Since the 4-14 Festival didn't begin until 7:30 p.m., and since we arrived in Dijon around 12:30 p.m., we had plenty of time to explore the town. After a delicious lunch at Le Château Bourgogne, the restaurant at our hotel, Hôtel Mercure Clemenceau, we walked to place de la République, and then followed rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau into the center of town.
As we approached the Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne, we noticed two newlywed couples and their relations posing for photographs in the tree-lined 9lace des Ducs de Bourgogne. Confetti covered the ground near the entrance to the palace. When we entered the palace grounds, we found ourselves next to the Salon d’Attente des Mariages, where dozens of people milled around. The palace is a popular place for wedding ceremonies!
A sign at the nearby entrance to the Musée des Beaux-Arts announced free entry into the museum. As it is one of the largest in France, and an entry ticket into the Louvre museum in Paris costs roughly $12, we figured that we would be getting a great deal if we stopped in to visit. We weren't disappointed!
There are lots of works of art to view at this fabulous museum that date from antiquity to the modern era. Unfortunately though, we misjudged its size. We dallied in the Middle Ages and Renaissance sections, and found that we had to rush through the modern art collection before the museum closed at 6:00 p.m. To our regret!
Finally, we arrived at place François Rude, where a French band called NOLA was warming up. We sat at the edge of the large fountain in the center of the square and listened to them for a while. The saxophonist was particularly good!
We then proceeded to Les Halles, the central market, to see if the food stands were getting ready to serve. It was there that we had the honor to meet a number of chefs from New Orleans, whom I'll talk about tomorrow.