510 km/318 miles
Today, the team split up. Rob, Biff, and MacBean were heading west towards Spain and the south west. Martyn, Mark, and I were heading north to get the ferry on Tuesday. Mark looked for a place that was close to the middle of our trip to Dieppe and picked Beaune. The capital of the Burgundy region.
Our plan was to take the toll roads and hammer out the miles. Because of the race and the exodus of bikers, they were removing tolls for motorcyclists from noon until midnight, all the way up to Paris. With our timing, we did manage to save about twenty euros.
We were told that we could check in anytime after 3pm. We arrived about 10 minutes to 4pm to find a note on the door. La madam would return at 4. So we found a spot in the shade to hang out. There were several other visitors waiting also. At 4:15 she came racing into the parking lot apologizing in English. One of the groups ahead of us asked how to turn the heat on in the room – “We do not have heat at this time of the year” came the reply with all the French disdain you can imagine.
We did not get a room in the main house. We were in the barn. Not with the animals and hay bales but a tastefully done room with en suite bathroom. The shower had a little to be desired being one of those handheld jobbies you use sitting down in the tub. Martyn offered to hose Mark off but he did not bite.
Martyn wanted to take a nap before heading off to dinner so Mark and I wandered into town to see the sites and scope things out.
My guess is that this is some sort of triumphal archway. It sat right on the main road into town.
My two years of high-school French has not stood the test of time. I kept seeing big, well appointed buildings in towns and thought it was interesting to see so many town hotels. There was one right next to our hotel in St Jean du Gard. In the back of my mind, I had an inkling there was something special about them. Mark pointed out that they were the town halls. Maybe it will stick this time around. Every time I went for s’il vous plait, por favor came out of my mouth. I did get the hang of merci beaucoup.
Mark fortuitously made a reservation for us at one of the restaurants we passed. All the other places seemed to be turning people away from them we passed. As we wandered back through the main square to the restaurant there were a number of balloons passing over the cathedral.
These snails were loaded with garlic butter and delicious. Scoping up the remaining butter with bread was divine.
I got the prix fixe menu which include snails as a starter and beef bourguignon as a main course. My absolute lack of French knowledge is stunning. I did not know that Bourgogne and Burgundy were the same place. That said, we did not have any burgundy wine with dinner.
Beaune was the first place that I noticed with ghost signs. I saw one on the way into dinner, a number more in the town center, and this one on the way back out.