exploits. Has Steve had his actual birthday yet? Say Happy Birthday to him from me.
Miss you every morning between 7.30am - 8.00am.

Anonymous said...

HI Jen
I have spent the afternoon reading up on your exploits as we had no internet access at the beach. We arrived home at lunch today (Monday)and I must say we had such a happy week that I felt a depression fall over me as we got closer to Brisbane. HG says he has not seen Sam so relaxed all year so leaving Brisvegas for the week was a success. The 2 of you must be having a fabulous time as your descriptive writing is wonderful.I am off to see Miss Yvette on Wednesday. Ange says she is doing well and feeding a lot....AND... sleeping OK at night! Missing you a heap Jen. Hope the actual birthday was super. Has Steve celebrated his yet?? Keep looking for a beagle...there must be 1 somewhere surely..xxx

Anonymous said...

Good Morning good morning another brilliant day I expect as the sun rises over somewhere deep in the french countryside. Happy birthday to you Steve no doubt you will find something delious to tuck into today, something sweet and very french, or you could try something taller and Australian sort of. I'm sure my weight goes up everytime I read this blogg
what ever you do have fun
love span

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen
Have been checking in every few days and reporting to running crew!
I am overwelmed at your wonderful trip and feeling that we here in Australia, just don't eat right!!
- are you ever going to be able to settle in downtown Bris-vegas again??
Hope you are going to turn your blogg into a book!!!! Skyexx