Skip to main content


On the way up to Belgium I didn't bother to stop anywhere. Road signs usually take you around on some ring road to your next destination unless you specifically follow those with "Centre Ville" on them.  On my way back from Belgium I did stop in two places. At one stage I drove across a peaceful river and parked right along its left bank where barges were nicely tied up. I was in Auxerre, a city in Burgundy. And as it turned out "downtown" in Auxerre is up on a steep hill.

The river YONNE flows northward into the Seine river and then still northward into the Channel

AUXERRE is pronounced "aussaire" and is renowned in France for its football team. I thought I'd explore it  for a while. Climbing up the steep and narrow medieval streets I arrived in front of a side door to the huge cathedral, named St Etienne i.e. St Steven in English. Houses are built right up to the walls of the cathedral. You'd think... how rude!... the reason being, I heard, that in medieval times people thought that God himself dwelled inside the church and therefore, if you wanted to be in a "safe" place, it was wise to live as close to it as possible.

When I arrived at the top there was a small square with parked cars and restaurants, cafeterias, bars, pizzerias, all kinds of eating places. In France the main meal of the day is lunch and shops and offices close down from 12 to 2pm. This square had attracted all the hungry people in the town and so, when I entered a certain "brasserie", the waiter apologized that the place was full... except for one high chair at a bar like table already occupied by two diners. I didn't mind, sat there and ordered a "salade océane", a mixed salad with sea food on it. Quite yummy. And a conversation started between a young woman and myself about... traveling and living overseas! Well, yes, it's my favorite subject and it went well with the "salade océane".

On the way down to my car I bought two bottles of Burgundy wine. My favorite is Bourgogne aligoté. 


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

251. Stalking Jules Verne

I recently came across photos of a google-plus user from the country of Georgia in the Caucasian mountains, somewhere between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, somewhere between the south of Russia and Turkey. A difficult position for a small country really, being tossed from one to the other in ruling and/or heavy cultural influences. From the dawn of History, however, the Georgians have managed to retain their own personality, cultural heritage, language and… yes, spelling and writing. Georgia in the Georgian language is spelt საქართველო.  This small country remained hidden away from main stream History by bigger bears until, well yes, the advent of internet. And since cables have now been laid in the bottom of the Black Sea by Americans to reach the port of Poti, any Georgian can now tune into internet at will and post photos on FaceBook or Google+ and be seen and contacted by the rest of the world. Nice story!
When I recently saw those photos of Georgia posted on my own google+ …


My mad idea of stalking Jules Verne in his story of travelling round the Black Sea clockwise to avoid crossing the Bosphorus is snowballing. From one idea to another I am now up to figuring a real plan.
1. A group of 3 or 4 people will travel by road from Istanbul following the coast like Keraban and his team did. It means going through the north shore of Turkey, then Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia. To finish off back in Turkey on the south shore of the Black Sea. As I would want to stay in Georgia, perhaps another team could take over from there. I expect my old friend Zara to travel with me. We will need a photographer to make a documentary of this adventure. It will happen at the same speed that Keraban travelled, i.e. in slow motion for us in this century. My main purpose is to encounter and meet as many people as possible. Interactions between people, our small group, and the daily problems of the moment is to be the subject of the documentary. Not visiting famous monuments …


I recently came across a virtual invitation for coffee and since then have met and keep meeting new friendly American bloggers. I find they easily write poetry, play games at writing a story prompted by a silly picture posted by someone else... AND they also write about their nitty gritty daily lives like being pulled up by the police or having their computer crash down and the price of buying a new one. So today is my turn. I can't write poetry but I can tell at great length about my nitty gritty ordinary life.

 On Wednesdays I usually have my grandkids over for lunch and activities in the afternoon, learning how to sew with a sewing machine with my granddaughter and following an online course to learn English with my grandson. Looking after the two of them is very tiring so I asked to have one at a time in turns. Yes but the lady who takes Bertrand to my door said she had not been told of the change so... never mind, don't worry, thank you. Then Binta turned up surprised: ar…