16 Days in France (Day 10)

The last day on the river cruise . . .

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[The supervisor selects her morning spot, to act as the boat’s masthead.]

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[Leaving town and heading up river to . . .]

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[Another lock.]

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[Bert and Kathy took advantage of the lovely weather to . . .]

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[Complete their final round of the French Open.]

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[And I took the opportunity for one last tour around the boat’s rooftop.  From here, they pilot the boat, and as you can see it can be hydraulically lowered for low bridges . . .]

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[And then they can pilot from here, or from a similar one on the other side.]

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[Blocking their view for the photo op.]

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[Hi, guys!  That’s the captain on the right.]

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[The Biddies keep an eye on things from the bow, calling out “Mark Twain” whenever necessary.]

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[The right side pilot station.]

Chalon-sur-Saone

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[The last stop on the river cruise.  It looks like an interesting place – wish we could have spent some time here.]

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[A river cruise destination.]

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[City sights from the boat . . . ]

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[Looks like a bridge ahead . . . ]

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[Yup, definitely a bridge.]

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[A statue . . . likely of someone we wouldn’t know.]

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[I don’t even remember this?  But it’s a neat looking street, and we’re probably heading for buses and a road trip to Beaune.]

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[Exactamundo!   We are now traveling through the famous Burgundy region of France.]

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[I know that because it says so on this sign.]

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[This way for that . . . ]

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[But we’re heading for Beaune . . . ]

Beaune

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[Which is this way.]

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[My sister has the best sister in world!]

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[Kinda reminds me of France.]

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[We had stopped the bus for a brief interlude with the vineyards.]

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[Beautiful scenic overlook.  Burgundy is more well-to-do than previous wine areas we visited, and we got a sense of that just driving through the countryside.]

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[The pinot noir grape is the most common of the region.  Based on my extensive knowledge as an oenophile, I have no idea if these are such.]

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[Hey, our boat is “on” the bus!  🙂  ]

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[Kathy captures the sisters Coldren.  Bert exits stage left.]

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[Pommard, a small wine village just south of Beaune.]

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[A mustard mill . . . didn’t really have a chance to “get into” mustards this trip.]

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[Beane, the unique roof soon to be noted.]

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[Learn all about wine and wine making.  🙂   ]

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[Empty land?  Grow some grapes.]

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[A winery we did not visit as we walked through town.]

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[Where we were – and noting the top of the map, this was also a mustard area.]

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[Wandering through town.]

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[Founded in the 15th century as a charitable almshouse, a hospital for the poor.  It remained a hospital until the 1970’s.  It is now a famous museum, and we spent a bit of time here.]

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[And here is the unique glazed tile roof we sighted when we first came into town.  We are in the Hotel-Dieu courtyard.]

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[I not only didn’t capture a memorable moment here, I didn’t even see it.  The wind was swirling through this courtyard and a gust lifted our guide’s dress to heights she’d rather it didn’t.  But with the great aplomb of the French, she merely said it was a Marilyn Monroe moment.  🙂  ]

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[As usual, I can’t remember her name?  And I should, because the supervisor noted she is the quintessential French woman.  I think maybe something like Annabelle?  Doh!]

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[Inside the hospital.]

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[Nurse Reetz checks out the facilities.]

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[I don’t recall what this was for, but likely something to do with sanitation.]

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[The apothecary.]

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[The Beaune Altarpeice by Rogier van der Weyden.  I know because I just looked it up.]

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[Out on the streets again.  Annabelle (what we’ll call her for now) noted a very high proportion of the population of Beaune work in the wine business, and that they do very well.  She pointed out the resident vehicles tended to be of an upscale variety.]

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[OK, let’s find a winery.]

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[This looks like a good one . . . ]

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[Let’s go in for a tasting.]

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[Kathy and Bert lead the way. The Biddies prepare to follow.  You can see the supervisor’s audio device through which Annabelle delivered her bon mots.  They were used on all our tours to keep the groups together and so the guides wouldn’t have to shout. ]

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[Now this is a wine cellar!!]

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[Now this is a wine tasting room!!]

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[Annabelle was even the wine tasting guide.  Again, surprisingly, I was most impressed with the white?  It may be getting tough to keep up with the New World’s zinfandels and malbecs . . . and now Minnesota’s Marquettes!]

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[Outside again, a race car exhibit, and they were being driven in while we were there.  The cars were Panhards – I’d never heard of them?]

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[Back to the boat, our last night so it was the Captain’s dinner.  This should be right up local gourmet “Weakie’s” alley!  🙂  ]

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[Bring it on, say the diners!]

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[The server, again whose name I’ve forgotten.  He served us all week and was excited that he was going home – to an East European country, Slovakia? – for five weeks as soon as our cruise was over.]

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[This is Matteo Martini, great name, the hotel manager.  While the captain drove the boat, he was in charge of everything else.  He’s Italian, and like Cornelia, multi-lingual, so it was those two who generally addressed the passengers.  He had a terrific sense of humor, put to good measure here as he introduced the entire crew and all the good work they did during our “trying times” – and they did.]

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[And the chef, Cornelia, the housekeeper, and the maître d’ (is it true the French don’t have a word for “maître d'”?). ]

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[A round of applause for all.  We had a good time.]

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[I believe these are locally called desserts.]

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[The diners, from various perspectives.]

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[Bon apetit!]

If there were no Frenchwomen, life wouldn’t be worth living.  ~ Friedrich  Engels

Up next:  Dare I say . . . gay Paree!

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