We were off again at 0830hrs with plans to stay off the major roadways and to grab a bite for breakfast on the way. Clearing Dijon was not difficult despite traffic building.
Our first stop after making a wrong turn was at Sombernon at a local Boulanger where we had pastries and a coffee. The girl serving was very sweet, friendly and helpful; a pleasant encounter.
On our path to Chateau de Chateauneuf we stopped briefly, thinking we had reached the Chateau to find we were at the Chateau de Commarin. We stopped and enquired about entry and how much of the house could be viewed. We elected to continue on feeling that we had disappointed what we believe was one of the owners. The Chateau looked nice but felt very much like Cormatin which we had viewed only yesterday.
The drive to Chateauneuf was over rising ground with spectacular countryside views. An interesting aspect of this route to Troyes was the regular exposure to the Bourgogne Canal that appeared to track the road. Chateauneuf a 12th century village sits upon a hill with the chateau dominating the countryside and is listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages; I would not want to enter that discussion.
Our next stop was at Chateau De Chailly sur Armançon. We had been introduced to the idea of this Chateau which is now a hotel with golf course from a Luxury Escape promotion. We walked the hotel which has been beautifully converted and posted a photo of “ my golf shot” to golfing friends Alex and John.
Passing through Semur-en-Auxois which also has a dominating chateau we made an emergency stop. The Office of tourism having been unsuccessfully consulted in the process.
We made only one additional stop for a lunch break which we took at a very friendly bar in one of the many little villages we passed through. A cheese and meat platter provided after much pointing and gesturing with a Chardonnay was possibly more than we needed.
Entering Troyes was not a problem but finding the wrongly selected hotel on Geeps did not help. A certain amount of running around streets trying to find the Hotel de Mauroy was eventually found as the museum; the penny finally dropped. The correctly selected hotel finally had us settled into our nights accomodation by 1600hrs.
We were quite tired but immediately ventured out to view this old Roman city renowned for it’s large collection of 16th century half timber homes. The homes we saw as we wandered the alleyways and streets were extensive and provided a wide range of designs and shapes; many of the shapes formed from years of movement.
We wandered for about 90 minutes before retiring to rest and a late dinner.
We had slept comfortably before adventuring out at 1930hrs and finding the Restaurant Saint Jean where pizza reigned again. It was the longest wait which put a further dampener on the meal. After dinner we walked the city further, noting the start of a large community bike ride at 2130hrs; the lateness of the activity bewildering to us. We continued to explore and were in bed by 2345 hrs. The town was interesting and well patronised by locals and visitors for what was a Friday night. In hindsight while we enjoyed the style of the city we feel we have reached saturation point - at this stage. While it might sound we were not impressed with the drive we took, it definitely was not the case. Much like the rest of the Burgundy region the countryside and villages were more enjoyable than we had expected; we couldn’t get enough of the experience.