A weekend trip to Dijon, France

March 21-22, 2015

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A weekend trip! Dan and I made plans to ride to Dijon to visit friends, as well as just getting out for a little time on the motorcycles. And with the fantastic spring weather we’ve been having, I couldn’t wait to get out into the French countryside and soak up some sunshine.

My dreams were crushed as soon as I woke up Saturday morning. The sky was a leaden grey and the temperature hovered at 9C. We geared up and rolled out of the garage around 9am. I set the GPS for “Curvy Roads” (I’m still amazed that this feature exists!) and we were due in Dijon some time after lunch.

It was an uninspiring ride. The temperatures never rose above 10C and the sky remained lifeless and flat. I took a few pictures but I knew that they would be unexciting. We even stopped at a war memorial but it didn’t interest me much, either. I was having a hard time getting into the ride.

Just outside of Basel

Tribute to the 25th Medical Battalion

Our progress wasn’t very good. I was a little apprehensive about our arrival time, as there weren’t any set plans and I didn’t know if we’d be keeping our friends from enjoying their time in Dijon. We decided to ditch the curvy roads for a bit and make some time on the motorway.

Saw a few of these on the road

Not everyone was riding today

To our dismay, the motorway was a toll road. Toll roads are annoying in of themselves, but they are doubly (triply?) devilish when on a motorcycle. One needs to grab a ticket and stash it somewhere safe and then at the other end, remove the gloves and hunt for cash to cover the toll, all while the cars wait (im)patiently behind you… I find toll roads stressful. But we were already on the toll road and we picked up the pace. And that caused another problems: noise. I haven’t yet found a solution for the noise caused by my bike’s windscreen and it amplifies in my helmet. It was a mutual decision to get off the motorway and return to the country roads.

And with that, a light drizzle began and followed us most of the way into Dijon.

Our bikes in front of our hotel

We met up with our friends and settled in. The weather wasn’t conducive to wandering the town and since the primary purpose of this trip was to visit, that’s what we did for the remainder of the day.

Sunday morning dawned much nicer than Saturday, but it was still cold and overcast. Breakfast wasn’t planned until 9 o’clock and since we woke up at 6:30, we figured that we’d take advantage of some morning sun to see the old city center.

Morning sunshine

Dijon skyline

Dijon has something called the Owl Trail, a well-marked path through the city to show you some of the historical and architectural high points. We didn’t follow the trail, but we periodically came across the markers embedded in the sidewalks.

I love the numerous details throughout the city

Looking up at the gargoyles of Notre Dame

Because it was only 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning we had the streets to ourselves, sharing them only with the street sweepers and city workers. It was a nice way to see the city.

Empty streets of Dijon

Easter window decorations

Because every French city needs a polar bear statue

It was time to head back for breakfast but fortunately we had to walk back through the city to get back to our hotel. More sights to see!

A great transit system in Dijon

Keeping things clean

Breakfast ran long and it was lunch time before we finally said good bye to our friends. The wind had pushed the clouds back into the sky and kept the temperatures down. We made it half way home on the Curvy Roads before we both decided that we would be more comfortable in our apartment than we were on the bikes. We found a non-tolled motorway and hot-footed it home.

“Curvy Roads” feature selected!

The hilltop town of Pesmes

Pesmes, France

The color of France

Mistletoe trees

Spalentor in Basel – home!

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