Monday, 14 January 2013

There are blue bits in the sky!

Day 181 11.01.13 Dijon

We awake to a drier but even chillier Dijon.  Wrapping up warm we head off into town with our laptops in tow.  As soon as we arrive I spot a lovely old building to take a picture of only to discover my camera is refusing to turn on.  Chris does his best to prevent the inevitable camera related tantrum by explaining it’s probably just the cold, damp conditions and once I plug it into my laptop it’ll be fine.  Nonetheless the next little while has me in such a worry that we head to the local library to plug the laptop into a socket and the camera into the laptop.  Sure enough it fires up straight away and seems to be working fine again, crisis averted!  We spend a little while getting fully charged with Chris writing his book and me some blog entries.

We emerge from the library to see the weather has perked up and there are even a few blue spots in the sky (yippee!).  Later there even turns out to be a little bit of sun for the solar panels.  This makes walking around much more pleasurable as all the details on the buildings seem so much clearer and crisper.  The St Michael church is a big highlight with its arches above the entrance brimming with amazing carved sculptures. We soon also come across the Cathedral St Benigne with its rows upon rows of gargoyles peering down to the street.  The roof is also tiled in many different colours in pretty patterns although it’s hard to see up close as so many tall buildings have been built nearby.  

The streets are filled with lots of interesting independent shops particularly in the quirky antiquities quarter as well as many a place to buy the famous local mustard.  There are also lots of old wooden fronted houses like those in Troyes which make it feel more like a little town than a big city.  It’s actually much prettier that I’d imagined although it’s sometimes hard to really appreciate the buildings as the centre is so built up you just can’t get a good look at them!  That said, many of the more ordinary buildings in the high street have incredibly decorative features and fantastic details carved into the stone.  It’s would be so easy to miss them if you don’t take the time to look up every now and then!

Dijon fine arts museum sculpture room
We grab lunch out and continue our exploring, taking in the varied architecture and attractive little parks.  We find our way to the Palais des Ducs with its very grand courtyard. Next door we spot the fine arts museum and happily discover entry is free.   There are lots of impressive paintings on offer and the sculpture room is especially striking.  By the time we emerge it’s starting to get dark and so after a little more walking around we head back to the Van Diesel for dinner and a movie.  It’s been a busy day but Dijon has proved to be an interesting city that I look forward to seeing more of tomorrow.

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