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Published: July 20th 2016
Arc 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
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…
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 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.
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