Overnight in Orange, fabulous lunch in Lyon and three days in Beaune.
On the Slow Road to Paris
Stops in Orange, Lyon and 3 days in Beaune
I had wanted to visit the wine towns of Gigondas and Vacqueyras, but as our schedule tightens towards spending a full week in Paris, choices had to be made.
We opted to spend one night in Orange before making the 4 hr drive to Beaune where we had pre-booked a hotel in the center of the old city and continue with tasting appointments in Beaune
Orange was a very pleasant surprise. There is a major monument there - in fact the oldest one we have seen so far. It is a 1st century(!) Roman amphitheater that is still in use and hosts a major summer opera festival every year. See below for pics of the huge wall as well as Internet pics of the empty and full amphitheater and pics from a lovely walk around town at dusk. The Roman ruins are directly next to the theatre and are quite spectacular.
Based on the urging of our friends Sharon and Paul Goodmonson, we planned on a stop in Lyon for lunch on our drive the next day from Orange to Beaune. I scourged the Trip Advisor reviews and selected the restaurant Le Canut et Les Gones (lecanutetlesgones.com) Check out the pics. Lyon has a reputation as the gastronomic capital of France. If this restaurant is typical, then we are probably moving here. Anyway, it was fabulous, not expensive and a great lunch stop. Perhaps the best food on the entire trip! Merci beaucoup Paul and Sharon!
Beaune is the heart of Burgundy (Bourgogne) We arrived in Beaune around 4PM, checked into our hotel and walked around the old city. It reminded me of St. Emilion, only cuter, larger and the tourists that are here are mostly French. With the sloped Alpine style roofs, pastel shutters, cobblestone streets and colorful sidewalk cafes, this seems the most "French" of anything we have yet experienced. We will spend the next two days here. I have a tasting and tour scheduled with both Bouchard Pere & Fils and Joseph Drouhin (the French patriarch to the Oregon Domaine Drouhin in Dundee). We should again be in wine heaven as there are probably 50 wine shops who offer Burgundy tasting within 100 yards of our hotel.
As the French say "Pour votre sante!" - To your health!