Burgundy, France

Old May 12th, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Burgundy, France

Well, we have now decided to go to Burgundy in September instead of Brittany and Normandy. We have booked a B and B in Massangis (Carpe Diem) and plan on cycling and walking. Just a real different vacation. Any thoughts on nice villages etc would be appreciated. We are then booked in an apt in the Marais in Paris and will enjoy the culture. Thank you in advance as I know everyone is always so helpful.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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this might help

http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/Yonne_Guide.php though it may be a bit north of where you are.

Sept is a good time for such a tour
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Old May 12th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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You should check the French Mystique site which has a lot of information and suggestions about cycling.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Thank you both. Besides the cycling, any suggestions about villages and must see places. Also, good places for lunches? Thanks everyone.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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From your B&B both Auxerre and Chablis are each a great day out, the canals and rivers are good.

The Chablis wine visit is also worthwhile, go see the Roman wine press at the wine institue and maybe book yourselves in for a half day course.

Have a read through the my link and see what else there is to do.

French Mystique (search his name) on this site and his info is very good.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Lunch, in my experience the best place to eat changes annually. I'd ask in your B&B, tourisdt info and listen to what they say. Last time I was there I was told to go eat in the local Tabac, it was seriously good, but I guess now it is very expensive.

I have a general view which is keep away from anywhere offering a massive wine list, there is no way a sommelier can control a large list.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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We will have a rental car from Charles Degaulle airport. What would be the best place to drop it off as we will be going to Paris for five nights after Avallon area? People say don't drive into Paris.

We read that it is worth seeing Avallon, Vezelay, Noyers, Semur, Auxerre Chateauneuf, Flavigny, Epoisses. Any comments?

Thanks.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Paris is not easy but there are worse in Europe, if you have GPS and you have somewhere to park at your hotel it could be worse.

Of those listed Vezelay, Samur, Auxerre, Chateuneuf I know. For me the priority would be A,V,C and then S. I think Tonnerre is nicer than Saumur and that is in your region. There is a Fosse Dion which is so lovely. While walking in the Morvan hills is very nice.

I would drop off at CdG but I'm very happy taking the metro into Paris and finding my way around.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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All the places you mention,Vezelay, Noyers, Semur, Auxerre, Chablis, Chateneuf, Flavigny( buy the little mints),Epoisses( the cheese of the same name is yummy) are worth visiting.We also visited St-Florentin and Joigny as my father was encamped there in WWII.
We found that this area of Burgundy was less crowded than the Dijon/Beaune section which we also enjoyed.
Pilgrims headed from the Bascilica in Vezelay to begin their journey on the Camino de Santiago.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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This may help. www.burgundyeye.com
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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I love avallon that boards a state reservation, watching trout
fishing.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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Nuit St George is quite cute village, it has a great restaurant called L'Alambique. Very traditional and quaint. The duck bourguignon is beautiful! The village of Chambolle Musigny has a nice little restaurant for lunch called Le Chambolle. You can stop for lunch n would be lovely! These 2 villages are quite close together. Have fun!
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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We enjoyed a few days exploring that area last fall. Especially liked Avallon, Vézélay, Semur, Flavigny and Châteauneuf. If you click on my name, you can find my trip report and a link to my photos of this picturesque region.

I would also recommend FrenchMystiqueTours's report with beautiful photos:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...blue-skies.cfm

His report was a great inspiration for me.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Flavigny was perhaps the most disappointing village we've experienced in France in the last 4 years - unless they have done some major "work" on it recently (we spend 2 months in France most years). Semur was great from the outside, but we were a little disappointed with the "insides". Except for the cathedral, we were underwhelmed with Autun. Dijon is our second favorite large city in France, and we loved Auxerre also. Beaune is one of our "top 5" medium sized cities in France (great Sat market).

There are tons of great castles in Burgundy - I don't see any on your "list".

I would return the car in Dijon and take the TGV to Paris from there - we've done that several times.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 12th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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Here is something I posted about Autun several years ago

Autun

Here are a few thoughts to describe why Autun didn’t “grab” us like other cities in the region did. First, I’ll describe what we like to see in larger cities (over 15,000)

1. Old architecture – Renaissance, Medieval, Belle Époque, cross-timbered.
2. Absence of cars in the old section of town
3. Pedestrian streets with some nice “non-chain” shops
4. Cafes
5. Some quiet corners
6. Minimum of dilapidated or abandoned buildings (we like to see old buildings being worked on)

When we drove into Autun, we headed to the Place du Champs de Mars, where the Michelin guide said that the noteworthy Hotel de Ville, a Belle Epoque theater, & Lycee Bonaparte were located. This “square” had been relegated into a major ugly parking lot – much unlike the beautiful squares in Montpellier, Dijon, & other cities. We wandered around the square a bit & walked along some of the streets in this “lower town” & did not find much of interest. We walked along the only “pedestrian” streets – which were a total of 2 blocks and were very boring. We wanted to have a morning coffee at a café along the square, but I believe there was only 1 café, & it did not seem that charming.

The cathedral (upper town), however, really was remarkable – enormous and inserting its presence in almost any panorama of Autun. We walked around the interesting small streets adjacent to the cathedral. We then followed the walking itinerary that we picked up at the tourist office, just to make sure we were giving the town a “fair shake”, but we ultimately questioned whether this would really be destination town (except for the cathedral).

We did not visit the Theatre Roman. We’ve seen lots of Roman ruins (25 weeks in Provence, earlier this year a week in Rome & a week in Tuscany, last year the ruins & museum south of Lyon). This theater did not receive any ‘stars” in the Michelin Green Guide – so we figured we could pass on it. In fact, only one building/historical site in Autun (Porte St Andre) received any Michelin Stars – other than the Cathedral. We drove past the Port & it was OK.

Summarizing – Autun’s central square was a mass of cars, the pedestrian street was one of the least interesting we’ve seen, minimal cafes, did have some quiet corners near the cathedral, architecture only OK, cathedral was fabulous.

A few days later, we visited Auxerre, and the contrast was remarkable. Auxerre had many more shops, lots of interesting architecture, and it seemed much more alive. We took the walking tour of Auxerre that we picked up at the tourist office, and this consumed over 2 hrs. We spent almost the entire day at Auxerre. There were lots of very interesting cafes that tempted us.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 12th, 2012, 04:20 PM
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This Carpe Diem place must be great. You're the third person I've responded to who has stayed in this place. Here's my trip report about spending a weekend exploring the area around Massangis if you want to have a look.

http://tinyurl.com/6wtm6u5

I've only briefly skimmed through the thread as I'm off to bed but I'll look over your questions about cycling tomorrow and see if I've got any advice for you. I saw bilboburgler responded and I know they can give you some good advice about cycling and hopefully you got a link to bilbo's website, which has some great info.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:10 PM
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You will be staying in one of our favorite parts of France. Here are some other places that you might enjoy:

Guedelon Castle -- They are building an actual castle here using original methods. Fascinating! http://www.guedelon.fr

When you go to Vezelay make a stop in St. Pere to see the lovely Gothic cathedral (interesting contrast to Vezelay). And if you like prehistory, Les Fontaines Salees is also quite interesting (but you need to use your imagination).

The wine villages of Nuit St George and Chambolle Musigny are both very special. In Beaune, I love the wine cellar at Patriarche Pere et Fils.

I was also underwhelmed by Autun.

Be sure to look for any local festivals -- always lots of fun.
I like this website for general info: www.burgundytoday.com
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:16 PM
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Should you be near Auxerre where my favorite French writer went to school but was raised in the village
Saint Saveur-en-Puisage. The home is now private but there is a plaque, " Colette was born here (in French)"
The Castle in the town is a museum dedicated to her.
The steps have engraved titles of her books.
There's a room where you can watch films adapted from her books.
There's a tea shop and bookks.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 06:28 AM
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Everyone, thank you so much for all your advice. I have been reading alot.

We have 4 nights in Massangis at Carpe Diem.

We will go down towards Dijon one day and probably Beaune. Let me know your thoughts about doing that in one day. Plus som good suggestions for lunch. We love "great food".

Avalon, Auxerre will be for another day with stops to other locations (Noyers, Vezelay) etc. Restaurants?

StuDudley, fyi re the rental car. We will pick it up at Charles De Gaulle we think. Then we are going to go to the Marais for 5 nights. However, we want to figure out where to drop it off. Dijon is not close to where we are staying. We wondered about taking it back to Orly. Does that make sense? Any other suggestions? We are very comfortable with taking the train/metro.

We are looking to buy some local foie gras (small cans) to take back to Canada. Any suggestions?

We will be in Burgundy on a Monday and leaving on a Friday for Paris so any market suggestions?

Thanks everyone. Have a wonderful day.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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>>We will go down towards Dijon one day and probably Beaune. Let me know your thoughts about doing that in one day. Plus some good suggestions for lunch. We love "great food".>We will pick it up at Charles De Gaulle we think. Then we are going to go to the Marais for 5 nights.>However, we want to figure out where to drop it off. Dijon is not close to where we are staying. We wondered about taking it back to Orly. Does that make sense? Any other suggestions? We are very comfortable with taking the train/metro.

Auxerre - combined with a visit to Auxerre.

>>We are looking to buy some local foie gras (small cans) to take back to Canada. Any suggestions?
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