Our France Adventure 2016 (Fontainebleau and Beaune)

Let The Adventure Begin!

May 3, 2016

This adventure of traveling by car through France has begun! These posts are planned to be a daily recap of our trip along the way. I’ll endeavor to include the experiences that we, as a group, have had along the way. You will find observations, some relevant advice on traveling with a group and general touristy stuff.  Hopefully, you will be entertained and interested enough to stay with us and maybe someday use the information for your own trip to another destination far from home.

So far we have only a blank slate to start coloring in with our experiences.

Day 1 - Lincoln to Beaune

The plan:  Fly from Lincoln to Paris via Chicago. Rent a car in Paris and head out to Beaune, France, for the night. Along the way, a side trip to Fontainebleau or the Abby de Fontnay is possible. We are staying at the Hotel Belle Epoque in Beaune.

The reality:  WE MADE IT!

Everything went incredibly smoothly on the 1/2 full flight over to Paris. We left on time and landed a 1/2 hour early. A much improvement over the last United experience. Rented a small Ford C Max from EuroCar Rentals and hit the road to Beaune.

From the airport, we drove directly to the city of Fontainebleau–a relatively short distance–where we visit our first museum. The Fontainebleau Palace. I’ve seen enough gold gilded (fake and probably some real) wood for a while. Home to a long succession of kings and emperors dating back to 1100 A.D., its most recent (and maybe notable) royal resident was Napoleon Bonaparte was definitely into the glitz. 

The long story of the Chateau is full of French historical importance and is worth a visit to the website for a quick understanding of how the entire structure evolved through the eight centuries culminating with the French revolution and Bonaparte’s ultimate downfall.  

I can’t say that it’s all that relevant to to today’s architectural direction when it comes to interior design (or exterior for that matter) but I would say the main take away is that I can see why there was a revolution! 

Images of Fontainebleau

From Fontainebleau (after a quick crepe or two for lunch) we drove a little over two hours to Beaune. Now this is where Terry deserved a gold star for going above and beyond the call as our #1 driver (#2 being me…although with any luck, I’ll be #1 navigator…as long as our GPS stays connected). Running on fumes after an overnight sleepless flight, walking all over Fontainebleu and then driving for another two hours in busy traffic, he handled the driving with exceptional finesse. Once in Beaune and checked into our very quaint and very French hotel called Hotel Belle Epoque, were ready to relax after a brief ‘toilette’ stop by taking a stroll through the town center on our way to dinner at Le P’tit Paradis. The restaurant is hidden off the main streets but is extremely popular with the locals. Since their are only 22 seats in the restaurant, the only way to be in one of those seats is to book it weeks (maybe months) in advance. I highly recommend the 3 course prefix and going with  the assorted cheeses for the final course–all for around 29 Euro per person. What a bargain!

More To Come!

So, this is the quick post for the end of a very fun packed day. I will clean it up and add some photos tomorrow with my morning expresso.

Oh, and if anyone is looking for an ‘Uber-esq’ driver…our friend Janice is excellent and is fine working for rhubarb!  Thanks, Janice for the ‘Lyft’!…

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