Dijon – Dope Dijon

It only happens when it is mandatory, but we are finally up before 9am.

The alarm sounds at 7am, and we are still hungover from last night, but awake enough to sort our lives out.

Arnaud, on the other hand, is not, and he just drifts in and out of sleep, while his read rests on the top rail of his bunk. Meanwhile, his mate hasn’t even contemplated stirring, and the depth of his snoring confirms it.

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We collect our gear, jump on the metro to the bus station, which takes over an hour to get from where we are to the bus station, just to give you some scale of the size of Paris, and we weren’t even on the polar opposite sides of the city.

We jump onto the bus, and it is just sleepy time.

We both pass out, and I pretty much just sleep the whole way to Dijon.

This is about as much as I can recollect of this leg of the journey, as I was in and out of sleep the whole time. We arrived at Dijon, and Bec does not hesitate to tell me how good the drive in was. The little that I did see of the drive in, was pretty damn gorgeous.

We wanted to come through Burgundy for the wines, but being that we are on a budget, and busses are the best way to get from place to place, and Dijon is the capitol of the region, we just decided to spend one day here, being that we are a little hard pressed for time at the minute, but since we are passing through the area, we might as well stop and enjoy what Dijon has to offer.

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We can’t meet our CS host for a few hours, so we decide to just chill out at this park, eat some lunch, and read some books.

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The whole way along, Dijon is really pretty, clean and somewhat quiet. It’s kinda nice for a change. We have been going from city to city, and the whole time, it has been absurdly busy, except the little pockets of quiet we find in the odd suburb from time to time. We set our stuff down and the park, and Bec settles in for a nap. She covers her face with her hood, flops on the ground, and doesn’t move for the next half an hour.

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She was snoring.

But, Bec has got nothing on this one chick who is also having a nap. She’s passed out, and for some ungodly reason, has her hands in her pants while catching some z’s. Dunno if it’s a comfort thing from when she was 3 that she never grew out of, but its one of the more odd positions I’ve seen people sleeping in.

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We sit and enjoy the atmosphere with the locals for the next hour or so, but we are kinda getting sick of sitting in one spot, so we load up our gear, and get on our way to see more of the city. It’s pretty nice, but not too busy. We wander through, and spin the big log that sits on a big disc, in the middle of the city.

True story.

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Their busses are something else too. They are like the dwarf version that was rejected from the rest of Europe. Its absolutely gold, and kinda cute. They’re even painted pink to maximise on this cute theme.

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We end up finding ourselves in a big square with a giant water fountain, so we plonk ourselves on the benches and just spend the next little while, watching people run from the bus to the tram, and from the tram to the bus.

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But, soon enough, our time is up, so we make our way to meet Jules, who is hosting us for the night in Dijon. Our bus leaves tomorrow, but we are hoping that we will be able to see some of Dijon tonight, but we wanna be able to hang out with him too, so we’ll see how the night pans out.

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We wait in the stairwell for him, and soon enough, he appears around the corner, and emerges, all smiles and laughs, like old mates. Already, we know that we are going to get along with him, whether we like it or not.

We head inside, he shows us our OWN room!

You might think that this is normal, but we have been couch surfing everywhere. Not to say that CS is bad at all. I personally, think that it is the best means for hospitality that I have experienced yet. Its an utterly brilliant system. It’s just a bonus when you get a room to yourself.

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He tells us about his art, and how he was out helping his mate with photoshop. He works in IT for his bread and butter, but draws on both digital and physical platforms. He’s into his comic art, and tells us all about how Belgium churns out some brilliant comic artists. The more people you speak with, the more you learn about all these subcultures that you didn’t know existed. Its absolutely crazy.

He’s got all these pieces drawn up by world class artists around his house, and I have to say that it’s the first time I have see someone’s house with a lot of this kind of art, and it has all worked together well.

We get to know each other, and we suggest a trip to a wine bar tonight.

Jules was already on the same page, and was going to suggest to us, the same thing. This is a good thing. This means that he knows where the good places are, and that is exactly where we went.

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We head to this bar, which is actually a REALLY old cellar. It’s got the whole limestone arches going on, and it is so much bigger than you would imagine it to be. It would be amazing to renovate the place, and live somewhere like this. It’s brilliant. We leave the choosing of wine, cheese and meats to Jules, and he does not disappoint.

He orders a bottle of white wine, which is pretty damn good, but it was the velvety smooth rich red that took the cake. Both Bec and I looked at each other with the “Daaaaamn” look, once the substance of the God hit our tongues.

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We sit and enjoy the music from the singer/songwriter as the night wears on. All Jules’ mates rock up, and our table goes from a table of 3, to a table of 7 pretty quick. Jules seems to know everyone, and everyone seems to know Jules. Its a pretty cool little community here in Dijon. Needless to day, we were not disappointed with what Dijon produced for us.

The wine was brilliant, the meats, just as excellent, and the cheeses top off just perfectly. I dunno if I have mentioned this before, but the goat’s cheese in France is something else. Goat’s cheese in Australia is nasty and even a little sour, but Goat’s cheese here is other-worldly. It is so creamy, and so rich in flavour, it’s not even funny.

We enjoy the intimate atmosphere of the bar, and the company of Jules’ mates. He’s known for bringing CS-ers to events, so without an introduction, people ask us if we are surfing with Jules. It’s pretty funny, but at least it’s an easy was to break the ice with everyone.

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We wrap up the evening during the set change.

We are all feeling a bit doughy, and even Jules is ready for a nap.

Even on the way home, Jules runs into someone he knows, and they also ask if we are surfing with him. It’s absolutely classic.

For a city of a 150,000, it still seems to be pretty intimate and have a pretty tight community.

So far, I think Dijon is the city that we have enjoyed the most. The food is really good, the wine is better, the people are friendly, and the joint is generally pretty.

We have enjoyed our evening in Dijon, and I feel like we’ll be back, but for now, it is bed time.

Come back for the next story,

Billy

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