A drive through a small part of Burgundy

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Europe » France » Burgundy » Aloxe-Corton
August 16th 2013
Published: August 23rd 2013
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The patient had a good sleep,well as good as could be expected after having sustained her injuries in her face plant last night.Her lip was swollen and a black eye was emerging and the headache wasn't as thumping as last night.

Gretchen felt up to taking a drive in the country, so, after a good lie in and then a late breakfast we worked out a route to take in the backroads of Burgundy that were within the reach of Chagny.

First though we had to go into the town to get the medication for her headache,which although it had diminished we thought it best to have the paracetomol available.She also needed to get her glasses straightened out so she could fit them on the bridge of her nose without sitting where the frame made the wound when she fell forward.

The optician did a great job putting on new nose pads as well and it was all free!Perhaps he had heard about the drama from last night and wanted to help as he could.

Next it was off to Chalon to pay the hospital bill for the ambulance ride and A&E consultation.We had no idea what the cost was going to be but we had the credit card at the ready and had already advised our travel insurer of a pending claim.

On the way though we stopped at a canal that passed under the main road that we had noticed arriving into Chagny.We were fortunate enough to arrive just as a canal boat which looked to be privately hired by 4 people(if the number of dining chairs at the table on the deck was anything to go by) preparing to leave the lock.There were 4 crew,all smartly dressed in white who gave us a cheery wave as the barge chugged on its way.

After some initial confusion at the hospital administration when Gretchen gave back medical notes she was given last night when leaving the hospital she had discovered weren't hers but that of an 8 year old child.It was hard to tell what the staff thought of this error as they jabbered away in French to each other but if this had been in NZ there would have been hell to pay,given news we have heard about ACC recently!!

The bill turned out to be €71 or about NZ$120 which astounded us being so inexpensive considering it included an x-ray and the ride in the ambulance.!!We know this would be covered by ACC in NZ but you are effectively paying for that in your taxes anyway.

With that all out of the way we headed for the countryside stopping first at a memorial to local resistance fighters murdered by the Gestapo in WW2 and had our lunch under some very tall trees.

We then travelled onto Rully,a small village not that far from Chagny as it turned out.Here the town is dominated by a very large chateau on a hilltop that despite its location it was still impossible to get a photo of the whole of the building.

We then headed further west towards Nolay which has a reputation for an ancient marketplace built in a particular style with a stone roof and open sides.We had a coffee first and did some people watching from a small café on the main road through the town and then went in search of the marketplace finding first the cathedral which had some beautiful stained glass windows.

The marketplace was a bit of let down in that there was a market being held but they had put up white plastic around the open sides of the building and were charging people to go inside to the market which was a bric a bac affair and of no particular interest to us.So apart from admiring the stone roof the rest of what we could see was covered by this white plastic siding.

We went onto Auton another very picturesque town although much bigger than Nolay.Here we dropped by the Roman amphitheatre which is still used today for performances although much of the structure that is used has been rebuilt.

Arnay le Duc was next to be visited and then down in to a deep gorge where the road became very narrow.Thankfully we only had to pass two other cars in the 10 or so kilometres before we came out into vineyard territory and onto Aloxe Corton.For those of you who are Fawlty Towers fans you may recall from the episode 'The Hotel Inspector" where Basil serves up a bottle of '64 to the man he thinks is the inspector and makes a complete mess of opening the bottle causing pieces of cork to be left in the bottle.

By now it was getting on for early evening and the vineyard tasting rooms were closed and anyway one of us was driving and the other wasn't drinking after her fall last night.She had by the way got to feel better as the day had progressed and the headache had subsided.

What was interesting was that the grape vines were not particulary tall at about 1 1/2 metres whereas in NZ they would be twice that height in most cases.The rows of vines spread as far as we could see right up the low hills in most directions.This certainly was intensive grape growing!

We had one more stop and that was in Beaune,recognised as the centre of the Burgundy wine area and well known for the colourful roofs on a number of important buildings.It was also the home of one of the Chevrolet brothers associated with the motor car of the same name.

The cente of town has a maze of narrow streets and a market place with restaurants and on this balmy evening they were packed for dinner.The scene with colourful umbrellas and waiters in long white aprons made for a charming scene which we would have loved to join had we not already purchased a salad to have back in the hotel tonight.

It was just a short drive home and although we hadn't been out for too long we had covered quite a bit of ground with varied sights making it a most enjoyable day out.Gretchen by now was feeling much better and the grazes were healing over nicely.

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