Wednesday, February 2, 2011

La Vie En Rose: New Year in Europe

Sunday, January 2, 2011 – Paris to Tournus, France

We woke up at the crack of dawn (okay, okay, 6am) on Sunday, and made our way back to the insanity that is Gare de Lyon. We managed to get onto the TGV to Dijon easily, and put all of our luggage into a compartment before finding our seats. Carrying the luggage and finding space for it on the trains has been the most irritating part of overpacking (obviously), but we’ve had pretty good luck with it so far. The train ride went quickly and smoothly, and we arrived in Dijon with 26 minutes to find our train. Unfortunately, they’d cancelled the train directly to Tournus, and instead of telling us that, simply told us to get on a train to Chalon-Sur-Saône, which we did, amidst much confusion, hoping it would bring us to Tournus. Of course, it didn’t. It did, however, bring us to another train that did bring us there, and James and Emily met us right at the train to walk us back to James’s apartment. It was a moment of great joy.

We rested a bit at the apartment, and then went on a walk through Tournus, which is a small medieval town in the Burgundy region of France. We walked along the Saône, a river that passes along the town, and seems to flood fairly often, and up to the abbey in the center of town, L’Abbay de St. Philibert. It was beautiful and serene, and most parts of it, including the crypt and the attic, are open to the public. There’s also a lovely example of Roman mosaic in the back of the church, and it’s one of the most complete in the region. With its wall paintings, mosaics, and incredible stone-work, the abbey was incredible. There’s also a Greuze Museum in town, but that doesn’t open again until April, and several lovely bakeries. After touring around for a bit and stopping for Christmas beers at James's favorite bar, we caught up over a few glasses of Kir, a cocktail made with crème de cassis (a blackcurrent liquor) and Bourgogne Aligoté.

That evening, we went to Le Bourgogne for a large dinner of traditional foods, next to a fireplace and carving board for bread. We shared an entrée of escargot in butter, basil and garlic, which was the first escargot Emily and Roger had ever tried, and it met with both their approvals. We each ordered a different main dish, including pork jarret (Roger), braised chicken (me), steak (James), and shrimp Provencal (Emily), and everyone tasted a little bit of each. They were all good, and well-priced, but we were especially thrilled with our desserts, poached pear (Emily), cassis sorbet (James), and crème brulee (me). The wine, Pascal Pauget's macon rouge, was from Tournus, and worked well with the meal, but was a bit dry for me, and had too much sediment in the bottom. After the long and filling meal, we headed back to James’s apartment, played some cards, and drifted off into peaceful sleep.

Next Up: Wine tasting in Tournus!

1 comment:

  1. Travel interruptions are not fun. But, it is far more convenient to re-route via train than plane.
    I remember my first escargot (shared with my husband) which happened to be in France (Paris). My husband had the escargot flying across the little cafe while trying to eat it.