Saturday, August 18, 2012

Winnebago Nights (Part Sept)

So we decided to stay at Saint Bertrand for one more night after leaving La Mongie. But what could have been a memorable last evening at our favorite stop turned pear shaped when we chose poorly! Instead of going back to Chez Simone, we thought we'd give the other restaurant a try. L'Oppidum looked okay from the outside, located on the ground floor of the only hotel in the tiny church village, but it was a very frustrating dining experience.

At first it seemed okay with a few tables already seated with people happily eating away. But as the only man there sat us at our table, we began to realize it might be a bit of a struggle. First of all, my plate was full of tiny dead insects. I switched plates with the empty place setting next to me. When we started to order, it was clear that the man did not speak a word of English. And even though M could speak a few words and have not had any problems ordering at any other restaurant, turned out our man had hearing problems. So D took out his iPhone with a few French words downloaded to show him, and he couldn't see!!! AUGH!!! So he went away for a long while clearing plates and bringing people their food and came back with his glasses. He finally understood what we wanted. At one point during our wait, we almost stood up and walked away. But our curiosity to find out how the food would be held us back.

Hubby ordered the fish, I ordered the duck confit and I forget what D and M ordered. Since I ordered from the set menu, our man brought out a whole POT of soup for my soup course. I tried to ask him if it was all for me or if I was just suppose to get what I wanted, and by the looks of his sign language and body reaction, it seemed like he had no idea as well. After the soup we had a mediocre salad. After that everyone's food came except mine. We thought it would take awhile but when everyone finished and our man asked what we wanted for dessert, I told him I didn't even get my main yet! He did the head slap reaction and quickly brought out my duck. At least the duck was good. By then we were so disappointed with the whole dining experience that we just paid and went back to the crepe place to have dessert.

The next day we went to Stage 17 of the Tour. This would be the last stage we would visit. We went to the town of Loures-Barousse which was literally next to Saint Bertrand, parked on the side of the road and walked into town. We found a spot right at the point where the sprint stage ends and waited. It just so happens that one of the sponsors, PMU, had a whole stage set up there with music, a host and lots of give aways! All of us were given t-shirts and giant foam hands. After a while the sponsor trucks came along and we added to our collection of crud bits. It was funny watching the boys get in on the freebie scuffle with the kids next to us.

Me, at the finish of the sprint stage, dressed in my free t-shirt.

Our boys.

Cadel Evans is the second guy.

There he is again on the left. At least I finally got a good shot of him.

Hubby in his crazy wig and free foam hands.

I had to take a picture of the oldies all seated along the street. They were waiting to be pushed back home after the bikes passed.

After we watched the bikes zoom past, confirmed Evans is definitely out of the first place running, we started our drive northwards toward Dijon. I got a bit excited because it was not a Sunday and I knew there would be more shopping opportunities there!

On the way to Dijon we stopped at Brive-la-Gaillarde to have dinner and saw this vending machine. I have never seen such a huge vending machine selling all sorts of pharmacy stuff.

After we got to Dijon we ate at this truck-stop looking place. Hubby had to take a picture of the mustards.

We found a campsite in town which was great and walked a bit to get into the heart of town. We did a bit of shopping, checked out the mustards and while the boys sat down to have a few beers M and I did some more shopping.

Picture of the streets of Dijon.

That night we ate at La Dame d'Aquitaine which is a restaurant located beneath the street level of Dijon in a restored 13th century crypt. Although we thought it would be dark and foreboding we were pleasantly surprised to find it brightly lit and spacious. We quickly ordered our food and was again not disappointed with our choices.

Entrance of the restaurant as you come down the stairs.

Amuse bouche.

Duck terrine. Yum!

Fish carpaccio. Sorry, forget what kind of fish.

My fish dish. Fresh, simple and full of flavour.

Hubby's steak. He says it was staggeringly good!

Duck wrapped in bacon. Need I say more?

It was a shame I didn't take a picture of the cheese cart. I chose these 3 goat cheeses. I only wished I could have brought a whole bunch back with me to HK.

Strawberry, 3 ways.

Entrance of the restaurant.

La Dame is a restaurant that offers an eating experience with an explosion of ambiance. Although the food wasn't mind blowing, just sitting underneath a structure that was oozing with history took our eating experience to another level.

After we were happily fed, we headed back towards our campsite with hopes that there would be a shop still open and selling wine. None was to be found, but we did walk past a bar. Not wanting to miss a chance to have a few drinks before bed, we sat down while the boys got a few drinks and made friends with the locals. We met someone who claimed he was a butcher and that the lady he's with is his mistress! Well, we think he's a butcher, we aren't sure. But the mistress part we're pretty sure because he referred to her as the aperitif and that his wife is a black lady and they have 2 kids. The mistress was quite friendly and was trying to communicate with me. I had my phrase book with me and she still couldn't understand me! With all the alcohol everyone was having except me, it was hilarious watching everyone laughing and not understanding what was going on. I was laughing out load and at the same time telling the lady I have no idea what she's saying. We were also invited by the couple to go back to their place. Although it was very nice of them, we didn't want to be butchered in a strangers house so kindly excused ourselves and went back to camp.

Glad that we escaped the possibility of being butchered the night before, we headed towards Metz the next day. Only 3 more days until the end of our trip!

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