27 June 2009

Ahh, Provence!

We checked out of our Dijon hotel this morning and made our way to the Les Halles, the city's covered market. I was in heaven! We wandered through the rows of pastries, cheeses, and meats (skinned rabbit anyone?) We picked up some pain aux chocolate for breakfast and grabbed some goodies for lunch and then slowly walked our way to the train station making sure to stop in the Jardin Darcy to eat our breakfast.

Today was another full day of train riding as we made our way from Dijon down to Aix en Provence. We took the shuttle from the train station to the city center and settled into our hotel. Hooray free wi-fi! After some much needed relaxing made our way to Cours Mirabeau and walked along the famous street. We poked our heads into a couple art shows and got a free jazz concert and a bit of a choir recital. We picked up some pastries for dessert and ate them Place de la Rotonde.

We turned in early to relax some more and do some laundry in the hotel sink, you would love our jerry-rigged clothesline! We are hoping to get to bed soon so we can get up early for a day trip through the rest of Provence and the French Riveria. Should be très magnifique!

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The Lull in Travelling

Starting off, in no way I’m complaining. Today was just one of those days. Every time I’ve travelled for an extended period of time I’ve had a day or so where I think, “maybe I should be at home”, “maybe my trip is too long” and similar thoughts. Today was like that.

The day started off a little drab. We had gotten up early to be ready for breakfast when it opened right at 8am. However, all the other guests in our hotel had the exact same plan. When 8am rolled around I was busy messing on the computer trying to place an order on Amazon using some gift cards which are about to expire. This made us go into breakfast at 8:05 and by that time our ravenous co-guests had cleared out pretty much the whole place. All the milk was gone, the fruit had all disappeared, there was an empty plate of cheese, and the salami was distributed on everyone’s plates but ours. No matter, we settled into our seat with a bowl of cereal apiece with no milk and waited for everything to be restocked.

Once finished we headed to the post office to mail back some items that we didn’t need anymore on our trip. This was a costly adventure, about $100 but our backs will thank us at the end of the trip.

Next, we got on a series of trains bound for Luxembourg. It was supposed to be Brugge to Brussels-Nord, then on to Luxembourg. The train was late from Brugge and we missed our connection to Luxembourg. So when we caught our next train to Luxembourg, instead of having two hours there we had about a half hour. Once we got to Luxembourg we did a quick lap around the train station and hopped back on the train. It’s the quickest I’ve been in and out of a country. We checked that box and nothing else there!

It was then off to Metz. Metz was actually enjoyable for the half hour that we were there. The train station was a beautiful old Gothic style building. We also walked around the city a little bit. It’s nice being back in France and seeing all the shops selling pastries, chocolates and sandwiches. In a way its funny how close it is to Germany, yet so absolutely different. So bonjour France!

We finally arrived in Dijon at 8:30pm and went off on a hike through town looking for good cheap food. We finally found it and had a gillette apiece. Tomorrow, we'll run through Dijon for a bit then it's off to Aix-en-Provence.

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