Saturday: Sens, France

Saturday is market day in Beaune, so we walked up to the center of the city this morning before driving north.

Part of the market is indoors where there are refrigerated cases although most of it is outside.

Aside from a wide assortment of bread, pastries, meat, fish, and produce, there were oysters and snails galore and of course many varieties of cheese.

We got some baguettes and a few kinds of cheese for lunch later, and I wandered over to a part of the market where there was live entertainment. A woman was singing holiday songs and it was delightful.

We left for Sens in the late morning and arrived at about 1pm. The holiday market was going on – it is just today and tomorrow – so we took our time checking that out and then scoping out the town. Tomorrow we drop our car off in Paris.


photos: local celebrity singing Christmas songs at the Beaune holiday market this morning; snails for sale, the real deal; oysters were plentiful

Thursday: Dijon

Beaune (pronounced “bone”) is a terrific small city, with shops, restaurants, and plenty of vineyards outside its walled center. It is a quiet place to stay in the Burgundy area of France.

From there we drove to Dijon today and took the back roads to enjoy the countryside almost completely filled with vineyards. Each looked busy, with workers pruning vines as far as we could see.

We stopped for lunch along the way in the small town of Nuits Saint George, then drove around Gevrey-Chambertain, another town known for its Burgundy wines.

We got to Dijon and first checked out the entry area at the Musee Rude, an art dedicated to French sculptor Francois Rude. We walked around the very busy city center and went into some shops.

We wanted to go to the holiday market and walked in that direction but a few hundred protesters were marching and set off some kind of explosive device near where we were. Police were all around and were putting on their riot gear. So we walked back to the car and left, disappointed to miss the market.


photos: vineyards in the Burgundy region; the entry lobby sculptor at the Fracous Rude Museum in Dijon; protestors in Dijon today

Wednesday: Beaune

We left Vichy at about noon and drove to Lyon. There we picked up our daughter who flew from London to go home to the U.S. for the holidays.

The drive was about 2.5 hours, but with pouring rain it took longer. It also took longer because we tried to find a pack-and-ship place so we could send home one big, heavy box so we wouldn’t have to lug it home. We were not successful – the one we found just took prepaid packages – and we may just check it with our luggage. Meanwhile, we were thankful that her flight was on time.

From there (still pouring rain) we drove to Beaune, about two more hours nearer to Paris. We will stay there tonight. So – it was a day in the car, but necessary.


photos; The Christmas tree at Lyon airport; ancient bridges oureside Lyon; the end of the day, in Beaune