3 passions and 1 trip
The trip to South Burgundy was, so to say, for my soul. It was a very extraordinary and relaxed vacation you can only wish for in your life.
No stress, no rush, panic, yelling or politics.
When you merge your three loves:
- Love for travelling
- Plus Love for food and its tastes
- And love for good wines
You get France.
And if you, along with all that, wish for something simple and versatile, than, what you need is definitely a trip to South Burgundy.
Do you remember what the France market looked like? It leaves you breathless:
The trip to Burgundy is even better
Top ten reasons why Burgundy enchanted me
Somewhere around May, I am ready to escape the rush and the heat of the city. This choice (a trip to South Burgundy) proved to be ideal for something like that.
Packing, low cost airplane-company, and Geneva, here we come.
And then, rent a car, a trunk filled with luggage and the arrival to France, i.e. South Burgundy.
A deep breath, and I’m already intoxicated with the clean air. Hmm. And if I shut my eyes and focus, I can smell all that freshness again… If only I could find a way to share it with you.
A fantastic mixture of nature and relaxation
My experience proved that the stay and the trip to South Burgundy offered a lot of possibilities. From relaxation during leisurely walks through the heart of French nature, to the active holiday including horseback riding, climbing and hiking the hilly landscape. If you prefer the activity holiday, then you shouldn’t miss the Morvan massif, which is also called ‘The mountain of Burgundy’, where there are great lakes, river streams, and vast forest.
This time, I decided for a gentle walk in the company of friends and a camera, trying to capture every detail that made an impression on me.
The river Saone, right tributary of the river Rhone, flows through Macon. Macon was built in the third century A.D, and in the 18th century it was the capital of the mighty Burgundy county. It is a small town that can be walked very easily and in no time. Along the river bed, there are trails on both sides. A walk by the water with the possibility of a coffee-break in one of the nearby French restaurants, was a real oasis for all of us, who worked our fingers to the bone throughout the previous year. Brightly colored buildings also had an effect on my great mood. I associated the entire surrounding with the Mediterranean coast, as a great preparation for the summer vacation.
The river Saona in Macon.
We found some refreshment so that we could continue our walk.
Wine was born here
It doesn’t matter if you know just a little about wines, or you’re a passionate wine lover, in any case, you should know that the Burgundy is a place in which the wine was made. Here, wine is the prime element of life. To my surprise, the vineyards were open to everybody, no matter if you were in accompanied by friends, business partners, or family. I could walk through any vineyard, try out different flavors in its primary locations, from the places where grapes were grown and wine made. I’ve learned a lot about skills of wine making, and combining it with different dishes. I was in the famous village of Chardoney, which is renowned for the grapes and wine of the same name.
Grapes has just started to sprout.
There was no estate without a vineyard. The moment you’re born, your future profession is decided.
Red wine is not characteristic for South Burgundy, but it was worth tasting.
New gastronomic flavors
What I devote a lot of attention to in my trips is also the food characteristic of that region. The countries with food of great quality always have an advantage.
Many dishes of traditional French cuisine were created in South Burgundy: Boef Bourguignon, Coq au vin, gingerbread, various terinis, paste…
Some of this, we are going to prepare in our own kitchen.
What represented a real challenge for me were snails. I’ve had the chance to see them in the menu multiple times, but still, never enough courage to try them, well, so what, is it heavy. And as usual, after hesitation, there’s regret.
However, these Burgundy snails didn’t seen slimy, (as I imagined they would taste like), so I encouraged myself to finally try them.
Unfortunately, my excitement about the snail tasting was a great one, and it wasn’t until later when I saw an empty plate, that I remembered I had forgotten to take a photo of them.
The snails were served in an oval dish, in which there were chambers with circular cross-section (2-3 centimeters in diameter) in which there was the snail meat in garlic and olive oil sauce. A simple mixture of ingredients, but it was very tasty.
And here’s the photo of the dish (after I’d eaten the snails).
And, also, here’s a non-censured photo of me (along with my hairstyle) putting a snail in my mouth… Deki captured me for eternity… He was very inspired those days to capture a lot of my ‘first times’… for instance, while having snails for lunch, or tanking the car (although I’ve been driving for more than 20 years).
Ah, just when I remember that first bite, to the moment in which I realized it was actually great… and I thought I didn’t need that in my life.
The restaurant in which I had snails for the first time, La Halte de l’Abbaye in Cluny (it does sound like George Cluny, however, I didn’t meet him there, but maybe you get lucky). A personal recommendation, if you’d already traveled there. In it, you’ll feel like home.
Not everything in South Burgundy started with snails
They made an overriding impression, but there was a lot we had to try out
- The most famous French bread ‘baguette’, which didn’t become its trademark until after the 1920, although the word ‘baguette’ existed long before. Today, it is a symbol of French culture. The first thing we came into in Macon, and where our stomachs immediately started rumbling, was a bakery with various French pastry. The best bakeries are the ones in smaller places, they lean towards the original recipes, and so did the one we completely depleted.
I always feel sorry because our breads are not even close to the French ones.
- Macaroons– a very well-known French cookies.
- A traditional rare beef.
Roasted just the way I like it… yummy.
- Foie gras de canard a la figue – duck paste with figs. We are preparing this for sure!
- And before the dessert, a plate of French cheese.
- An inevitable Crème brûlée , but this time made by an innovative recipe with rosemary (we’ll prepare this as well).
- Red or white wine with that, I cannot decide…
And here’s my friend Deki, tasting… I was taking pictures later, it’s the right thing to do 🙂 .
There’s a wide choice, you cannot get enough of it, but you can get drunk.
I’ve met Carolais and Bresse
Charolais is the best-known cow species in France. It is raised for meat only, and French take great pride in it. It is an inevitable dish in the menu in South Burgundy, and it is always emphasized as such.
According to a legend, nice-looking, white cows were brought to the French coast during the Crusades. Primarily, they were used for farming, but as the number of cows increased throughout France, they got second function- they were kept for meat.
Now, it is classified as the world’s best beef.
From March to November, Charolais can be seen browsing on fertile meadows and pastures in the region of South Burgundy. There’s not a household there without at least one Charolais.
Near Macon, Maison du Charolais can be visited too. A museum in which different products made of this beef can be tasted, or one can have lunch at their restaurant, or buy something to take.
Cute feathery Bresse
The most famous and the most expensive chicken I’ve heard of. Its price is same as one of the beef steak.
Such an occasion cannot be missed once you’re there, so I’ve tried chicken la Bresse pate, and it was, as the French would say, par excellence.
My dear Charolais, difficult times, isn’t it?
I enjoyed the architecture
- Cathédrale le Vieux Saint-Vincent Macon– for the existence of this church is to be thanked to Napoleon the 1st. The name of the church was first the Holy Napoleon. Alphonso de Lamartine’s funeral in 1869 was in this church.
- Old Saint Vincent Cathédrale
And then it started raining, but that didn’t distract us… it was a real spring rain in all the colors of rainbow and the three musketeers… or the three piglets. No, no, after all, there it was, all for one and one for all.
- Cluny Abbey
- Abbey de Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul, Cluny – the pillars and the center of Christianity.
- Alphonse Lamartine Macon town square and a museum in one.
- Maison Descours Cluny – one of the oldest buildings in Cluny.
- Saint Pierre Church Macon –built in 19th century, placed in the center of Macon.
- Saint Laurent Bridge – the most famous bridge in this area, with as many as twelve arches.
- Narrow streets of the town of Cluny –this is how I imagine the true France… love is in the air.
- Montrevel Residence Macon
I’ve learned something new
- One of the greatest French writers was born in Macon, Alphonse de Lamartine, a poet first, and then a politician. He described his home region, love, ideal beauty and long journeys. One of his best-known songs is ‘Lake’, ‘La Lac’.
- Macon is also famous for its wine fair. More than half of it is white wine, made from the Chardoney grapes, and the rest of it is classified as red wine. Maison des Vins should be visited if you wish to taste the best wines and try something from the local specialties in that region.
- Cluny Abbey was the greatest Christian church in the world, until the Saint Peters Basilica in Rome was built. And along with that, the town of Cluny was the center of Christianity.
I felt the festival spirit
With the beginning of summer, there’s the music festival, at which you can enjoy in all kinds of music, from traditional, to the modern. That entire region, including Switzerland, which is nearby, is celebrating music during June and July. If you love music, you should plan your trip in that time of year.
And now, something that should’ve happened to me, at least once in my life.
Mounting a horse
As I could notice, the French are great fans of horses. For instance, in Cluny, there was a huge paddock for horses. Even while I was there, there was some kind of manifestation, and it was really special watching all those thrilled young jockeys riding their beautiful horses. The horses were well taken care of, and they behaved very well.
You can organize horseback riding for your pleasure when you visit those regions and within the tourist offices.
Idleness, riding in the seat of the chosen stallion, and enjoying nature at the same time, in your out-of-the-book first real picnic, and to feel what’s it like to sit by the camp fire.
And when you get lucky, then you really get lucky 🙂 …
Finally finding your prince
Every girl dreams of finding her prince on the white horse. I found my prince many years ago, well he wasn’t exactly on horse, but a borrowed car worked just fine for me.
However, I didn’t even think I would meet another prince on my trip to South Burgundy, and this time he came with a castle. To my surprise, this one didn’t have a horse either, but he kept white cows, Charolais, instead.
Besides a huge property and a royal garden, he didn’t own any limos or staff, instead, he was holding his scissors for trimming bushes and flowers in his hands all the time.
Of course, the ‘queen mother’ was there as well, right next to him, they worked side by side in the garden. A real Frenchwoman, tall, with thin legs, narrow knees and short hair.
Let me introduce you to the prince and his mother.
All in all, the princes aren’t what they used to be, now, instead of a white horse they have white cows, and instead of luxury, scissors for gardening and hands full of blisters.
And what about the castle(s)?
On that occasion when I met the prince I was visiting French castles. One of them was Chateau de Berze, and the other one Chateau de Pierreclos, with beautiful gardens, a lot of history and interesting stories about castles and present life in them. High taxes and fees that come along with owning a castle, are the most common complaints by the princes.
Chateau de Berze was ‘my’ prince’s caslte.
And my Deki and Suki enter first.
Its huge… but it can be visited with a guide…
And the view… from hire all the way to the vineyards.
Some knights were hiding here.
And when I wanted to find out where they were now, it was very… pull, or push a handle (but the bell handle).
If you don’t behave they shoot you first.
And then they throw you in the well.
Isn’t this a very sleeping-beauty-like castle?
And here we had some fun.
The prince here was a better-off one… there were 7 BMX Z3 parked in front of his yard, and they differed in color only… I mean to say, both boys and girls could pick one.
And then the main door entrance.
In case you want to choose, you are tantalized first.
I was still hanging here 🙂 .
And then it turned out to be super funny.
Two Suzanas on their ‘horses’ but the ones filled with wine. We had it going.
And now, a castle and hitting the hay.
I didn’t mean these Z3 parked in front of the castle, but the real ones… these are maids’ and cooks’ cars.
Not soo much wine…
Between the tours of the two castles, we went to a white wine tasting. A huge number of selling space with the possibility of buying various French products.
There were traditional duck, goose, French Bresse (white chicken) pastes, to goat cheeses, to jams, oils, white and red wines. And besides all that tasting, this trip to South Burgundy didn’t stay in my memory for my headaches.
Each one of the castles produced its own wine, which you could also bring back home. Whichever you bought, you wouldn’t be mistaken.
I have to admit that in the airport on our way back home I prayed to God not to have my suitcase opened, because everyone would be overwhelmed by the unpleasant smell of goat and other sorts of cheese.
Other than that I’ve told you about, there were a lot of nice herbal spices, fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Then, my personal favorite, covered in sunlight.
Also I have prepared two gifts for you, this red rose with morning few drops.
and video about trip to south Burgundy.
I would like to hear if you liked this unusual trip to South Burgundy? What else would you like to read?