Just another chateau - Joseph Vaillot
We take our time waking up this morning. We are allowed to. It is Burgundy, we’re on holiday, we’re here to relax. After we leave this apartment we haven’t got anywhere to stay so we better start planning ahead. Finally we find suitable accommodation in Nancy, about four hours drive north of Beaune. It is another apartment, much younger than our present location.
During our previous trip we fell in love with Leclerc shopping centres. They are fresh, modern, and full of wonderful surprises. Late this morning we pay Mr Leclerc a visit. We enjoy the trundle around his shop with our special wheeled shopping basket that bumps over every join in the endless number of flooring tiles. It must be annoying to the other shoppers who push their overflowing silent shopping trolleys along aisle after aisle. The owners of our apartment have compiled a folder of helpful hints. One shop that is recommended is like a supermarket selling just frozen foods, especially pre-packaged dinners for 1, 2, or 4 people. We arrive but Mr Picard is shut for lunch. Perhaps we’ll come back tomorrow.
After our Mr Leclerc lunch we head for the hills to the west and
south of Beaune. Our drive takes us into some very scenic countryside. On the open south facing slopes are row upon row of grape vines. The land is limestone country. We try and compare this location and the location of the pinot noir grapes back in New Zealand. Both areas produce fantastic wines. Our Central Otago region is dry, rocky and barren. Here in Burgundy the surrounding forests look quite lush. At the moment it is hot and dry, just like home.
We stop a while and take a walking tour through a village or two. We use the various viewing spots to look over the landscape. Fantastic. The land is a patchwork of vineyards, wheat, maize and forests. The forests are small clumps of deciduous trees, perhaps not quite the look of the native rain forests of our South Island West Coast, but dense enough and tall enough to be called a forest. Driving these country roads you meet all types of vehicles. Today it is Farmer Emile’s convoy of tractor, trailer and combine harvester. Life is busy in these farming communities and the touring public are holding up the harvest. Last night on our way home we
stopped a while and watched Farmer Claude harvest his wheat. What an intricate machine the combine harvester is.
Each village has its château. We stop briefly in one village, La Rochepot, for a photo opportunity. The narrow streets between very old buildings, bright attractive flowers growing in all possible locations, and the château looking down on everything. Quite picturesque.
We drive back towards Beaune only to realize south can often feel like you’re heading north. Jane comes to the rescue and has us back on track. Meandering through the countryside can often feel as though you have travelled quite some distance from your starting point. It doesn’t take long and we find ourselves driving into our village of Cissey.
It is a light meal tonight. Stomach and budget need a rest. Tomorrow we visit Abbaye Fontenay. Two years ago we stopped for a visit only to be told it closes in thirty minutes, come back tomorrow. It has taken two years but we’re going back tomorrow.
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