Sunday, July 8, 2012

Semur en Auxios

We arrived in Semur en Auxios ( I want to live in Semur en Auxios), drove our van up winding narrow Medeival streets and tried to enter the parking lot of the hotel Cymaises, which was not designed for 21 st century vans, scraped our bumper trying to maneuver a sharp turn into the parking lot. After 20 minutes of shimmying back and forth, we finally decided to park at the bottom of the hill and carry our luggage uphill to the hotel. We felt Kippy deserved  a drink after our harrowing ordeal, so we settled ourselves in a rose garden and poured ourselves a couple of glasses of wine. Then we walked through the narrow 1000 year old winding streets and found a cozy restaurant. I'm sticking to salads after 2 weeks of excessive eating; I'm being good. Everybody else ordered desserts. But Kippy and I drank ours--Irish coffee for me. In a Medeival village in France? Seemed the right thing to do. After dinner, Kippy and I thought it was a good idea to continue our search for absinthe. We poked our heads into the little bars that were closing. No luck. Can't seem to find the stuff. Can't even seem to find anybody who believes it's legal.  Here's how the conversation always goes: "bonjour monsieur, avez-vous l'absinthe?" A puzzled expression ensues. Then, "Ah! Ab-santth! No!" Then somethng very French, very fast, which I have figured to mean that nobody sells it; it is illegal in France. Then we argue that no, it is legal; we've found bottles of it for sale at the liquor stores. but we just want to order a drink. Then we seem to get nowhere and we're off on our search again. Kippy promises I'll have some before I leave France. It really doesn't matter to me. I'm just enjoying the search.
I'm having a real disconnect here. I walk these cobblestone streets, peer into lace covered centuries old windows, wonder at the duration of the architecture, the simple beauty of every turn, incredulous. What's it like to live here? Where do they park their cars? What do they do for their livings? It's another world. Yet they're playing REM at our restaurant. Every place we go we hear American rock music. My simple mind can't seem to connect the two worlds -- Medeival Europe and 21st century America. I am in a quandary.
We visited Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, where Chocolat was filmed. Such a quiet town, we whispered as we explored the streets, fantasizing about buying a little home there, but were dissuaded when we considered how noisy we probably would be. Alice would want to have parties and dance to Aretha Franklin. She also entertains us regularly with songs from musicals we grew up with. We stopped for gallettes at a creperie, next door to the farm and home of Dominican Sisters. On our last night of the trip we stayed in a 1000 year old bed and breakfast in Noyers-sur-Serein (I want to live in Noyers). We left the village feeling as if we had been getting to know the locals--the pompous, maddening but amuzing owner/server of a restaurant from our previous night's dinner, the cocky, engaging server at lunch (different restaurant), the owner of our B&B, who surprised us at lunch by opening a window right next to our patio dining table. Reminded us all of the guard at the window in the Wizard of Oz. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The whole trip was wonderful.


  1. These pictures are all so beautiful....What a great trip you are having! And, all the wonderful material for paintings! Can't wait to see what you paint next!

  2. what a fabulous trip! Fun to read about.