July 26, 2012

Eurotrip - July 26, Dijon

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I'm not going to say that I didn't like Dijon, but I am going to say that if you want to take a multi-day vacation to France, I wouldn't plan on spending more than an afternoon here. For sure it has charm, and we ate some of our better meals of the trip so far while there, but it just doesn't offer the multitude of opportunities and locales that other cities do. I think what got to me was the lack of an ability to escape the city streets (or escape the sun). We wandered a lot but never seemed to find whatever it was we were seeking.

We visited three museums today, including a very nice collection at the so called "Fine Art Museum" (fine art means paintings), a church which housed some local and collected religious artifacts, and a museum which contained a history of Dijon and the Bourgeone region.

The fine art museum had a great collection of religious artwork and portraits from the 14th through 19th centuries. It was especially interesting after spending an afternoon at the Pompidou yesterday to look at the realism and emotion of these pieces. The day was not without some lightness though, as I spotted a painting with some seriously derpy horses (see below) and other crazy moments of old-timey poor taste.





 Of course by poor taste I mean excellent taste. The derpy painting also had a mermaid, and the reason I loved it so much was not even the derps or the giant monkey, but the surrealism of it, both in content and style. It was painted with the bold un-nuanced solid colors of the surrealists that came so much later. Across from this painting that apparently changed my life was Justin's favorite, a storyboard of a saint who would not renounce her faith even after bribery, being eaten by Satan (in the form of a dragon who she burrowed out of with a cross), flogging, her friends being decapitated, and her own decapitation. Of course it would have hard to renounce Christ after her own decapitation. Also there was a painting of a Saint in "ecstasy" which I'm pretty sure means she was having an orgasm. I'M JUST SAYING IT HOW I SEE IT PEOPLE!

The second museum contained various chalices, shrines, crowns, and other religous icons that the Lutherans swore off ages ago. There was even a chalice made out of bullets. Catholics keeping it real on the streets. There was a rad wunderkammern of bits of clothing and other things (hair? teeth?) supposedly from saints all wrapped up in tissue paper with their prior owners written on the outside.

Cabinet...of WONDERS


 Being a non-french speaker little of this made much sense to me but I think that's what was going on. Oh and I also saw a diorama that makes my childhood shoebox displays look pretty amateur.

Dioramas yo
After a really long lunch break (we were trying to stretch time and these places all close from 11:30 to 1:30. We went to this Bourginone museum. In case you didn't catch before I have no clue how to spell Bourgongone, so i'll just keep guessing. Anyway, this museum was all in French so we had no idea what any of it was about. There was a special exhibition about a guy with a ridiculous mustache who seemed to be a composer, artist, architect, and overall French god. There was also a video of him singing on French television. I'll just assume he's the most important man to ever step foot into France. The rest of the museum contained replicas of how life would have been back in like 1875, which while cool, would have been cooler had they gone back like 200 years. Also the museum staff watched us the entire time.

All of these museums were free though so it didn't matter that we were confused and, by the end, bored. Actually lots of stuffs was free in Dijon. Unlike Paris we didn't pay for museums, WiFi in our room, or water and bathrooms. Did you know that in Paris you generally have to pay to pee? Oh the humanity. We had the option of two more museums but I couldn't take any more of them so we just sat in a park for the afternoon reading while the local youth (and slightly older than youth) jumped and swam in the fountain.

Oh, and we ate crepes finally, which turned out to be the tastiest meal I've had so far! I ordered the cheapest one on the menu but luckily the waiter misunderstood me and gave me one with tuna, what I think was asparagus, and some sort of bechamel suace over the top. Tres bien! I don't even know if that's what people say!

We're on our way to Switzerland now and I'm not sure what to listen to. I've been trying to listen to composers of the countries I'm in but I can't think of any Swiss composers right now so I'm just listening to a piece by Liszt that I think is about a place in Switzerland. I really can't he sure though.
Time to swap out our silly French accents for silly German ones!

Currently listening to: George Bolet playing "Valle de Obermann" by Franz Liszt.

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