A story of wine & wanderlust: The Ultimate Solo Burgundy Guide – chapter 2, off to Burgundy
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
“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?
‘The Ultimate solo Guide to Burgundy’ with Gerry Robinson
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.
1. Parc Monceau, via Wikimedia
2. Tuileries Gardens, via Wikimedia
3. Île Saint-Louis, via Wikimedia
4. Rooftops at Beaune, via Wikimedia