Majella and I discussed our itinerary for today last night and decided to keep it simple. We had all day to reach the airport and no need to hurry.
We rested until 7 am before rising to shower and eat breakfast. Sometime after 8 am we heard movement in the attic space and Callum came down to shower and eat. We packed ready for our flight this evening and left after 9:30 am.
Since we had not gone into Dijon last night it made sense to start there this morning. Majella drove into the city area just before 10 am and found a vacant parking space on a street near a square. Some careful manoeuvring got our car into the space and I managed to get the meter to produce a ticket for 2 hours parking.
A little way up the street we found a department store where Callum made some small purchases. Majella also picked up a couple of small things and then realised she had not brought a bag. We walked back to the car to deposit their things and get the bag.
After coffee for us and apple juice for Callum at a cafe in the nearby square we walked up another street to the cathedral where we went in for a look. The baptismal font with an angel hovering with a pulley system to lift the cover was an intriguing feature.
We walked on round the Benedictine abbey and down a broad pedestrian mall where Callum made some more purchases. Majella spotted the Moutarde Maille store where we tasted and bought some specialty mustard.
It was at about that point that I consulted my iPhone for the map and saw a message that it was unavailable for 15 minutes. I surmised I must have somehow pocket dialled the wrong security code. How that happened I cannot imagine. Power off and on did not help. I waited out the time and was eventually allowed in but have been nervous lest our navigation and communication should malfunction again. Meanwhile we visited some more of the old town and then walked back to the car while we knew where it was.
Earlier Majella had seen signs for the Cité de la Gastronomie. The sign near our car indicated it was about 5 minutes walk away. With about 20 minutes of parking time still available we walked on and found a large modern building hosting exhibitions of regional foodstuffs. We looked around for a while before walking back to the car.
From Dijon we set navigation to avoid toll roads on the way to Troyes. Once we had escaped the city we passed through countryside of rolling hills covered in patches of forest and a variety of grain crops. Occasionally we saw small herds of cattle, mostly resting in the shade of trees.
We stopped at Saint-Seine-l’Abbaye near the source of the Seine, bought some simple lunch at a boulangerie, and ate it at a table in the square. Then we drove on toward Troyes, passing through several villages named something sur Seine. As we progressed the river slowly grew larger.
Eventually, about 40 km before Troyes, we reached the small part of the Champagne region around Bar-sur-Seine. There were vineyards on the hillsides and signs to producers and sellers of champagne. Majella remarked on how the signage was elegant and restrained rather than garish as was befitting the elegance of the champagne.
By the time we reached Troyes, which had not been more than a convenient navigation waypoint, it was 3 pm and time to begin our final dash to the airport. I filled up with fuel, reasoning that would reduce the amount we would need at usually inflated airport prices. Then we headed for the motorway and the quickest possible transit to CDG.
Even after we came off the tollway and onto major country roads the traffic was light or at least flowed freely most of the way. Our only problem was that we needed to top up fuel before dropping off the rental car and we did not pass a service station on the way to CDG from the east.
Majella drove into the airport area and then, after I switched navigation to a petrol station, had to drive 5 km out to the west. There we waited what seemed a very long time for someone two ahead of us to fill up. Once we had fuel we headed back to the airport and around several loops in the maze of roads to reach our drop off point at 6 pm, the scheduled end of our rental.
Relieved, we walked into Terminal 2, found our way to the inter terminal shuttle train and rode to Terminal 1. There we found a long queue already waiting to checkin for our flight.
It was about 7:30 pm when we dropped our bags and picked up our boarding passes. Then there was the long walk and conveyor ride via passport check which was quick and on to security where belt and watch needed to be removed, pockets emptied, and camera and iPad taken out of my bag. It took a few minutes to get things back in place.
Once in the gates area we went upstairs so Callum could get his McDonald’s fix. Majella and I shared a chicken and salad seeded roll from the Paul’s outlet next door. Afterward we went downstairs, briefly checked out some of the nice priced brand stores, and went to wait at our gate.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that there were comfortable seats. After my security experience and Majella’s rating of the overall organisation of the terminals and roadways as the worst she has seen, that was probably the best part of the airport experience. We have a bit more than an hour to wait and then near enough to 24 hours of flying and waiting and flying.