Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dijon, France - Self-Guided Walking Tour

Known as the capitol of the Burgundy region in France, about a 2 hour train ride from Paris, Dijon is an idyllic city boasting numerous churches including the Notre Dame Dijon, museums, amazing half-timbered buildings and polychrome roofs made of tiles of different colors in specific eye-catching patterns similar to that of the Hospice de Beaune (go ahead and click, it's gorgeous!) which are popular and featured throughout the Burgundy region.  We started our walking tour in the charming park with our guide who with her thick French accent tried to explain every detail finding her words as best she could.

Turning around from the park, we were led across the street to the entrance of the central district of Dijon and greeted by the Porte Guillaume or Guillaume Gate which was fashioned after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and built in the 18th Century.  It was originally the gate to the city. This is where you can find the start to a self guided walking tour through the city, each stop marked by owls drawn in the sidewalk including facts about each featured location.
There are 22 stops on the tour that give you interesting facts about the buildings and the rich history of the city.  Naturally it helps to know French in order to translate all the facts which is why we had our friendly guide to tell us all about it.

After being led down a few shop filled streets with amazing half-timbered houses, we were shown the Duke's Palace which still holds the city's Town Hall today.  There is no vehicle traffic allowed in the center of Dijon which makes it a great place to be able to enjoy walking about without worrying about whether a car will be coming down the narrow cobbled roads to meet you.

This tour was another one of those that I had to be told consistently to catch up to the rest of the group because I was stopping to take pictures of things that were off the tour that I thought were intriguing like this doorway for one.

Dijon has another square with a beautiful carousel that is very similar to the one in Beaune, France.  They look so much alike that I argued endlessly with my boss when I came back about which picture was from which city.

Dijon is a city that struck me as lively and enchanting even considering our walking tour was on a Sunday and the markets were not open. Dijon hosts an annual International and Gastronomic Fair each fall which is considered one of the top 10 fairs in France.  It would be a good place to spend an entire holiday trip with everything it has to offer from hotels or shopping to fine cuisine and let's not forget the wine!

You may have noticed that I didn't mention the thing that Dijon is most famous for - the mustard! (Not the vintage phone booth) Of course we saw the mustard! There is a reason for that - I have it planned for the next "Did You Know" linky because not only do I have a great photo of a mustard shop offering all different colors and flavors, I have found some interesting facts about the mustard in Dijon that I bet you didn't know.

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I do apologize for being inconsistent over the past week with my travel posts. (and all the others that never got posted)  I was out of internet half the week but will be back to the regularly scheduled program from here on out being that we changed our ISP after too much time spent not solving the problem.  

You can look for my travel posts on Tuesdays, throat punching on Thursday and Coffee Friday.  The next couple of weeks I am having Featured Guests on Wednesdays that I am excited about as well so stay tuned for the awesome!


angelshrout said...

Beautiful pics. I have always wanted to travel and since I can't I will live vicariously through you and your pictures.

Daddysincharge said...

All these towns look so awesome... can't wait to get back!

Vanessa North said...

Ahh, I did my study abroad in Dijon in 1998. These photos bring back so many happy memories. Thanks for sharing!