ABOARD THE L’IMPRESSIONISTE — Today is July 4, a holiday at home celebrating our national independence — a feat accomplished with the help of the French. And tomorrow, our six- day journey through France’s lush Burgundy canals comes to an end. Sad, but true, tomorrow we will leave L’Impressioniste and return to Paris.
So our barge trip is almost over.
I loved it: The pace, the outstanding food and wine and the amazing countryside with fey little towns, the capital of the region Dijon, and Beaune, home of a hospice for the poor dating back to 1443. Beaune is also home to Bouchard Pere & Fils, a huge winery where today’s tasting featured three whites and two reds.
We have learned to sniff, swirl and sniff each wine and have developed a well-choreographed (if slightly ostentatious) manner.
We have had delicious cheeses from cows and goats and today we tried a sheep cheese from Corsica. The breads are wonderful — some with nuts or fruit, other just a crust of salt and a definite personal favorite, a bread studded with tiny poppy seeds.
The barge has a hot tub we have used through the week and a fleet of bikes. I walked the tow path one day and loved it.
We have dined well and often. We have learned much of the wine-making history of the region and a bit about the Dukes of Burgundy. We have gained respect for a slower, more gracious mode of travel. Talk each night in the salon, the barge’s family room, is of who back home would love a trip like this.
All tours are included in the cost of the cruise.
July 4, 2014