Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We left Beaune for our overnight stop at Autun. The weather was warming up with temperatures close to 40C. The comfort of the air conditioned car was welcoming for the 50 kms drive.
Why Autun did I hear someone ask? Well we read about it in our DK Travel Guide and it was a mid-way stop to Bourg-en-Bresse.
It was the history of Autun's Roman past that particularly interested me but there was much more to discover if the heat of the day wasn't so overbearing. On arrival at our hotel across from the station we unloaded our bags to our room which we can't remember much of except there was a bar downstairs and cold beer was the first thing we took the chance to enjoy.

Even after driving from Dijon, we hopped back into the "comfort" of the air-conditioned car to experience the Roman past of Autun. As usual we became a little lost and found ourselves driving around a roundabout where the local police were. We stopped to ask directions and after they discovered were from Australie, they were very helpful and even offered a smile. Not something we've experience from the French Police before.

These photos of Autun's ancient theatre, or what is left of it could seat 20,000 people which seems strange when today's population is just that. Our DK travel guide claims that Autun was founded late in the first century and at its peak had four times its current population - it was a centre of learning. It must have been a thriving city in its time.

During our one night stay in Autun, the streets were deserted. We seemed to be the only people in the whole town as you can see by the photos - maybe the extreme heat of the day had something to do with it.

After waking the next morning we organised ourselves for the drive to Bourg-en-Bresse and Sue's Blue Legged Chooks. This was Sue's choice, to sample the Bresse Chickens at one of the local restaurants.

We took the route from Autun via Montceau le Mines to Macon and then Bourg-en-Bresse - I didn't tell Sue why but the town had a Velodrome I wanted to see. Food is Sue's passion, mine is Velodromes - what can I say!!!

We admire the beautiful gardens of the French Chateaux but I find beauty in the lovely curves of the Velodromes - OK, I'm weird.
But, on the way way discovered a gem of a Chateau that just popped out from around a corner when we least expected it. I stopped to take photos when Sue said, "Look at the Squirrel" which I missed.
I tried looking this Chateau up on Google Earth with success - anyone been there before?
It is the Berze le Chateau and on the way to Macon after leaving Montceau le Mines. The Chateau had its beginnings from 991AD and fell into disrepair during the centuries but today, privately owned it has been beautifully restored and has award winning gardens. I'm only telling you this through what I learnt  by painful research. Why didn't we take the time to visit?

The trip to Bourg-en-Bresse will continue next Wednesday. See you then.


  1. It is so good that many of these chateaux are restored, it certainly is not a cheap hobby!! The Roman remains are stunning, I still wish you had of had time to to stop at Chassenon but maybe next time.
    I love cycling but I have to agree with Susan here, I cannot see any thing enjoyable about going around in a circle, I want to enjoy the countryside, the velodrome can only be boring :)) Have a good week D & N

  2. Diane,
    The thrill of swooping from the top of the banking, rubbing shoulders with fellow riders. The control over a lump of steel with no brakes. Pure joy on a velodrome.
    Oh well - each to his own, but I do enjoy a ride thru the country side as well.

  3. It looks like it was a beautiful area, always interesting to find somewhere unexpected.

  4. Hi LLM - thanks for popping in.
    Sue and I are planning for a 2014 trip to Tuscany in October of that year. Maybe we could say hello.

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