Monday 30th March. Beaune 47.01761 4.83661.
Our plan today was to visit Dijon. We have books and guides and electronic maps with stopping places covering just about all of Western and Southern Europe and always have a few options of where to stop depending on whether we just need a parking place or services. According to our guides there is only one place for motorhomes in Dijon within walking distance of the city centre so that's where we headed. It was closed. The Motorhome parking and service point is outside a large campsite which was undergoing renovation and we weren't too sure whether or not everything was closed or just the campsite but as we were deliberating a pleasant young man with perfect English explained that we couldn't park. We could have water if we wished but we couldn't park. Strange really as there were about a dozen spaces where we could have parked without bothering anyone but my request was met with a polite refusal and a suggestion that we parked further along the road in a car park by the lake where the young man suggested that the police "probably" wouldn't move us on. Well, we didn't want to see Dijon that badly and there'll always be another day so we headed off for Beaune. We've visited here before but always stayed nearby in local vineyards so this time we decided to stop in the city and see what touristy things we could do for a day or so.
Our daughter, who lives in France and who at one time lived not far from here at Autun recommended the Hotel-Dieu des Hospices de Beaune, a magnificent gothic hospital, in use until the early seventies, which is impressive from the outside with turrets and a pitched roof decorated with multicoloured tiles. The inside is equally impressive and so we plan to visit tomorrow. The guide books also mention Moutarderie Fallot, Burgundy's last family run mustard factory and museum so we tootled off to the tourist information centre to book a visit there as well for tomorrow. The Musee du vin looked promising as well but it was closed by the time we arrived and is closed on Tuesday so that's one for another day. We did visit the Basilique Collegiate Notee Dame but it wasn't the most impressive church we've visited on our travels but the old city within the ramparts has some beautiful buildings and is well worth a visit.
This area, of course, is Bourgogne, beautiful countryside, famous vineyards with Chateaux to match in the Côte d'Or and is the gastronomic centre of France and when we have stopped here in the past we have always stayed in a vineyard and taken the opportunity to buy some delicious wines at much less than the outrageous prices charged in the shops in the towns and cities roundabout. So tomorrow we plan to stay just off the Route des Grands Crus at a small vineyard we stopped at before at Cormot Le Grand and restock the wine cellar, well the wardrobe actually which passes for a wine cellar in a Motorhome.
The courtyard housing the the tourist info office in Beaune