02 March 2009

Day-tripping in Dijon

Today was another rainy day in Lyon, but I can't complain because last weekend was beautiful with a hope for spring. I spent Saturday in Dijon, France with some friends to discover the heart of the Bourgogne region. It is obvious what this town is known for, but fun fact: Dijon is not a type of mustard, but a way of making the mustard very strong. It was a humble town, not flashy with tourist attractions, or publicizing Dijon mustard to an extreme. I would recommend Dijon for anyone traveling in France who wants a very non-touristy French experience.

The Café scene in Place François-Rude

On Saturdays there's an indoor and outdoor market flowing onto every street. The market seemed to bring the whole population outside- I saw nuns, children, hippis, and elderly people. In a region known for liquor (Burgundy) and wines (Cote d'Or par example) people began drinking at 9:30 in the morning. We followed the lead of the locals, and sat down for a morning vin chaud (hot spiced wine) at a café when we arrived. It was a tasty warm drink to be followed by a picnic of fresh foods we collected at the market. We sat on the steps of a 600 year old church building, now converted into a théâtre, and ate our tomme de bourgogne cheese, epinard dijon mustard, and pain d'espice (all specialties of this region) with fresh fruits and veggies. 

Saint-Benigne Church

After our tasty picnic, we wandered around the beautiful city taking pictures and enjoying the wonderful French architecture and atmosphere. In this small town there were 6 huge churches, one bigger and more flashy than the other. Each cathedral reflects the century in which it was built- many with medieval architecture and obvious theft of aristocratic statues from the time of the French Revolution. There's a history lesson to discover in each building. 

Clara, Justin, and I

It was nice to be in a smaller, less-fast paced town compared to Lyon. We continued eating, drinking, and soaking up the sun all day until our nice train ride home. It was a lovely day in a magical town with fantastic company. C'est la vie française!

No comments:

Post a Comment