Monday, July 16, 2007

Dijon

So we (me, Zach, Andrew, Jakki) spent the weekend in Dijon, France. Yes, as in the mustard. It's about a 3 hour drive from here, so we took off Saturday morning (er, around noon-ish) and got there in the early afternoon. We checked into our hotel, which was very cute and pretty nice, even though the bathrooms were kinda strange-- I think this place used to be a big house that then got remodeled, and so they added the bathroom in, and it was a pretty nice set-up with a stand-alone shower, plus a bathtub, sink, storage space, etc... and the toilet itself was tucked away behind a different door, on the other side of the room from where the bathroom was. With no sink of its own. So if you used the toilet, you then had to walk out and go to the room with the bathtub and wash your hands there. I guess this is part of the quirks of these older European hotels, huh? ; )

We went off walking around, and to my utter shock and happiness what did we find but a SEPHORA!! (which we do not have in Geneva). So, of course, I had to stop in. They didn't have much as far as some of my fave brands, and stuff was about 30% more expensive anyway, but I did find John Freida Brilliant Brunette shampoo that I was considering buying in the states and bringing back in August, but decided to go for it here instead. I have to admit, it was fun to just be in the store, looking around at all the pretty colors... it made me look forward to getting to really shop during our US visit next month (what? I hardly buy anything here, I deserve to splurge!).

Anyway... so we walked around the centre ville which was really cute. Dijon is actually somewhat bigger than Geneva, and it has a town center that's very old and cute, with cobblestone streets and all that. Sort of reminded us of a smaller, simpler Paris. We walked by some of the cathedrals (yes, there were multiple ones within about 10 minutes walks of each other), some of which were incredibly old (one had a wooden statue of the virgin Mary that was made in the 11th century).

At dinner, we noticed that we seemed to be the only English speakers there. Kinda nice to be in a place that isn't overrun with tourists. Our waitress I think got a kick out of us-- when she brought out the bread, Jakki asked for some butter, which in itself is a bit strange (here they seem to eat their bread plain, no butter or olive oil or anything, at least during meal times). But then she walked by just as Jakki and Zach were spreading huge globs of butter on the bread slices, and she just paused and had this look of... puzzlement... on her face. I had to laugh and said to her, "it's ok, we're Americans" in French. She kinda laughed and walked on. She was nice, though, and took her time with our questions about the menu, etc.

After dinner we spent a bit of time in the main square, where they had these series of water fountains built into the ground and a bunch of kids were playing in the water, having a blast. Saturday was actually Bastille Day, a very big French holiday, and Dijon was set to have a big fireworks display by the lake, but we were advised not to drive there b/c of the traffic, and walking would take 30 minutes, so we decided to skip it, especially since Andrew seemed to be developing a cold.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the hotel, then went to the local Musee des Beaux-Artes. They had some really cool stuff there, but I didn't get to enjoy much of the exhibits on the 2nd and 3rd floors b/c they were insanely hot (no AC, only a few fans) so we stuck to the bottom floors, mostly. We then had lunch out on the square, and started heading back home soon after. We'd talked about visiting some of the local vineyards and going wine tasting, but with a sick Andrew (and he and Jakki were planning on leaving for Amsterdam today- Monday- anyway, and wanted to be well-rested) we figured we'd skip it. The drive back home was uneventful, we hit some traffic heading to Dijon on Saturday (due to road construction) but had no problems heading back home. Zach and reminisced about those long, traffic-filled drives to and from Lake Tahoe in CA, and how much nicer it is to drive out here where the roads are less congested. He even said paying $20euro in French road tolls was worth it. ;)

The only downside of the trip was that Saturday, while parking in yet another insanely small European parking garage, Zach managed to scrape up the driver side door of the car. He found a mechanic today that's near work, and they guy's looking for a junk door to replace ours, hopefully we'll hear from him tomorrow. And then we'll see what the damage is. As Zach joked earlier, I guess driving a truck in huge Texas roads and parking lots didn't prepare him for parking in Europe. ; )

2 comments:

  1. it's such a beautiful region!

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  2. CDNSarah12:51 AM

    The separate toilet idea is actually a "WC Visiteur". In most larger apartments (2 bedrooms +) there's always 1 toilet that's on it's own. However in some smaller apartments that's all you get! There's a large Sephora in Val Thoiry which is about 10 minutes from CERN. It's a pretty big shopping mall with a large Migros, a couple of yummy bakeries, some clothing stores that don't exist in Geneva and really nice home decor shop. And the John Freida products you can get at Douglas in Geneva. All the hair products are on the first floor on the side wall.

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