|Our first night’s destination is Beaune, wine capital of the former province of Burgundy, close to Dijon the mustard capital. The current department is Côte d’Or which could be translated as the Gold Coast, but any confusion with Australia’s region of that name would make food-loving Beaune to be Surf-and-Turfers Paradise. However côte also means hillside or slope, so it’s better translated as the Golden Hillside, and around the Gers it’s a familiar sight to see billboards advertising the Côtes de Gascogne, which refers to the wine grown side by side with the area’s armagnac. More generally with côte = side, we have côte d’agneau for a side of lamb. |
We left the farm at 8am, and made our way past Âgen, Cahors and the old volcanoes of the Auvergne. After a few stops we reached Beaune at 5pm, napped for a hour or so and then strode around the town centre looking for a meal. There were many people about and I could hear many languages. We finally settled on a brasserie with an inexpensive beef bourguignon. Seated out on the pavement, Munson was courted by a table full of Japanese and their table full of cameras, who often broke from their meal to circle our table to catch him seated or splayed out beneath some chairs.
Not surprisingly for a region that produces some of the world’s most expensive wines, the town appears to be quite wealthy. The large old town with some of its old walls still intact is well preserved and well-presented. If we were here on more than a hurried stopover I’d be timing the trip for the fine food markets on Saturday.
Tomorrow’s drive is to be about the same distancewhich means 7 hours of driving spread over 9-10 hours. We turned in quite early to our somewhat cramped hotel quarters – Munson was just able to pass through the space between the foot of the bed and the wall which divides the room. The amenities were generally fine but we’ve been given a smoker’s room so everything smells like an ashtray from the shower to the bed linen.