It was time to escape Paris for a few days and Charlene had planned the perfect escape. She had put together a two-day trip to the Bourgogne Region of France, which included a cooking class in Dijon with the acclaimed Chef Alex Miles.
We loved Paris but the chance to explore some of the French countryside and enjoy a one-day cooking class had us excited and willing to leave Paris for a few days.
We picked up our rental car at Orly Airport around 11:00 AM. In one of our first real good mistakes we picked the car up an hour and 30 minutes late and the rental company had released our reservation. That little mistake cost us 90 Euro more in rental fees, but lesson learned call if you are going to be late picking up your rental car.
I chose to pick the car up at Orly airport because Orly is on the East side of Paris and to drive to the Bourgogne Region we would be going east. Leaving from Orly made it possible for me to catch the highway and not have to drive anywhere near the Parisian traffic. I have driven in a lot of major cities in Europe including Paris but if I can avoid it, I do. My Orly strategy worked well and within about 10 minutes we were cruising down Highway A6 toward our two-day country escape. Our vie went from the cityscape of Paris to the rolling golden rolling hills of the French country side.
After about a hundred kilometers we pulled off A6 and struck off down a side road in search of lunch. After about four small villages we found our selves in the small village of Douchy. Douchy is pure farm country and we made a bee line for the local restaurant. As we walked in we discovered a great prefix deal offering a combination of appetizers, entrees, cheese and desert. We teamed up and between the three of us were able to sample almost everything. The food, service and local conversation was wonderful even though the locals spoke very little english and we spoke an embarrassingly small amount of French. Alyssia and I had to laugh at Charlene who mimicked her desire for the chicken by clucking and flapping her bent arms. All went well and even though the language barrier slowed down the ordering every one seemed to be happy to try to communicate.
After an amazing meal that cost only 12 Euro we were back on the road. Our second stop was our new Vacation Rental in Trouhaut a village in the Bourgogne Region of France.
Getting to Trouhaut we had driven thru miles of the golden hilled wheat and mustard fields that because of their natural beauty were often depicted by the Impressionist Masters like Van Gogh. The landscape from Paris to the Bourgogne Region is farm country dotted by the occasional far off village and majestic Chateaus often looking down on the world from a high off hill. We left smooth travel of Highway six about 20 mile out of Dijon and turned off onto the narrow country roads which would take us to Trouhaut.
After about 30 minutes of playing with my new stick-shift on the serpentine country roads we topped the hill over looking Trouhaut. Trouhaut is nestled in a small Valley between two sets of high green pastoral hills.
Above the Village, herds of the cattle grazed on green tree dotted fields. Each of the hill side fields were separated by vine, and hedge covered fences that made stark golden lines of ownership that pointed down straight to the Village that was hiding under a vale of green follage.
Looking thru the vale of tall ancient trees the village appeared as spots of browns reds and yellows woven beneath the green tapestry. As our eyes adjusted the patches of color began to take shape. The Village of Trauhaut is a scattering of maybe 50 ancient stone homes that surround, the village’s largest structure, the stone church. From our vantage point we could see the burnished red slate of the more modern roofs and the medieval slate stone roofs that were marked like small bright mosaics of reds and yellows. The abstract colors of the ancient roofs are the handy work of centuries of moss and lichen growth that has accumulated on the hard slate surfaces. The Village, from our vantage point, high on the hill, created an almost abstract mosaic colors and shapes that made me have to stop and take a picture.
After a few photos, we drove down the hill and through the narrow quiet streets of the village. As we enter the village our narrow road was flanked by small stone walls and ancient stone homes. I noticed that some of the stone homes were abandoned but many of them sported the signs of life, like gay flowerpots mounted under the windows and white drapes lightly shimmering in the soft breeze.
Further into the Village on our left, mounted on a small hill and surrounded by an ancient stonewall was the Village Church.
Just after the Church we turned up a steep road and drove to our destination at 1 Rue Martenof. To our relief as we turned down the small lane we could see our host Rachael standing at the end of the lane.
With a wave and smile Raquel welcomed us to our new home. Our Vacation Rental in Trouhaut was beautiful and complete with a raised deck that looked out over the green hills. That night the hills were dotted with the white cattle so common in this area of France.
It took 5 minutes for us to get situated in our new home and as Charlene and Raquel chattered like old friends, Alyssia and I moved back to the deck and rested our Louvre molested feet while we sat and admired our new pastoral view.
Paris is a magnificent place but there is something very ancient and comfortable about the French countryside.
That night we sat outside on our deck watching the beautiful view and playing cards. For dinner we just enjoyed treats we had collected over our last three days in Paris like sliced sausages, a mix of cheeses, fresh blue berries and an amazing duck pate. Charlene and I may have also indulged in a few glasses of wine.
After a few rounds of cards a light rain pushed us inside and even before we could watch the sunset we were headed to the comfort of our beds and a good nights sleep.