Last night we decided to head south for the trip. It took us up to now to finalize our plans, though we are going to make daily plans so how far we move each day is up to debate. The problem is we keep finding things to do so we are not covering much distance. In fact after 6 days we are sill in Burgundy and are only 175 miles from our starting point.
Today we had two stops in mind, a cheese factory outside Dijon and the Cluny Abbey. The first stop was a factory that specializes in soft cheese manufacture. We did the self guided tour. This involved peering thru windows at workers who tried to look unimpressed and watching videos of the process. It was interesting if a little impersonal. The fun began at the end where we were given five cheeses to taste and of course some bread and wine to go with them. Ton really liked the cheeses as she likes softer cheeses. Ron is a cheddar fan which makes him pretty much a charlatan, at least in Burgundy.
Our long drive of about 60 miles began after that. On the way to Cluny we came to the town of Cormatin it was pretty well developed and we where trying to figure out why, when we saw an interesting Chateau on the river. We were already by it when we decided to go back and check it out. The signs said open, but the door to the ticket office was locked and the tourist office was also closed for lunch. So we had to settle for some photos over the fence in the parking lot before moving on to Cluny.
Our destination for today was the Abby of Cluny. At one time the largest building in Christendom before the building of St. Peters in Rome. On arrival in town we were looking for the town aire. After much circling around including one trip into the heart of the town down narrow one way streets we found a parking lot kind of in the right part of town. It had four or five RV’s parked up so we decided why not join them.
We headed into town to take the Abby tour. The Abby is now mostly in ruins with only 10% of the original buildings still standing. What is there is really impressive and it does not take much imagination to see the beauty of the remainder. The rest was lost because the order that originally built it ran out of money to maintain it and they ended up selling it to the town. The town then dismantled the church and sold the stone locally and in Paris. If it was standing today in it’s finished state it would surely be one of the biggest attractions in Burgundy if not France.
When we returned to our parking lot there were only two other RV’s left so Ron came to the conclusion that this was not the aire. After some googling he got a map to the aire. When we arrived it was clearly an aire. The problem was that instead of being free as advertised it cost 10 Euro, and you had to call the town police to pay up, and failure to call in a timely manner increased the cost to 22 Euro. Eventually we found a nice lady who made the call for us. So tonight we are watching a parade of horses go by to the local stables in the town Hippodrome next door.