Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Week in Dijon

Staying a week in various areas of France is one of our delights. No more unpacking and repacking the car.
More time for me to explore on the bike.  More time for Sue to cook the produce from the day's market shopping.
In general more time for us to blend with the locals, shop, cook, visit local cafes and actually meet people on a regular basis - if only for a week.

Coco welcomes us to Dijon with a baguette in hand.
When we arrived, it was a warm day - the ground level fountains were in full use by children running between gushes of water, anticipating which would spurt when.
In Dijon, we made an absolutely fantastic choice of apartment and host - well Sue did really. She's a fantastic researcher.
Looking back, all of our hosts have been wonderful in different ways. Several we still keep in touch with by email at different times. I guess if you're in the business of hospitality, you have to have special qualities as I imagine not all of us tourists are nice to deal with!!!!

Coco was one of those special people that made our stay memorable. Coco and her husband have this apartment in the hub of Dijon, everything within walking distance and our own museum across the walkway.

Our apartment backed on to the street of the good children.
Rue des Bons Enfants
We arrived in the centre of Dijon but parking was impossible so before calling Coco, I found a parking spot no more than 500 metres away from the apartment. We rang Coco to tell her we had arrived and she was waiting at the end of the street but instead of taking us to the apartment, she took us on a small walking tour of "her" town. Coco is a great ambassador for Dijon and exudes great pride in her home city. Dijon at the time of our visit had grown to a population of 150,000 with another 100,000 people living within the region.

Typical of Burgundy were the creative and colourful roof tiles on the buildings.
It was all a bit much to take in on first arrival but it did give us a great start to our further exploring walks around Dijon. Later we were to discover much of Dijon's history. It started as an early Roman settlement as did much of France. The Romans called it Divio but Dijon is famous for two other reasons. One is that it was home to the Dukes of Burgundy and their Palace was less than 300 metres from our apartment. It now is a civic centre and a fantastic museum of medieval times. We'll tell you more about that in following Wednesdays.
The other famous Dijon icon is of course Dijon Mustard. Always some in our fridge. Did you know that 90% of mustard seeds to make Dijon mustard comes from Canada? I didn't!

While in Dijon, we just happen to luck in on a Jazz festival. We took a walk taking in the atmosphere and later let the sounds waft throughout our apartment windows on a balmy spring night.

Architecture from medieval times abound in the old centre of Dijon.
When we returned to where the apartment was, I ran off to pick up the car and bring our luggage around. But, I became lost - actually I'd lost the car so I had to back track and try again. Finally I located the Citroen and was able to drive to the pedestrian only street where the door to the apartment was.
We couldn't believe how wonderful Coco's apartment was. Beautifully decorated, light and very comfortable and the bonus of two opening windows to our pedestrian street.

Sue says, "I think I might love Dijon" and she did.
We knew we were in for a very enjoyable and relaxing week in Dijon with drives to some interesting rural villages and historic sights/sites. Tell you more next week.

Check out Coco's website.


  1. Hi Leon and Sue. It seems I share some favorite blog sites with you. And also a preferred way of staying in France. A week at a time, meeting the locals, enjoying the markets. Thanks for sharing about Dijon. Louise from Perth

    1. Great to hear from you -enjoyed browsing your blog.
      Hope to catch up with some fellow bloggers in France in May.

  2. I am beginning to see what I missed buy not feeling well!! I seem to remember some markings on the the streets that directed you around a historical city trail, but I was just not up to taking it all in, and as I said before the camera was sitting in the hotel room!! Diane

    1. Diane - the markings were owls and Coco gave us one that still sits on our fridge to this day to remind us of our great time in Dijon, her and the apartment.

    2. Thanks for reminding me, yep now I do remember the owls. Have a great week. Diane

  3. What a wonderful find ... Your apartment looks super and of course your host obviously made you very welcome . .... That makes all the difference.
    It's a city I would love to spend a week in .... très belle!

  4. And you must spend some time in Dijon Dianne - you would love it, keep popping in because there's so more to come.

  5. It sounds like you found an excellent place to stay and that Dijon is a great place to spend more than a couple of hours. Are you returning on your forthcoming trip?

  6. LLM - very much like to go back to Dijon however our plans are to leave Paris for Provence for two weeks and then drive up to the Loire to see friends before another 5 days in Paris and then back home.
    We are toying with the idea of 12 months in France when I retire.

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