Mon 9 Dec - Dijon, France

On the train again...

Lazy morning with a timed wake up to say goodbye to Francois and Martine before they went to work. They have been absolutely lovely hosts, generous with everything from food to time and we have really packed in a lot of experiences during our 4 nights in Lyon. Thank you very very much guys.

Our train from Lyon to Dijon did not leave until 12.15pm and the trip did only take 2 hours meaning that finally(!) we had a slow day not doing very much.

We packed up our things and left Francois' and Martine's apartment just before 11am, jumped on a bus for 4 stops before we arrived at Gare Lyon Part Dieu.

As you can see on the sign, it was not a TGV train, the very fast intercity one, but a TER which appears to be more of a commuter train.

Our train in the low clouds at Gare Lyon Part Dieu.

A selfie on the train...

...which as you can see did not have many commuters on it this Monday midday.

The train left Gare Lyon Part Dieu right on the minute and we had a relaxing 2 hour trip, eating the baguettes that we had brought for our lunch and watching the countryside. Hans even had a snooze on the train.

No trouble getting off the train at the correct station, as the train terminated in Dijon Ville but Google maps was a bit hazy on how to use public transport to reach our hotel. Walking was the only option presented.

However we immediately saw brand new trams outside the main train station and a quick check of the map showed it went near Rue Vannerie, the street of our hotel.

Di was busy trying to work out the ticket system, and purchasing our cards for travel (btw: she's vain enough to realise that this is not her best angle!)

The hôtel Chamberllan was easy to find. We just walked down Rue Vannerie until number 92 appeared, which was at the other end from the tram stop but still easy.

Check in and a short break and we were soon back out on the streets to explore. Dijon felt cold due to the damp mist in the air but it did add to the atmosphere of this very old part of town where we will now be staying for 3 nights.

The view from the front door of our hotel, St Michel church in the background.

We headed towards the church, turned the corner and just had to go and see this - Musee Rude.

Yep, its a real name spelt just like that - no hyphens, accents etc.

Free entry, which we love, and we were met with this...gravel floor inside an old church displaying sculptures created by Mr and Mrs Rude nearly 200 years ago.

The workmanship was extraordinary but a few in particular captured us...

Little Caesar (of course Napoleon). As regular in France as Andrew Jackson was in southern US.

A massive piece designed for an Arc de Triomphe, but we don't know which Arc...

And a crazy looking young Joan of Arc, hearing voices.
Another section of the old church has been left "as is" with gravel floor and sections dug up. We almost prefer this style of church as it is more of a historical rather than religious site.

Our random walk continued to a plaza near the Ducal Palace, which appears to be used by the Government, with a protest happening outside.

In front of the palace was a winter ice rink with these cute guys looking on.

The main shopping street looked elegant, a little like Leiden in the Netherlands, but we turned away because fancy clothes shops are definitely not of interest to us.

Much more interesting, and old, streets were just around the corner.

A huge building fresco, with a white bust of a head of someone famous, but we could not figure out who it was. A bit too artistic for us to understand.

As well as finding our way around the neighborhood and checking out eateries, we were also on the lookout for a supermarket, which we did eventually find.

With 2 bags of goodies, we wandered back towards our hotel through Place de la Republique where the winter and Christmas festivities were in full swing. Yet more lights across the French city skies.

More Christmas lights...

...and even more over the streets. This is Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau.

After dropping off our supermarket purchases, we went for a very early dinner (for France) at 6pm, as it kept getting colder (due to be -1 degree overnight) and we stopped at one of only a handful bar/restaurants open on a Monday night.

Food was average but reasonably priced (under 10€ per main dish) and it was the only place with any people in it (lots just having beer or a coffee). They had pretty cool music playing so it was quite nice but we did not linger and were home again an hour later.

A few local night photos before going home...

A building opposite the brasserie that seems to have some display or expo on, with columns all wrapped up.

The St Michel church looked spooky and wonderful with the lights and mist.

Our initial impressions of Dijon are very positive - we've not seen any other tourists and the town has not been "spruced up" much, giving it a medieval feel. We look forward to exploring more, but for now good night.


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