Par le TGV
14.12.2011 - 14.12.2011 7 °C
After a leisurely walk to the Gare de Lyon, we boarded the TGV for Dijon. French train transport is brilliant and we had a comfortable 1 1/2 hour journey through predominantly flat farming land. My combination of passable spoken French and less than passable listening skill led to a slightly confused process of storing the luggage so that we could walk into the centre of Dijon for a quick look and some lunch. Dijon has an old town centre area with many attractive buildings; however, a lot of construction was happening with the installation of a new tram system.
The excitement came when I picked up the car from the hire place at the station. The first time driving "on the other side" is probably never a pretty sight but the added dimension of some road works meant the GPS and I confused each other for half an hour in the centre of Dijon while I drove into dead ends, turned the wipers on in lieu of the indicators, stalled the car and started to venture the wrong way up a one-way street. After these hiccups, we headed out along the A38 back towards Paris. The road was good and the 130 km/hr speed limit gave me a chance to become better friends with the Yaris. GPS is a fabulous invention and "Karen's" calm instructions sent us fairly easily to the tiny rural village of Suze.
The gîte we stayed in is owned by a family connection of Sonia named Anna who has a collection of 2 or 3 ancient rural buildings that are undergoing some renovation and conversion. Anna equipped us with some fine Burgundian wines from the cellar and Sonia and I made use of the remaining light to go for a walk past a lot of farms to a nearby village and back. After some beautiful cheeses which went exceptionally well with a bottle of Aligoté (lovely white, probably a sauvignon blanc or semillon), we sat down to a beautiful duck meal that Anna had cooked for us. A bottle of Hautes Côtes de Nuits (light and delightful red that was like a pinot noir) helped the duck and red mustard on its way. The gîte is actually an entire house which was quite rustic and very relaxing with a fire and an interesting collection of furnishings.