Fabulous Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and more!

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July 20th 2016
Published: July 20th 2016
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Arc de Triomphe DijonArc de Triomphe DijonArc de Triomphe Dijon

Sunday evening as we strolled to church
Tuesday 19 July 216

The warmth of the summer air and the brilliant blue sky promised another glorious day. A picnic lunch was packed and our wonderful driver worked out the travelling itinerary. A delightful sojourn through ancient villages, flowers blooming and providing splashes of colour upon entry, adorning window boxes; Charolais cattle grazing, fields of wheat, barley and sunflowers...such rich agriculture. Picture story books come to life. Our picnic destination was Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, about 60 kms from Dijon. It’s the most exquisite village that’s claim to fame is its tantalizing anise sweets (bonbons). The fragrance of anise wafts through the air. This village also provided the setting for the film ‘Chocolat’. The façade of the chocolate shop is there but the actual shop is closed.

Wandering through the hilly village was like a step back in time. The first inhabitants of Flavigny came in the year 52! Hard to comprehend. The air within the excavated crypt was so cool, the Roman columns cold to the touch. The Saint-Pierre Benedictine Abbey was built in 719 and suffered considerably through the Hundred Year War and the French Revolution. It now houses the ‘’Le Anis de Flavigny” factory. A dear
St BenigneSt BenigneSt Benigne

Tiled roof typical in Burgundy
lady came out from her front door and held on to her railing as she stepped onto the pathway. Her mission…tying her tall hollyhock closer to the wall of her ancient home so it wouldn’t wilt in the sun. She is one of the 340 inhabitants of this gorgeous village.

Next stop, Venarey-Les-Laumes and the train station. Why here? A big town after so many delightful villages…as previously mentioned, Mabel’s father was here in 1916…

Sunday 2nd April 1916

We have been travelling for 26 hours. It is glorious. Hot tea is waiting for us at every main station. I am writing this on Les Laumes.

Can we fully appreciate how he and his army mates felt travelling through France, north from Marseilles, after their Gallipoli experience? One can only imagine. The beauty of this part of the countryside, yet unaffected by war, must have been an oasis.

There was no hot tea on this station today! A man was waiting on the platform, but then we had to wonder if the train would come along these particular tracks. Certainly the centre platform
St Bernard in the evening lightSt Bernard in the evening lightSt Bernard in the evening light

Another blessing after church as we strolled home. The whole service was in French, but our French has improved to the point of understanding some of the service! Mary and Martha featured. The singing was superb and resonated throughout the cathedral.
was operational. A poignant moment for Mabel and Jan as they took time to reflect on the happenings at this station 100 years ago.

One final stop for refreshments at Vandenesse-en-Auxois..... and a most genteel drive alongside the canal completed our fabulous day out.

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 23


Clean energy!Clean energy!
Clean energy!

On our way to Flavigny
Churches in every villageChurches in every village
Churches in every village

Bells call the faithful
Abbaye de FlavignyAbbaye de Flavigny
Abbaye de Flavigny

Now houses the shop, cafe, museum and factory for the production of anis bonbons
Well tended homes and gardens...Well tended homes and gardens...
Well tended homes and gardens...

The hollyhocks appear to grow in the rockiest of limestone
Facade of the shop from 'Chocolate'Facade of the shop from 'Chocolate'
Facade of the shop from 'Chocolate'

So wanted to clean the window!!

20th July 2016

Seeing your beautiful photos and reading about your enlightening experiences, makes me feel reassured about my two grandchildren travelling in the same country. The wether is also being kind to them and they are having an emotional - if somewhat draining - experience amongst the historical horror, but current beauty of the Western Front. Stay safe and enjoy! XX
21st July 2016

Hello over there
It looks like your the only four people in this part of France (the rest are probably at the Tour de France). Lovely scenic villages and countryside; great photos and story, Jan. Of course, making the wild assumption you're having champagne picnics ... enjoy! xxx
22nd July 2016

Another spooky moment my friend! Have just returned from a Shrine event with guest speakers talking about Fromelles and Pozieres. They mentioned the troops travelling by train to the Western Front through beautiful, and welcoming, French villages. Very different, and far more treacherous than Gallipoli. ....and then here's Mabel's dad's diary extract describing that trip. Love to you both. xxxxx
24th July 2016

Missing your Blog!
After getting behind on your Blogs, but now up, to date I am looking forward to the next installment. Have thoroughly enjoyed travelling around France with you all. Where to next??

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