Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Visiting's all about the food!

On Thursday, July 29th, we visited Dijon.  On the train, it took about 90 minutes.  We arrived here:

And saw many sights

The Arch

One of the main streets

The covered market, where you can buy these:

and these:

We saw this great church that had 50 gargoyles on the front of it:

We found out that in the early 1800's, a rich man and woman were getting married at the church.  As he stepped outside of the church, one of the gargoyles fell and killed him.  The family demanded that all the gargoyles be removed, which they were.  Many years later, the gargoyles were replaced...I think that's why these are in such good shape (and one looks like the Hunch Back of Notre Dame!)

As we were taking the train in to Dijon, we looked at all our info on Dijon to select a place to eat for lunch.  I had decided that I wanted to plan one of our meals, as we often just end up at whatever place is available when we are hungry.  After careful consideration, we choose a restaurant from our Burgundy Food & Wine book.  One of the first things we did when we got into town was to find the restaurant to view the menu to make sure it was where we wanted to eat.  Unfortunately, the menu did not have many choices and I didn't think we'd be that happy, so we decided to continue to look.  As we explored the town, we looked at menus, but couldn't find a place that appealed to all of us.  After awhile, we were all getting hungry, so we ended up going into a bistro near the old Theatre.  As it turns out, this was by far our worst meal in France!  I commented that the cook must have had the day off and one of the busboys was assigned to the kitchen.  The food was just terrible.  I had this concoction (chicken in an apple sauce with fettuccine):

There was not a spice in the dish, bland as all get out and completely over cooked.  Just nasty!  No one else fared much better.  I was so disappointed because Dijon is known for it's great food and we had certainly missed with this choice!

After lunch, we did a little more sight seeing and then headed to the tourist office where we were to meet our guide to take a tour on these:

That's right, we did a Segway tour in Dijon!  So fun!!

We had to wear stylish helmets!

And we had 5 minutes of instruction and then we were off!  Kerry said that in San Diego, you have to watch a 20 minute safety video and then another 10 minutes of sign releases...etc.  Not in France!  If you can wiggle your toes, you can drive a Segway.

We went on a 90 minute tour where we stopped at 23 different locations.  Unfortunately, it was quite difficult for me to shoot pictures with my big camera and control the I only got a few shots of things.

One of the three churches in Dijon...currently closed and looking for a private buyer.

One of the famous Dijon tile roofs.

The kids loved the Segways and we're considering doing a tour in Paris too!

After Segwaying, we were starving (given the cruddy lunch that no one ate), still determined to find a place recommended in our guide book...we headed to this place:

And had this:
The best hot chocolate in Dijon!  It was terrific.

Then it was time to hit the shops and buy mustard (which we bought a lot of!) and then get some supplies for the train ride home (cheese, bread, wine & subway sandwiches for the kids).

I went here and was in heaven!

And I bought all of these:

Then the funny part of our story starts.  We bought some bread and a bottle of wine.  We realized that we didn't have a cork screw with us (hmmm, wonder how that happened).  So, we stopped at every little shop on our way back to the train station looking to buy one.  Not a cork screw to be found (except for a knife shop where we could purchase a swiss army knife for 35 euro).  This is funny because my friend Molly Jo had just posted a video of a French guy opening a bottle of wine with a shoe on Facebook and we had done an experiment (which we taped and put on Facebook too) to see if we could open a bottle of wine with a shoe.  We were unsuccessful.  Now, it looked like we were going to have to try it in earnest!  

When we got to the train station, I decided to take our bottle into the bar and see if the bartender would open it for us.  Now, I know this would never happen in the US, but the French have different rules and different ways and I thought it might be possible.  I put on my biggest smile, walked in the bar, showed him the bottle and asked in my best french if he could please open it for me, or let me borrow his opener to open it outside.  He laughed and shook his head...oh no...he said.  But he put out his hand, took the bottle...admired it...and then opened it.  I offered him a small glass in appreciation, but the French do have some rules and he drew the line there.  Meanwhile, James and Kerry had found a corkscrew in a novelty shop in the train now we have a corkscrew in our traveling bag!

We hopped on the train home and made ourselves at home.  We love traveling by train, because we can do this:

And this:

Yep, dinner!

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