May 5, 2016
Happy Cinco de Mayo and Ascension Day!…late…Guess which one they celebrate in France!
We started out our day in Beaune with a visit to the Hospices Civil de Beaune. It was a hospital that dates back to1443 as a charitable almshouse. It was founded by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor.
The facility operated until 1955 when it was replaced by a more modern hospital. Since then, as a museum, it has been telling the story of the care and treatment of terminally ill French men, women and children. I would highly recommend a visit to the Hospice if you are planning a trip to Beaune.
After Beaune, we headed south to St. Remy de Provence. Along the way, we stopped in Lyon for a quick detour to visit the home of Chef Paul Bocuse. But, remember my reference to Ascension Day? It is a major holiday throughout France and most places were closed…except for the chinese restaruant we stumbled upon. Makes sense. One of the key aspects to travel (if you are doing it without the help of a tour company) is to be flexible when roadblocks to your plans require it. Not being in the mood for Chinese food in the land of French delights, we found a little patisserie that sold quiche and a small grocery with fresh fruit and a few other necessary provisions and we were set for an impromtu picnic at a rest stop on the A7 headed to St. Remy de Provence. Not exactly the expected location for our first French picnic, but hey, we are in FRANCE!
Once refereshed and gassed up (oh, by now we needed petro for the C Max but I’ll skip the side story, there) we were back on the road to St. Remy de Provence. Now, a slight recommendation on GPS. It will get you there but it might take you on a back road adventure…at least it did for us. Absolutely beautiful is the best description I can give of the vineyards and rustic structures along the 12 foot wide, two lane road…yes, be careful.
Once we arrived in St. Remy, we were eventually able to meet up with our landlords for the two bedroom house we had rented through Home Away. I say eventually because even though we had GPS, the property was not easily found even though we had the address plugged into the search engine. I guess the Maps map was not up to date for this area. At 508 euros for 4 nights (total!) this was a very good bargain and we definitely feel like we made great find!
Once settled into our new home for the next four nights, we went into town for dinner at a locally owned restaurant called Le Bistrot Decouverte at the recommendation of our hosts. I would definitely echo the 4 star review you can read on Yelp. St. Remy de Provence night life is pretty much made of wine bars and restaruants but for us, that was just fine. We were still feeling the effects of our midwestern roots (at least on the what time of day it was) and by the time we made it back to the house, we were bushed. Note to self…the last meal of the day after a long 36 hour day involving six back to back meals should be light.
What’s in store for tomorrow? Cooking class!! Here are a few pictures from our picnic earlier in the day.
(Post-script: This blogging while traveling thing is working out to be a lot of work!)