On the road in France 9/25

So today was the start of our six day road trip making our way south to Nice where we have to return our rental car on Saturday before taking train into Genoa.  We were sad to leave Paris but felt content with our plan of ten days there and realized that it had given us enough time that we did not leave feeling like  “Oh, if I only I had more time…..”

We were on a tight schedule in the morning to walk to the rental car place, get the car and return to our apartment by our ten am checkout time.  We got back at 9:50 so we were pretty happy with that!  Particularly since driving in Paris is about the craziest thing that you can imagine.  I have found over my 5 visits to Paris that it is not an easy city even to negotiate on foot since it has myriad wheel type intersections with numerous streets veering off the wheel and many are one way and most are tiny and filled with trucks and cars and more motorcycles, scooters and bicyclists than  you can imagine.

We rented a cute little Renault.

IMG_6232.jpgIt actually is bigger than it looks and we fit in it comfortably.  It’s a diesel and is getting great mileage so far.

Anyway, we got our luggage from the apartment, left the key on the table and out we went.  Getting out of Paris was quite challenging to say the least.  Jack was driving and I was so grateful that he grew up driving in New York City because he certainly had to draw on those skills today.  Thank goodness for the GPS in the car also, otherwise we might still be circling around one of those wheel intersections.

After leaving Paris, we were able to settle in for a really lovely drive down to Dijon.  We stayed off the highways the whole way so we went through the little French agricultural towns along the way. We saw a neat chateaux that we thought we could see on a tour but when we drove up the road it was pretty deserted and a worker saw us and said they were only open on the weekends, too bad, it looked beautiful.

We carried on and after stopping in a very cute village for breakfast and coffee along the way, and then another for Jack’s afternoon coffee pick-me-up, we arrived at Dijon around 5pm.

IMG_6234.jpgThe weather was cloudy all day today, the first time we did not have sun since we got here 10 days ago.  The light did not do this picture justice but what you are seeing here is an amazing field of yellow mustard! (Dijon 🙂

We got on our bookings.com app and found a great price at a really nice hotel right in the downtown area. Terry-cloth robes and fancy toiletries and all.  This city is pretty amazing, many old medieval buildings still in use.

IMG_6242.jpgAlso a fabulous grand square around which are fountains bars and restaurants.

We went to a bar here and with an outside heater it was nice enough to sit outside. Jack had an excellent local pinot noir and I had a local Cremont which is sparking wine that they make which cannot be called champagne since it is not made in the champagne region. (that region is a couple of hours north of there, Dijon is in Burgundy so their wines are Bourgogne).After the wine the plaza looked like this!

We found a modest Chinese restaurant and had some noodles and mushroom beansprouts and walked back to the hotel.

We have made a decision to change our itinerary a bit and to head for Chamonix tomorrow instead of Lyon. Not booking anything in advance is giving us the ability to do this and seems to be working out so far.

The one thing to do before we leave tomorrow is to visit the shop in town that has been selling mustard crushed with wine instead of vinegar since the 1700’s! We found it on our walk-around tonight, back in the morning first thing.

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