Thursday, August 2, 2007


We spent last week tied up at the port in Dijon. Dijon is a great city – wonderful restaurants, a huge market on Friday and Saturday, lots of interesting shops, churches, and very convenient to the Burgundy wine country. Dave's friends, Bill and Kinou Ray, came to visit for the weekend. Bill steered us to a very interesting restaurant, sort of hidden in an alleyway (as several of the good restaurants are), on Friday night.

Saturday we all went to market and contributed to a "boat-cooked" feast on Saturday night.

Here we all are in a restaurant in the square where we had lunch on Saturday after the market.

I think Dave is doing a duck imitation in his photo but one can never be sure:

Bill and Kinou left after Sunday brunch and the four of us set off to explore the wine country. We have driven miles and miles through all the domains you might recognize: Nuits-St. George, Pommard, Beaune, ... and have not stopped, even once, to taste the wine at a vineyard! I think that sets some sort of record.

If, however, you are interested in tasting wine at the very beginning of the process, you may wish to respond to the ad for grape pickers; it is apparently very hard work but you are rewarded with a meal at the end of the day. I think it would be a fun thing to do – to actually experience the wine from the moment the grape comes off the vine and begins its journey toward the bottle.

We found an amazing overlook where we had a view of the vineyards, village and valley.

On Monday we went to Beaune where we had lunch and did a bit of shopping. Beaune is the center of the Burgundy wine area and the Hotel Dieu which is famous for it's colorful glazed roof tiles and annual wine auction as well as its historical significance.

After lunch we visited the Chateau de La Rochepot, which is a 13th century fortress that you enter via two drawbridges.

On Tuesday, we headed west and went to Vezelay. Vezelay is known for its basilica, La Madeline, which was founded in 860 AD as a monastery, and houses relics of St. Mary Magdalen; it is home to the Monastic fraternities of Jerusalem and we were fortunate enough to be there during a service.

In 1979 UNESCO declared the site of Vezelay to be an official part of the World heritage. The village is truly amazing. It is charming as well, with delightful boutiques and a grand assortment of restaurants; we, experiencing French cuisine in all it's grandeur, all had pizza for lunch in a beautiful restaurant.

Wednesday, John and Mona left for a couple of days in Paris before heading back to the States.

Dave and I spent the rest of the day, and Thursday, enjoying Dijon before leaving on Friday for the trip back to St. Jean. We found a charming restaurant on the market square on Thursday night where we had a fabulous dinner (salmon for Dave, and chicken with a mushroom champagne sauce for me) and bottle of wine.

Armed with bottles of Dijon mustard (a la Canada) for my son, we headed back to home port.