Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beaune...Beouf Bourguignon, Blog Withdrawals & Bodies in the Barrell

Leaving beloved Dordogne behind, we scrambled through maps and Lonely Planet trying to decide where to next. We have 2 nights til we need to be in Paris... where is that time best spent? We decided that part of France's appeal comes from food and wine..so where else but the "spiritual heartland" of these 2 things - Burgundy.

The town we chose is Beaune (pronounced Bone). It is supposed to be one of the best places for tasting wine.. and it is also the home of the famous dish, Beouf Bourguignon (but lets just call it Beef Burgundy... coz we're Aussie!). Its also the origin of escargots (snails) and is close to Dijon, mustard capital of the world. We drove about 4 hours to get there. As we drove into town we were mighty impressed. Like every other town we've visited, there was an old town. This was one big circle of walled town, surrounded by a ring road. Outside the road was newer town. Again, it was full of gorgeous cobblestone lanes.

Adam is making me tell you this bit:
We found a hotel (moreso a room through an outside courtyard at the back of a restaurant) and the guy there was slightly odd. He didnt take our name, or passport, or credit card.. just gave us keys and showed us the room. Perhaps for this reason, I woke up in the middle of the night (3am), scared shitless. I woke Adam up to tell him I thought we were in a strange place.. and that the guy that checked us in might be like Ivan Malat. It hit me that there was no record we were even in this hotel. Nobody knew we were even in Beaune.. because we hadnt been on the blog at all; and i suddenly really missed this little link to home. Moreover, we have been using cash for everyting so there are no bank records. I'm slightly embarrassed now, but at the time, I wedged a chair against the door and laid there holding my phone contemplating messaging dad to say where we were. By daylight, I'd fallen back to sleep and realised we werent going to become bodies in the barrell or be served up as Beef Burgundy!

Monday morning we woke early to hit the tourist trail. We saw two pretty awesome things in Beaune.

First awesome thing = Hotel Dieu, a medieval hospital from 1443, which was used until the 1970s. The roof is tiled in multicoloured tiles and looks spectacular in the sun.

Second awesome thing = the wine caves at Marche aux Vins.
Its in the centre of the old town. You walk downstairs until you are underground and see where they store thousands of bottles of wine. On entry you are given a tastevin, which is a small flat silver cup that you taste the wine from. You literally walk though these caves and help yourself to wine. Each one is set up in the dark on a little wine barrel with a candle.. and you help yourself. To as much as you like. Ok.. so there might be a sign saying "one taste only" - but nobody is watching!!

After tasting all 16 wines I was drunk!! I think Adam was too but he denies it. Best 10euro spent!

Went out for a 3 course lunch, includng the obligatory Beef Burgundy.. then home to our spooky hotel for an afternoon nap. Did I mention we love life???

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