Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saving The Best for Last

Window Licking 
The town of Beaune, south of Paris was an unexpected surprise. Each town, city or village we have been to has its own personality and charm.  This town is rich in historical and architectural heritage. Beaune can be considered the capital of Burgundy. It is a beautiful medieval town that is partially walled. Within the town are places of residences, hotels, shops, restaurants and historical points of interest that exudes wine.
Each year in November they have a wine auction. Barrels of wine are auctioned off for charity. Last year 6 million euros were raised.  
It is interesting to note that the stone used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York came from this town.
The first place we visited was Hotel-Dieu. It really is not a hotel but was a hospital for poor people built in 1443 and run by the nuns. 
  Inside courtyard view of colored roof tiles.

I found inside the hotel quite intriguing with beds arranged down long rows. Each bed unit had a curtain that could be drawn and a chair next to it. It did remind somewhat of a confessional in a Catholic Church. When the hospital was at its busiest during the time of the plague each bed housed not one person but two! This photo below shows a sister who would be tending a sick person. The rope hanging down was a way to raise and lower the patient in the bed. The metal piece on the bed was for heating the bed with hot coals. We thought it sounded like a fire hazard.

Our Paris arrival was just in time for Friday rush hour traffic. It was just like you see in the movies a real traffic jam with noisy police car horns. After checking into the hotel we flew and I mean flew off for a boat ride on the Seine. It was a bit misty out but passing by the Eiffel Tower all lit up was truly quite a majestic sight.
The question is can we see all of Paris in only two days? I will let you know how we do.

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