Journal: September, 26th 2021.
Paris to Dijon.
It’s six o’clock in Paris, and I’m still in bed. Today I leave for Dijon. There’s a frisson of excitement tinged with concern as I contemplate my upcoming walk. I can walk, that’s not the issue. But I do worry about my french butter addiction. Someday, I suppose, I’ll pay the piper.
I head out for my morning croissant.
On the first floor of our building, a baby is wailing. I look up to see lights and hear the rustling of pans. Morning noises. I picture an exhausted mother juggling a frantic baby against the need for coffee.
Where does the time go?
Today, I dawdle over breakfast. There’s no need for me to hurry anymore. I’ve retired from wailing babies and morning travel.
Pat and I will start for Gare de Lyon after lunch. We’ve decided that Pat will walk with me as far as Nuits Saint Georges. From there, he’ll take the train back to Paris, and I’ll go on alone.
A train employee wanders the waiting area, checks our passe sanitaire, and puts a blue wrist band on us to signify we’ve been approved—much like getting authorized to buy beer at a concert. I no sooner make that observation when it’s time to board.
The high-speed train trundles along for a mile or so before blasting off. Rain has started and is creating frenzied horizontal squiggles across the window; utility poles fly by faster than my eyes can process. This is motion sickness on steroids. I close my eyes and breath; I open my eyes to sunshine.
I wrote 4 quick goals for Dijon this morning:
From all the mustard flavors at Edmond Fallot store, I choose tarragon—one of my new favorite herbs but it languished in the summer heat of Charlottesville. The small jar fits in my jacket pocket.
Organ music in Notre Dame. The low notes sound wrong. Like irritated geese. There’s laughter. Singing. Talking. Choir practice, I assume. What is it about church music that calms me?
Dinner on the square: snails, smoked salmon, beef checks, burgundy.
An elderly French woman—80s, plump— collapses onto a chair. She waits for the kitchen to open then orders steak tartare and French fries.
Pat and I laugh, smitten.
A pair of native English speakers nearby switch to broken French. It reminds me of when my cousin and I would talk jibberish so that we’d sound exotic to strangers.
Did you ever come back to a place and feel that you missed it entirely on the first trip? That’s Dijon. It’s lovely. I somehow missed this abundance of lovely.
The blue hour in a limestone city is breathtaking. It’s just the street cleaners and me. Pacing. Getting ready for the day.
Pat and I stop at the Tourist Information (TI) office in Dijon. A woman prints 8 pages of topo maps of the hike. Tip: always use the TI. If nothing else I ask, “What’s the one thing that I’m going to miss but shouldn’t.” I’ve gotten some great answers.
We take a taxi to Marsannay-la-Côte. The walk begins.
I’m posting this on a break day in Meursault. It’s the first day of rain. I love rainy days.
Categories: Exploring France