September 29th, 2006 – by: heckakim
City center of Dijon
On Friday I left on a group trip to Burgundy. Burgundy is south of Strasbourg, it is a region of France. We left at 8 am. We had to ride in the bus for five hours. Luckily this early in the morning everyone just gets on the bus and goes to sleep, so it was not a horrible ride. For Friday we spent the day and night in Dijon. You have all probably heard of this city. It is known for its mustard. We went to the hotel first to drop our stuff off and then we took an hour walking tour of the city.
It is very different from Strasbourg. The buildings are still all very old, but it is not as cute and welcoming as Strasbourg. It is not a very clean city either. We took a tour of the Musee de Beaux Arts. This is the Museum of Beautiful Art. It was a very nice museum. I guess it is the second most important museum in France. They had many beautiful paintings, and the main attraction was the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Tombs were very beautiful, but I don’t really understand the attraction that people have to it. I must be weird.
I loved sitting in the bus driving through the vineyards. I could have just stared out the window for hours
After visiting the museum we had the evening to ourselves.
We had an early dinner and then walked around the town for a while. Again there is not a lot to do in Dijon. It is mostly restaurants and cafes. So we went back to the hotel to relax for a while. Our plan was to go out to a club in the evening. So we hung out in our room and talked and just had fun for about 2 hours. So, we finally got ourselves up and out of the hotel to go looking for somewhere to go. By this time it was only 9pm, and nothing was open. It is like that everywhere!!! Everything in France closes at 8pm and then there is nothing else left to do. WHY!!! Then to top it all off nothing opens on Sundays except the Patisseries. So we went back to our room and I took a shower and we went to bed. However it took us forever to go to sleep because of the other people in our group. I am fed up with a bunch of them.
They were all sitting out in the hallway talking and making a ton of noise. One of the guys was leaning up against our door and every time he laughs he claps his hands and rocks back and forth so our door kept slamming into the frame. They finally got yelled at around midnight and had to leave.
My future home
The next morning we had a pretty nice breakfast. There were all kinds of breads, fruits, sliced meat, and cereal. For a buffet it was pretty good. After breakfast we all got back on the bus and headed for Beaune. Burgundy is known for its wine and Beaune is filled with small villages and huge vineyards. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I took a ton of pictures. We went into one of the little villages and got off the bus and walked through the village and some of the vineyard.
It was a little cold outside and there was some fog covering some of the vineyards. I think the fog made it all look so much more beautiful. I found a really beautiful Chateau looking out over a huge part of a vineyard. I took a picture of it, but I have decided that it will be my second home. I am going to own a vineyard and this Chateau in Burgundy. I don’t care that there is noting to do in the surrounding area. It would be the perfect place to come and get away from everything. I loved this area so much that when we were on the bus for the next 2 hours I was perfectly content to just sit there listen to my music and stare out the window. For the first time in my life I did not want to get off the bus. We were really lucky to come here at this time in the year because it is picking season, so there were a bunch of people out picking grapes. We got to talk with some of them while we were walking through the village.
Seperating the grapes from the stems
They were on their break. During their breaks from picking they drink wine and eat pastries. It sounded like an awesome job to me. I know they work really hard though.
We came during the picking season
After the village we drove for about 2 hours and got out in the town of Beaune. Here there is a museum known as the Hotel Dieu. This means the hotel of God. When it was in use it was a sort of hospital. It would founded by the first Duke of Burgundy. It was basically a place where people came to die because back then there was no treatment. Inside it showed all the rooms, each filled with about 30 beds where the people used to lie. There is one famous painting there known as the Last Judgment. You might have heard of it. Anyway, it shows the dead people being judged by God.
Then they move either into hell or into Heaven. This painting was brought here for the dying people to look at as they lay there. It is kind of morbid, but it was supposed to make them think about all they had done in their lives. This was also a good day to come to this city because there was a big market. The markets in France are like a farmers market exploded over the entire city. There are all kinds of food to choose from. There are fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, cheese, candy, there are even clothing and bag stands. It is a little crazy. So we wandered the market for a while and then went and had lunch. Then we had to get back on the bus.
A beautiful museum.
I don’t remember how long we had to drive after that, but we drove to the city that we would be staying in. It is called Cluny. It is the worst city ever. It is really small, and it looked dirty. Our hostel was horrible. We basically threw our stuff into the room and got out of there as quickly as we could. I will tell you about it in a little bit. We had a group dinner in a restaurant that was actually pretty good. You would never guess that their food would be good by looking at the outside of it. There were 10 people at my table and they all got wine for dinner. I really do not like wine, so I drank water all night long. I figure this was good because the wine in Burgundy is known for being much stronger than many other wines. My friend Amy was pretty drunk after just a glass and a half. It was pretty funny to watch. Everyone got a bit sloshed. I think we took more pictures in that restaurant than I have in my entire time of being in France. It was really fun though. Burgundy is also known for having a special type of beef. It is called Boef Bergoina. Beef Burgundy. It was really good. It was like the wild boar, or rostbeef, but the sauce that come on it was great. I love sauce. We don’t eat a lot of sauce in the United States, but they put it on almost everything here. So along with the beef, we also had potatos, mushrooms, and peas. I ate all but the mushrooms. The potatos were excellent.
After dinner we went back to the hostel. This is when we became truly disgusted. There were five beds in our room, so it was really crowded. When we looked at the blanket that was on the bed we noticed that there were stains on it. Luckily, I thought, there were extra sheets. So I laid out a white sheet over the icky blanket. Then I laid out another white sheet and I was going to sleep in between them, and as I was rolling out the other blanket I found a clump of hair in it. It grossed me out so bad that I thought I was going to puke. So I slept with just the two sheets that night and froze to death. Not that I slept very much. I was too scared to sleep. The bathrooms were gross too. It was communal. The entire floor had to share 2 toilets and 2 showers. The showers smelled like someone went to the bathroom in them. I don’t think anyone took a shower that day. Breakfast consisted of a basket of bread. That is it, bread. Then we had to split this basket between 6 people. The only good thing about this place was the hot chocolate. It was really good. Finally we got out of there at about 9am.
There is a big Abby in Cluny that I guess it really famous. I had never heard of it before and I don’t remember the name now. My understanding was because of its size, almost 30 football fields in length, made it the second most important Church outside the Vatican. There was really not much to see of it though. It has fallen apart drastically over the years. I think everyone was really upset that the only reason we stayed the night in such a disgusting place was just so that we could see the remains of a church. That sounds really harsh, but it is true. When we left there we drove 45 minutes to a beautiful Chateau. It is up on a hill and has some of the most amazing views looking out over the vineyards. Here we took a tour of the Chateau, and afterwards we had a wine tasting in the cellar. I did not like two of the three wines. The third is not really even wine. It is much thicker than wine. It was very sweet. I liked it a lot, but it is not something that you can just drink out of a glass. I am told that it is really great over vanilla ice cream. That sounded really good to me so I bought a small bottle. We shall see just how good it is on ice cream. I am excited for that.
That was the last part of our trip. We spent the next 6 hours on the bus.