Van Life Weekly #8 – 24 to 30 September : Dijon to Nancy and back down South to Burgundy
This week we went from Dijon to Nancy for a pregnancy appointment, before driving South through Burgundy and visiting two gorgeous medieval towns: Langres and Beaune. Even though it was a lot of driving around, it felt great to visit a few towns and not just lie around!
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Monday: Last day in Dijon
On Monday, the public libraries in Dijon are closed, which was a total bummer because we didn’t want to risk using too much of the alternative battery to charge my computer for me to work. We didn’t do much once again, I stayed in the warmth to work and try and chase my cold away. It was our last night in our little nest in Dijon, and we had never planned to stay so long here. But when you find a quiet comfortable place for free and you have to kill some time, there’s no complaint!
Tuesday: Driving from Dijon to Nancy
With our appointment to Nancy’s birthing center the next day, we had booked an appart’hotel in town so we could take a shower and look decent to go. The check-in was at 5pm so we took our time to drive from Dijon and arrived right on time. Though the mountains were pretty much gone (the Vosges are nearby, but it doesn’t come close to the Alps that are close to Grenoble), the city felt somewhat nicer than our other city-of-baby-delivery option: Grenoble. We arrived right on time for check-in and were delighted to see the room was pretty big and the bathroom included a bathtub!
Unfortunately we didn’t have the amazing time we were hoping for since the room was way too warm, the air felt really dry and dusty, and there was so much noise from outside that we couldn’t open the window at night… This is when you really miss the freedom of your own home on wheels!
Wednesday: Visiting Nancy
We of course woke up with the most parched throats ever, which did not really help cure me of my cold, but I took the best shower I’d had for days, so who cares? We got ready and went to the appointment at the birthing center. It was really nice and the hospital nearby (in case) looked amazing and had great statistics, but we weren’t as charmed as we’d been by Grenoble’s birthing center. Right after the appointment we had a short chat together about both places and our choice was made practically instantly: Grenoble it will be!
Since we had the rest of the day off, we decided to go and visit Nancy. In all honesty, we were expecting a cuter and more welcoming place, but didn’t find it so. The people seemed suddenly much colder than they’d been in the South (and then we realized that we had spent so much time in the South already!), the city wasn’t that cute (that’s the curse of spending your time visiting cute medieval towns), and well… we didn’t really had any reason to be there anymore. So we went to see the Place Stanislas, of course (and apparently didn’t take even one picture!!), but I think our hearts were already gone from this place, so we didn’t insist and went back to the appart’hotel to rest until going back on the road the next day.
If you’re interested in going to Nancy by train and have a tight budget, we can recommend using Ouigo. The prices start at 10€!
Thursday: Driving from Nancy to Peigney (close to Langres)
After check-out we had a brief breakfast in the van and went back on the road. Our goal was to be back to Grenoble on the 3rd of October for our 1st trimester ultrasound the next day. We therefore basically had a week to drive back down, which was enough so we didn’t want to stress it and tried to do small legs of driving to not wear ourselves out.
First, we drove from Nancy to Peigney. Why Peigney? Only because there was a great parking lot where we could stay for free surrounded by beautiful nature and zero noise, and because it was close to the medieval town of Langres. Are you tired of cute French medieval towns already? Because we still aren’t, and I should really count how many we’ve been to so far. I have a MA in Medieval Studies so maybe that’s one of the reasons I just can’t get enough.
So we arrived in Peigney and found that great parking lot by a lake, which was very quiet and very peaceful. Some people were swimming in the water, fishing or boating. We had zero issues and there were very clean public toilets so that was great!
Friday: Visiting the medieval town of Langres
We spent a great night in Peigney, and drove to a supermarket to do some groceries and have lunch. Since we had seen from the road how amazing the surroundings seemed to be, we had decided to go and visit the medieval town of Langres after eating.
I was still in not the best shape, and felt pretty tired and nauseous, but I was also getting sick of staying in bed and really wanted to at least walk around a little. We parked by the funicular and went up to explore the town.
It was really cute right away, and we made a short pitstop at a toys & games shop to get ourselves two new board games. As you might have understood in previous Van Life Weeklys, we really got into board games since traveling in the van, and we were starting to get bored by the only two games we had with us. Well, no more!
We grabbed a tourism leaflet at the shop and try to go see the main touristic sites before I got too tired to go on. We went to see the cathedral, the outside of the Denis Diderot House of Enlightenment, the Maison Renaissance, and had a little walk on the remparts.
It was really cute, and the views from the different high parts of town are amazing. Since the city is really high compared to the rest of the area, you really can see very far and it’s g o r g e o u s.
When I started to feel nauseous and tired again, we walked back to the van and drove back to Peigney since it had treated us so well!
Saturday: Peigney / Langres to Beaune
After another great night by the water in Peigney, it was time to drive away again. I was feeling pretty okay that day, and it helped that the road was amazing. We were really in Burgundy and the landscapes were so pretty it gave me chills! I wish we could have spent much more time in this region but we had a very important appointment in Grenoble!
We found a great quiet place to park in Beaune and Simone explored the area a little while I was resting and working in the van.
At night we played board games and watched TV shows.
Sunday: visiting Beaune and driving to Saint Georges-de-Reneins
After sleeping really well in Beaune, I felt pretty fine, so we decided to have a ‘early’ (I’m a late sleeper so don’t think daybreak kind of early) walk to town. Once again, Beaune is a medieval fortified city and damn if it isn’t cute! The place is small and really gorgeous and it was amazing to visit, I loved it!
After going around a lot we had a late lunch at a pizzeria and I started to feel a bit dizzy after, so back to the van we went!
After a good rest I was feeling slightly better, did an arms workout (the only type of exercise I sometimes feel like doing lately), and we went back on the road and stopped at Saint Georges-de-Reneins for the night.
Tempted to go on a camper van trip around France and discover the beautiful Burgundy? If you don’t want to buy a camper or an RV, you can always rent one! Check prices and availabilities on World Wide Campers !
Did you miss any of our previous Van Life Weekly? Here they are!
Van Life Weekly #1: Road trip around Brittany
Van Life Weekly #2: Quiet time in Auvergne
Van Life Weekly #3: Exploring Bordeaux & Cap Ferret & Agen
Van Life Weekly #4: Agen & surfing in Hossegor & Seignosse
Van Life Weekly #5: Our week in Biarritz, France
Van Life Weekly #6: From Biarritz to Grenoble
Van Life Weekly #7: From Grenoble to Lyon & Dijon