Jun 30, 2013

Land of the Owl, Home of the Mustard

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Dijon for the day in order to get a feel for the city before bringing the little ones along. After three alarms, several yawns, & one terrifying incident with a spider I was ready to go. I arrived at my platform promptly at 9:47 all set for my 9:48 train. (I'm subtly bringing the American college student time schedule to France.) I wasn't alone on this; the station was practically abandoned until five minutes before the train when people flooded in from nowhere to get to Dijon.

The forecast called for cloudy skies & rain so (thanks to my temporary mom) I packed accordingly, but secretly hoped the sun would make an appearance. Nothing could stop me from exploring the home of mustard! (Shout out to my adorable little cousin Noelle, a renowned mustard-lover.)

So off I was to another city with a different story to tell. Upon arrival I headed straight to the tourism office where I was given everything I needed to take on the town. I decided to follow "The Owl's Trail" leading me through the history & charming sites of Dijon. It's about a two hour tour, but of course I made my own route due to my unstoppable curiosity.


The little owls I followed throughout the city


Jardin Darcy, the town's first public garden created in 1880






Porte Guillaume, the town's 18th century arch situated at the top of the main shopping street rue de Liberte


The Place Grangier




The Covered Market, filled with divine smells from the fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, & other treats inside
















This friendly guy waited patiently for his owner to finish grocery shopping


My next stop was Place François Rude, named after the famous Dijon sculptor who created the Arc de Triomphe in Paris


Grape harvester




This little, hidden bakery displayed miniature tables set with scones & coffee - so cute!


Dijon's Notre-Dame


Legend has it if you touch the owl with your left hand & make a wish it will come true


Maison Millière, built in 1483, was used in the film "Cyrano de Bergerac"


I spy a cat on the roof


L'Hôtel de Vogüé


La Nef


Eglise St-Michel


The theatre


Tour Philippe le Bon (Philip the good, Dad! It's your tower!)


Place de la Libération, the royal square in Dijon designed in 1685


Palais des Ducs et Des Etats de Bourgogne


That afternoon I got back on the train home. I stared out the window at the fields of tall grass sprinkled with bright red poppies as we sped past old wineries & stucco houses consumed by green ivy. Every town we passed had a big, beautiful church that stood tall watching over the villagers below. It amazes me that to some people this has been home for hundreds of years. Our neighbor for example told us her vineyards have been in her family for over 800 years. Talk about a family business!

I got home safely & reported back to the family. It was a wonderful day in a city filled with owls, architecture, & mustard.

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