Saturday, November 11th, 2000 Bueane, France
Had breakfast with the French couple and his father. Husband was a cardiologist in Paris and wife was also in the medical profession. But, they didn’t speak much English. On the road about 9 am we made it to Semur-de-Auxois in time to watch their Armistice Day celebration. They had the local police and Boy Scout troop marching, wreath lying at the statute in the park and the local band played La Marseilles and other national songs. Very nice and it helped that the sun was shinning brightly for the first time in days. The flower gardens in the park and town were a combination of vegetables and flowers….cabbage, several different varieties that were prettier than many flowers. Their church is in the process of restoration, but was very beautiful. Loved the steeples. You could see them long before we entered the town. Another very quaint and beautiful old town. There were four ancient towers in one area.
Back to the autoroute about noon and on to Vezelay. This is a town that you can start from on the St. Jacques de Compostelle Pilgrimage to Spain. There are at least five different cities that you can start from, Paris, Vezelay and more. You can take up to ten years to complete the journey, but only by walking or riding a bicycle. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Jim wants to do this trek one day! Me thinks he's waited too long. You must have your book signed at each spot. Lisa and David said that they have visitors who are on the pilgrimage. They have to sign their books. Chateauneuf on the hill above them is one of the stops.
Another beautiful town. Most shops closed due to the holiday. One must park at the base of the town and walk the way of the pilgrimage to the top where St. Madeleine’s Basilica is located. It has a “Santa Porta Door” that we walked through just like at St. Peter’s in Rome. Also in the crypt under the church there were some relicques of St. Madeleine. Very large park behind the church overlooked the entire valley. You had about a two hundred seventy-five degree view! Spectacular! And the air was crystal clear with the sun shinning. But, as I forgot to mention, it is COLD! Gloves and earmuffs are the dress of the day!
Left about 2:30 and headed for Dijon on the autoroute. Arrived about 4 pm, found the Cathedral of St. Benigene and discovered they were about to have a Mass. Parked the car and made it about two minutes before it started. Turned out to have about nine priests and was a High Mass. Church was nearly full. It had been recently restored and was truly beautiful. After mass we headed on the local roads to Beaune where we had dinner reservations at the restaurant that we eaten in on Thursday.
Arrived in Beaune, found parking on the Village Square and headed for the public water closets nearby. Rain had stopped but it was very, very cold. Walked to the Restaurant and arrived about two minutes till 7 pm. Not open until 7 so we were the first again. Ordered the Kir, soooo good! Jim decided to splurge and order a Premier Clu wine…about 100 F for half a bottle. But it was very, very good. I had a salad that had broiled fish pieces on top – they were warm; and then duck in cider – served in a black pot. Jim had a cold ham with vegetables pressed into it and then Venison (bambi)! We both had cheese plates then a wonderful dessert of mergienge with caramel sauce & nuts all surrounded by sweet cream. During the dinner two young American couples came in. We talked with them a little bit. One was from San Francisco, the other San Diego. The wives were sisters. They were using a French/American dictionary to try to understand the menu. It was all in French and the chef and waitress didn’t speak any English!
After dinner we found the birds had peppered the car with you know what. After they’d spent the day eating grapes! But we were home about 10:30 pm. The other guests, two French couples, were still out! They arrived shortly after we went to bed. Finally a beautiful day with lots of sunshine!