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A story of wine & wanderlust: The Ultimate Solo Burgundy Guide – chapter 2, off to Burgundy

MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Parc Monceau

It had been a week since my girlfriend was called home from Paris. I started to learn to enjoy my own company, but something wasn’t quite right. Something didn’t make sense, and yet I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of it…


MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Parc Monceau

Burgundy top travel tips:

Visit the official Burgundy Tourist Office website here.

  • Rail – The TGV network gets you to Burgundy in no time (Paris-Dijon: 1 hour 40)
  • Air – Dole-Jura airport is located 50 km south-east of Dijon
  • Local rail – The TER Bourgogne website allows you to search for routes & see train times

Burgundy is a historical region in east-central France, famous for its Burgundy wines and gorgeous countryside.


Gerry’s tips… from personal experience – TGV travel

MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Parc Monceau


An indeterminate urge begins in Paris

I took a ride on the Métro to the busy Parc Monceau. I took in the faux Roman statues and the dozens of noisy small school children who used the park as a playground. I exited through the gilded gates into the tree-lined Avenue Hoche where the Arc de Triomphe loomed ahead.

I spent some time watching the many roads feed cars into the eight circular lanes. No fatalities were observed. I still felt an indeterminate urge as I left and walked down the Champs-Élysées to the Place de la Concorde, through the Tuileries Garden, then on to the Louvre.

MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Tuileries Garden

I veered towards Pont Neuf and crossed the Seine into the Left Bank. Further down Rue Dauphine, I arrived at the Rue de Buci street market.

I found some fine ham and cheese and picked up a baguette at the Carton pâtisserie. Then, I walked back to Pont Neuf and descended the stairs to the park at the tip of the Île de la Cité.


In Paris: beginning to piece together the puzzle

The tourist boats passed by as I assembled lunch with my Swiss army knife.

I had been on the go for nearly three hours and I still couldn’t put my finger on what was bugging me.

I only had a fuzzy view of pieces of the puzzle:

  • I had seen a lot of Paris
  • I was running out of things to do in Paris
  • I knew a lot about wine
  • I loved wine from Burgundy

The answer was elusive.

Following the Seine to the park behind the Notre Dame, I sat under the chestnut trees for a while, but my thoughts refused to gel.

MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Île Saint-Louis

As I crossed the bridge to the Île Saint-Louis I saw a sign in the distance and everything suddenly made sense:

  • I loved wine from Burgundy
  • Burgundy was in France
  • I was in France

Entering the Travel Agent office, I asked…

How would I go about getting to Beaune?

“Bonn in Germany?” questioned the travel agent. I repeated in French: “Sorry I want to go to Beaune in Burgundy.” She responded in English and we moved quickly from there.


A new chapter: beyond Paris & off to Burgundy

“There’s a TGV from the Gare de Lyon at 8:30am tomorrow. Usually, you would change at Dijon but tomorrow is Tuesday and the train stops at Beaune. For 80€ I can issue you a return ticket and book you an overnight stay at a nice hotel,” explained the travel agent.

MyFrenchLife™ - MyFrenchLife.org - Beyond Paris - wine and wanderlust - the Ultimate Burgundy Guide - Beaune

“Done,” I said and asked if she had any brochures on Beaune or Burgundy. She replied that I could get some from the Tourist Office when I arrived. Back at the apartment, I wondered what I had done. It was all a bit spontaneous. I knew a lot about the wine from Burgundy but very little about the geography.

Where on earth was Burgundy?

I spent the rest of the evening packing a few things into my daypack and worrying over Burgundian disaster scenarios…


 

Curious to know what happens next or start at the beginning?
Chapter 1: ‘The Ultimate solo Guide to Burgundy’ with Gerry Robinson
Chapter 3


Have you ever been to Burgundy? What made you decide to visit? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below.


Image Credits:
1. Parc Monceau, via Wikimedia
2. Tuileries Gardens, via Wikimedia
3. Île Saint-Louis, via Wikimedia
4. Rooftops at Beaune, via Wikimedia


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