There was lots of Dijon in Dijon, but that was about the only thing that went as planned. Lots of rain and the fact that everything closes on Mondays and Tuesdays provided a creative vacation in this Burgundian town.
Our AirBnB hosts actually picked us up from the train station and filled us in on all of the great things to do in the area. This was good, because our Frommer’s France guidebook was rendered useless given that every single thing in ti that we wanted to do was either closed or no longer existed. It was the first full moon of the Fall and we headed to Place Emile Zola to have a wonderful dinner under the clear sky.
The next day we headed to Lac Kir, a man-made lake on the outskirts of town named after and created by the city’s mayor Felix Kir. In case you are wondering, the Kir (white wine mixed with cassis) is also named after him. We had a picnic by the lake and walked all the way around! Ducks were out and about and there were nice autumn leaves beginning to fall.
Our second day in Dijon was showered with rain. We needed to find some indoor activities so we went to the Musee Des Beaux Arts. This is one of France’s oldest museums and actually is really boring. I mean, really boring. Medieval paintings and sculptures abound, and if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. But I will say, that past the medieval farm tools and the 700th Jesus painting, there is an extremely ugly addition to the museum that houses some amazing modern art! Monets, Manets, Renoirs, and Picassos are appallingly hung on what looks to be the kind of walls that are carpeted that are used for cubicles in office buildings interspersed with wood paneling. Tres Bizarre!
One of the coolest things about Dijon is the Rue de la Chouette. This is a route, marked by a little owl, and it directs you to all of the site of historical significance. We just became obsessed with finding the owls and not necessarily with the places. Popular legend has it that the owl (la chouette) carved on the side of the Church of the Notre Dame is a good luck charm: visitors to the church touch the owl with their left hands to make a wish.
One the last day, we did one of our favorite things, which is to stock up on things we can’t get as cheaply in London. Our shopping trip included:
12 bottles of wine from the Monoprix (local grocery store)
2 local salamis from the central indoor market (featured in the rainbow gallery)
special cheese Citeaux made by local monks from Cremerie Porcheret
Above are some other pictures we took on the trip that don’t really fit into the rainbow, but are worth mentioning. We probably won’t go back to Dijon, but it was another region of France that we had not been to and we’re glad we went.
We have now been to Paris, Bourgogne, La Loire, Bretegne, and Provence. Where should be go next?