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We had a pleasant and uneventful flight home and had a great time. Now headed to bed as it’s two in the morning in Paris
This’ll be a short post as we only have Wi-Fi in the lobby of our hotel. We walked 14 miles yesterday
Dijon was much nicer that I had expected. Classic older area with shops, markets and churches. We then boarded the TGV and it only seemed like maybe 80 mph for the 1st half an hour… Then Wow! 200 mph for the next hour. The French really have us in spades here. I think Americans would travel more with these as once you throw in the time to the airport, parking, security, delays, crowds, etc. this was much more enjoyable… And they run on time and drop you off in the center of town.
We start in Paris with a motor coach ride
I’m writing this a little early as we are leaving the ship today and I’m not sure if we will have Wi-Fi at our hotel in Paris. Today we traveled to the city of Dijon and after that we travel on the TGV to Paris. I understand this bullet train reaches speeds of close to 190 miles an hour and that is nice because it puts us in Paris early enough to really have some sightseeing time before dinner and after as well.
Today we reached the northern most navigable region of the Saone river. We took a motor coach ride into the city of Beaune. We started the morning touring a mustard factory and tasted some of the nicest burgundy mustards. Dijon, as you know is famous for its mustards ( we go there tomorrow). We then toured the famous Hostel Dieu, a hospital built for the poor in the 14 th century. It was built by Nicholas Roulin, trying his best to buy his way into heaven as many wealthy Catholics at the time did. We had lunch in town today at a local restaurant… Boeuf bourguignon naturally! The salad had a couple crispy crouton pieces with warm le chèvre. Wonderful. We did some shopping and ended the afternoon with, you guessed it, another wine tasting. In burgundy, it’s all about the Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes. Pinot’s grown mainly on clays and the Chardonnay on limestone soils. They had a very wet and cold spring and the flowers which usually are on the vines in late May were one month late. You count 100 days from flower to harvest so they are harvesting now. For you connoisseurs du vin, 2013 may not be a great year for French wines. It was fun watching the harvest though.
Today we pulled up to a small town along the Soane River near the province of Beaujolais. We boarded tour buses and were taken through the French countryside to the Abbey of Cluny, built in 11th century. It was the largest cathedral in the world until the construction of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. Only about 5 % is still standing. But impressive none the less. We also visited the required chèvre farm and tasted goat cheese and Macon villages, a white wine made with the Chardonnay grape. We also travelled through the town of Belleville. We only have one more full day On board before traveling to Paris 😦
So what can I say about Lyon? It is the second largest city in France located at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saone. It doesn’t seem quite fair that Charlotte gets no rivers and this city gets 2. It was a major pathway for the Romans to get just about anywhere. We started the morning with a tour of the food market made famous by the three-star Michelin chef Paul Bocuse. Here, you will find 365 different varieties of cheeses at the fromagerie as well as beautiful meats and desserts. (please look at the photos of this place after you have eaten!) we then crossed over both the Rhône and Saone rivers and traveled to the top of Fourvouiere to the ABC on top. Beautiful inside and out and also great views looking down into the city. We then went to the old town where we had time to view the shops as well as some secret passageways that were used by the resistance during the German occupation here. While the rest went back to the ship we stayed here and had a nice lunch of salads, crepes avec jambon- fromage. While it was good, it is sort of amazing how slow the service can be over here. The French do not appear to be in a hurry like Americans are. We did a little shopping and then back on board. Yesterday we had time to grab a couple bicycles and ride a few miles up and down the Rhone.