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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


France - 8 May, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Beaune (Hotel Le Home) N47º01.345' E004º50.329' 210 meters .
Pommard . . . .
Finish Amboise (Hotel Le Chaptal) N47º24.786' E000º59.149' 83 meters 429 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

1,542 km

Total (other):

455 km


1,997 km


Weather: Overcast and usually raining.  Cool and windy.  Temperature varied from 6-13°C.



Today we will be heading off to the Loire Valley, but we will first make a few stops here in Burgundy before heading on our way.  We have a bit of a lazy morning in bed and finally check out of the hotel around 11 AM.  Our first stop for the day is the old town of Beaune once again.  We noticed yesterday that they seem to be blocking off some of the streets for today, so we figure that there must be some sort of market or other function.  We decide to check it out - it turns out that they have a market every Saturday morning.


We have a good time wandering through and checking out all the items on sale, from clothes and table clothes and windows to roasted chickens and bread and meats and cheeses and lots of other food.  We decide to take the opportunity to pick up a couple of kilos of strawberries.  We also figure that it is a good place to pick up lunch - we get some bread, a freshly roasted chicken, some cheese and a bag of nuts.


It is then time for lunch (we have not had breakfast), so we find a quiet spot to sit down that is out of the wind - which is very chilling.  After our lunch of fresh produce, it is time to head off.  But before we leave Burgundy, we have time for a couple of more stops to check out the wine.  We head back to Pommard.  We first decide to check out the large winery of Pommard, but after parking and wandering into the grounds, we are told that the tasting (and tour) is ten Euros each.  We pass. So, instead, we go in search of the Michelot winery located in this town.  We find the center of town with an information board and are able to locate it. 


A short drive later and we are warmly enclosed in their cellar out of the biting wind.  They are friendly and offer us a tasting session.  This Michelot does not take his tasting as seriously as the other and here we pretty much just take a sip from the glass of wine and swallow (just as our host does - he seems to enjoy these tasting sessions).  In the end, we buy a couple more bottles of wine.


Now it is time to head off to the Loire Valley - we have a long drive ahead of us. The weather is not great - while not pleasant for driving, better than this being a sightseeing day with all the rain..  We leave Pommard and Burgundy shortly before 2:30 PM.  We drive straight through, taking the highway pretty much all the way and arrive in Amboise at 6:20 PM.  We had picked Amboise out of the guidebook we glanced at last night - it is a sizable town with a selection of accommodation, has one of the famous châteaus that the area is famous for, and got good reviews as a place to stay.


The tourist information office is closed for the day, so we are on our own in finding accommodation.  We park our car in a pretty central location and then go for a walk.  The first place e come to is a bit of a disappointment - a bit expensive and the guy at reception is pretty rude and short.  So we give it a pass.  But we soon come upon a second place and the rate is reasonable and the guy friendly and helpful, so we decide to stay there - at the Hotel La Chaptal.


After checking in to the hotel, we head further into the old town to explore a bit and see if we can find a place for dinner.  We check out the outside of the château and see what time it opens.  We then find a cute little place for a light dinner which we enjoy with a bottle of wine.  After our dinner, we slowly make our way back to our hotel.  Before heading of to bed we spend some time working on our journals.


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