Day four: from Paris to Beaune
Sep 1, 2016
|Today we took it much easier. We had a leisurely breakfast at cafe verenne, a place apparently adored by the barefoot contessa. We particularly liked their espresso and baguette. After a short ramble around the neighborhood we checked out of the hotel and metroed to gare de lyon. We had tickets for the 11:57 train. We hurriwd through the little market for sandwiches, beer and wine and boarded.
The TGV is fast, running over 150 mph. We made it to dijon in less than two hours, transferred and caught our 20 min train to beaune. On arrival we had to merely leave the gare to check into our hotel.
The location--allowing us to not have to carry our backpacks--was likely its best advantage. It was fine; the bed was comfortable and the aircon (as most people outside the US refer to it) worked great. But with noticeable paint patches on the walls, after our delightful little nest in paris, it was a noticeable difference.
No matter; we dropped the bags and headed to the central area. Beaune is a medieval town surrounded by ramparts and a moat. Once you cross that the streets are especially narrow, and all roads lead to the two main landmarks, the Hotel Dieu and the mini cathedrale notre dame. We decided to visit the hotel dieu today.
This is a medieval hospital which a duke in the 14th century decided to open in honor of himself and his wife. While it was a neat building we found the english audioguide pretty silly and too much detail. The highlights of the place:
1) they treated the poor as well as the rich (14th century socialism)
2) they obtained a winery early on and that winery finances upkeep of the building and a modern hospital today in a different part of town
3) they have a really rad painting that used to hang over the altar full of christian symbolism
Then it was time to chill at a cafe for a bit. Great peoplewatching because the town has tourists from everywhere. After more walking we kept it simple and had dinner at the hotel, and called it a night around 10.