Friday, October 8, 2010

My New Old Stomping Grounds, A.K.A. French Bean's Tour of Dijon

Okay. I'm finally set up computer-wise!

*cheers and applause*

A lot of events happened during my tumultuous first week back in Dijon (some of which may or may not work into a future post sometime soon), and, frankly, I don't know where to start!

So, I'll do something a bit easy: what better way to come back to the blogging world than by showing y'all my new old town? ^.^

Lac Kir

Well, if you've been paying attention, you probably saw the photograph I put up of a fake beach with geese on it. The "beach" in question is actually a lake called Lac Kir...

...a public park named after Chanoine Félix Kir, a man the Dijonnais greatly admire. The memorial they have for him overlooks the wonderful hills!

The Dijonnais (and yours truly) love to take strolls around it on quiet Sundays.

As for the fake beach? Since Dijon is pretty much land-locked, "Dijon Plage" allows those who do not travel during the summer the opportunity to sunbathe in their bathing suits as if they were on a real beach.

(Coming from Miami, though, even I have to admit that Dijon Plage is a poor substitute for the real thing...and Miami Beach considerably geese-less, to boot.)

The Next stop on my tour of Dijon is, coincidentally, another park!

Square Darcy

As you walk through the gates of the park's entrance, you are immediately greeted by a large white Polar Bear statue. The guy who designed it was called (feel free to chuckle a bit) Pompon.

Square Darcy has a sweeping view of a large water fountain and trees which provide plenty of shade. There is even a play area for little French children.

Unfortunately, Square Darcy also evokes lots of memories about the Loser Ex-Boyfriend...

Erm, I think Pompon's bear is hungry. We'd better get a move on!

As we exit the park, we have a lovely view of all the traffic that is now plaguing Dijon's streets. In 2013, Dijon will install, for the third time in its history, a Tramway system.

This means that the normal bumper-to-bumper traffic has now become slower than the snails eaten in la Bourgogne.

Porte Guillaume

Also known as the Arc de Triomphe, la Porte Guillaume is the *official* entrance to Dijon's Rue de la Liberté (Liberty Street). This street marks the date the Dijonnais were liberated by the First French Army back on September 11th, 1944.

La Porte Guillaume also attracts several of Dijon's most notable feature: the Divia buses!

Cathédrale de St-Bénigne

Just before we take a walk down Liberty Street, we shall make a right turn and head straight to the varnished-tile covered cathedral!

Varnished-tile roofs are typical of la Bourgogne architecture, by the way. The tiles have to be replaced every 300 years.

Now let's go inside to admire the magnificent organ...


Rue de la Liberté

On a rather rare occasion, we enter Liberty Street to see that Burgundy's flags are held aloft and waving!

There are several shops lining this street.

Such as Mulot & Petitjean.

This is where the famous (at least in Dijon) pain d'epices and nonnettes are fabricated! They are just edible bits of culinary heaven...

And the window display is cute to boot!

Other stores include Galeries Lafayette (France's Macy's)...

A shop dedicated to Maille mustard...

...even a McDonald's. The damned burgers are truly everywhere.

Square François Rude

Here is one of my favorite spots in Dijon's Centre Ville. The building with red stripes, in the colombage style, is actually a restaurant. Mom and I ate there last year.

The public square also has a carrousel for the kiddies.

And a fountain with a statue of a mighty naked guy surveying the kids as they ride the carrousel.

(Well, he's supposed to be crushing grapes with his feet, but I think he needs a little more garment to cover his person.)

Notre Dame de Dijon and La Chouette

What fascinates me about this church is that it has a couple significant objects that pertain to the town's culture.

First, there is the Jacquemart, a clock-statue that was stolen from the Belgians in 1382.

There are also the gargoyles.

And, most notably, the Chouette, the owlet, which is also the symbol of Dijon.

This is not the actual Chouette; these are the signs and triangles which point you in the direction of famous places to visit should you want to do a self-tour.

You can usually determine where the exact location of the Chouette is based on the small group of people who seem to be inexplicably crowding at the side of Notre Dame.

It may not look like much, but by Dijonnaise tradition, the Chouette will grant you a wish if you stroke it with your left hand. It has to be the LEFT hand because it is the one closer to your heart. I always ask for love, whether it will come from a friend, a relative or even a complete stranger. ^.^

Palais des Ducs

As a final stop on this tour (I'm tired already), we will briefly glance at the former residence of Burgundy's dukes.

A bunch of drunk students! Ooh. Ahh.

I also decided to take the "Do You Hear Well?" test. Ever since I stepped on French soil, I think I've had a problem with my ears. Like, I just have a hard time understanding words and sounds. I figured that it was for my benefit...

Question 1: "Do you often make people repeat what they say to you?"


Question 2: "Do you often raise the volume on your T.V.?"


Question 3: "Do you have to concentrate to follow a multiple-person conversation?"

Um, yes. I do. o_O

Conclusion: Either I have a hearing problem, or I speak French as a second language.

Barb the French Bean


  1. Yay! such pretty pictures and such a pretty place.

  2. Awesome! The pictures are so cool. I really love the fact that i can understand everything that's in French. :D Since I live in Quebec, Canada. :)

  3. J'adore les photos. I wanna visit France even more now... Summer 2011 should hurry here! o, and could it come with some spending money? lol. ex-boyfriend let sth good go :)

  4. Hey!! I thought you were going to hide me in your carry-on so I could come with you! What's up with that? (et Je suis Canadien, ainsi Je peux parler citoyens francais. :))

    Seriously, great pics. I love the little owl. Go to the parts of the city that remind you of your ex and do something wicked, just to exorcise him. :)

  5. Be Mistified: Yes! I was just dying to go back! :-)

    Jodie: Understanding is the first step in foreign languages. I think that my appreciation of France is multiplied thanks to knowing French.

    Etoile: You will visit France someday! Just set it as a realistic goal (that's what I did)!

    Karen: Erm...yeah. About that.

    Sorry, but there honestly was no more room in my 32 kilo/ 70 pound suitcase. ^.^" You are more than welcome to travel to visit me, though!

    As for exorcising the Loser Ex-Boyfriend...I just need to find a new one who actually won't be stupid enough to let go of a good thing (or person). In all honesty, the relationship wouldn't have worked out in the long run (and it didn't). Not to sound elitist, but I need someone whose intelligence is on par with mine... >.>

    Besides, at this point, I can only laugh at him. He did something *completely* stupid with his new girlfriend, and her parents are threatening to call the police on him! The internet song "Bed Intruder" actually reminds me of his situation. "You are so dumb, fo' real." Ha!

    -Barb the French Bean

  6. Great pictures, pleased you are back online!

  7. Mais oui... it just seems like I've been saving forever. lol. If you're still there when I get there, I'll hit u up


Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb