A day in Dijon on a Sunday means everything is closed. Families spend time together and lunch is a long affair. It was a perfect day for following little brass Owls on the pavement for a self guided city walk. The architecture is stunning and of course the French do sculpture and monuments so well. The Dijon mustard shop was open!! A couple of years ago, I took a 1kg jar home to NZ – but not this time!!! From the city’s public garden, past many masterful churches, through narrow streets where the Dukes of Burgundy lived and around the very quiet market we had a great walk and enjoyed the city with very little traffic or frenzied shopping. I remember when Sunday was all about everything being closed and I liked the quietness.
For many years I have dreamed of visiting the garden of Notre Dame Jardin D’Orsan. It is about three and half hours from Beaune. My tour has finished and my group has dispersed all over. Some have headed home, others have gone on a canal barge for a week with friends and two or three have extend their travelling time and headed to places like Spain and Puglia in Italy. My husband Philip has joined me now and we have a lot of travelling ahead. We have a rental car and our first day is rather long just to visit a garden.
Well … It was AMAZING, everything I expected and so much more . In the middle ages, the dual purpose of monastery gardens were to nourish the body and mind. Orsan is a set of enclosed gardens on the site of a Fontevriste priory founded in the 12th century. The Orsan Gardens are a true architectural gem inspired by medieval tapestries and illuminations. These remarkable Gardens combine symbolic landscape creation by creating old cloisters with hedging and organic crop production. The maintenance, skillfull framing to espalier and train anything and everything and the shear structure is so clever and disciplined. We had a magical few hours on a very hot day . It was such an interesting drive through really diverse countryside starting with fields of the lovely white Charolais cattle, on through kilometres of agricultural cropping of maize and hay, then through avenues of Oak forests probably used for the production of wine barrels. It was a very long day’s driving for Philip but so worth it and we even found a gorgeous house in a very remote village to buy !!!