It’s the end of May, and it is time for my girls trip. The plan is to day trip to Dijon, France and meet Vicki, Vanessa, and Natti (2 close friends from Chicago and Vanessa’s friend from Brazil). After they finished touring Reims and Colmar, I am meeting them to finish our Tour De France trip; a day in Dijon and 5 days in the French Riviera.
Amsterdam to Dijon
I am traveling from Amsterdam to Dijon by train. I take a 3 hour Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, and then I am suppose to hop on an hour and a half SNCF train from Paris to Dijon. Arriving into Paris Gare du Nord station around 4:30PM, I had an 1.5 hours connection time to get to the other train station and catch my train. No worries. Wrong.
Train Connection in Paris
I am searching endlessly for my train on the board and I can’t find it listed anywhere. WTF?!? Seeking out the information desk, I am informed that my train ticket was for the train that arrived into Dijon at 5:30PM not 7:30…like I thought; #MilitaryTime. With only 40 minutes left before the last train from Paris to Dijon departs, I race to the ticket office to buy a ticket.
I text Vicki and Vanessa, that I might not make it.
SNCF Station Ticket Office
When I walk into the station ticket office, I am unsure what to do, there is a lack of signage and just a bunch of people everywhere. Finally I go up to the counter and the lady points to a line with a ticket booth; appearently I need to be assigned a number. I go to wait in line to get my number…which turns into a bigger ordeal than I anticipate.
Getting more and more upset with everything, all my high school French goes out the window, I am left with trying to explain to this man, at information issuing numbers, my situation in English. Well this man was not willing to speak or attempt to speak English with me. I kept apologizing in French (desolee) as it was the only thing I could remember. Still nothing. At the same time you are working information at one of the major Paris Train Stations. WTF SNCF?!?! Heart pumping, sweating, I have less and less time to make the train, finally a miracle happens.
This magnificent French goddess behind me, who overheard me and feels bad for me, steps in and helps me out. She first apologizes for the man’s behavior as she felt it projects the wrong impression about french people (which it does), and then she yelled at him 🙂 She help me translate to the Man at the desk that I had missed my train, and need to purchase a new ticket. Finally by the graces of heaven I get my number…just to wait in another line. 20 minutes to go… no pressure… Finally… I am up…$70 later, I have my new ticket.
I think I can, I think I can…
With 10 minutes left, I race back to the station board, but I have no idea what platform my train is on; the signage makes no sense. Dumbfounded yet again, and no time to spare, I ask the closest security guard. He informs me of the platform number and wait for it… it’s in another hall. F#@k!!! Are you kidding? I literally scurry back past the information desk, pass the ticket office, to the other side of the train station.
Drained of all energy, getting the worst shin splints, thirsty as hell…I made my gd train. Disheveled, I find my seat, and “very gracefully” toss my bags up above, while hitting 3 other people, and plop down.
I made it. Fuck Yeah. I’m finally on my way to Dijon.
I’d say this trip is starting off pretty pretty good.
Dijon Day 1
After an 1.5 hour train ride, I arrive into Dijon around 7:30PM. Vanessa and Vicki insisted that I call them when I get to the station. Like WTF are they up to now. Lol. I didn’t know if I should be excited, scared, or what. Like I just suffered a very traumatic experience in Paris.
I pop into a taxi at the Dijon train station, and take a two minute ride to my hotel; the Dijon MGallery by Sofitel. When I arrive to the Sofitel, my friends tell me to come up to our room. Greeted by the front desk, I wheel my bags into the elevator and out to the room.
For more information on our Dijon hotel read my Grand Hotel La Cloche Dijon MGallery by Sofitel review.
A Surprise at the Sofitel
Not knowing what to expect, I knock on our room door, and in a flash we were screaming, jumping, cheering, hugging. Sensory Overload. It is so much so fast, Natti is probably thinking like who the fuck are these people. It took me a moment to calm down from the joy of seeing their faces, that I quickly realize they decorated the room for a fun bachelorette surprise.
Our room is filled with pink balloons, bottles of champagne, Amelia Earhart helmets, goggles, scarves and more… a true foretelling of events to come. The most noteworthy part is the Big Mac in the center of the bed; #ImLovinIt. These ladies know me so well 🙂
Starving from my traumatic journey, I attempt to scarf what ever of the Big Mac I can, and wash it down with champagne before heading out. We attempt to explore the town center of Dijon, but it turns out to be more sketchy than what we are ok with; doped up people lounging on the benches, dealers selling in the Park, aggressive people walking about shouting at strangers. After 40 minutes of not finding anything, we decide to go back to the Sofitel for dinner. after all, Vanessa did make reservations.
Dinner at Hotel La Cloche
Still oozing with excitement, I can not stop smiling; probably look pretty creepy. To top it off we show up an hour after our scheduled reservation for dinner at Hotel La Cloche.
The restaurant host is not thrilled with us; rolling his eyes, he leads us to our table. We are seated outside in the beautiful courtyard of Les Jardins, at a large round table; Just like King Author. We get right to it, and find a bottle of wine to split; a great bottle from the Burgundy region. A bit full from the Big Mac, I go with a delicious charcuterie board, while still sampling a bit from everyone’s meal.
Wrapping up dinner around 11:30PM, we are hoping that the bar will still be open. It is not. I don’t understand why of all places hotel bars close early, they should be open the latest. We decide to just go to bed so we could get up early, and go to the spa. Or so I thought.
Dijon Holiday Day 2
Around 9AM I get a knock on the door…Vicki and I both in state of paralysis, both from comfort and exhaustion, let out a groan. I dizzyingly get up to answer the door and it’s Vanessa. Full of energy, she mentions that her and Natti are going to get breakfast and asks if Vicki and I want to join. I look up and down at myself and around, and I am like yeah no; #HardPass.
Around 10:30AM Vicki and I get another knock on the door. We are both like WTF…make it stop. We are in heaven in our blacked out room, on our big cozy bed. I gruntingly get up again and answer the door. It’s Vanessa again. Lol. You have got to be kidding me. Lol. Yes? Full of energy again, she mentions that the Spa has an opening, and wanted to know if we wanted to go. After a 15 minuted debate, we come to our senses and agree, the spa will probably make us feel better. It was free after all.
I call down to the front desk to see if a late check out is possible. They inform me that we can check out 1pm, which is great since our train leaves at 1:15PM. We all quickly change into our swimsuits, through on our super comfy robes, and take the elevator down to the spa. I’m so glad we did.
I am not even sure why I questioned coming to the spa in the first place. It made me, and everyone else, feel 90% better. The spa is pretty pretty awesome; they had a lap pool (room temperature), along with a steam room and sauna. In addition to this they had a shower encompassing different nature sounds, mist, various water pressures and jets; #youwantityougotit .
We were soon joined by a local couple celebrating their anniversary; mind you the spa is on the small side. We sat in the steam room watching them in the pool, making up a back story. It wasn’t until when one of us stepped out and came back in, that we realized you can hear everything we were saying. Whaops.
Anyway back to the spa, it is perfect: just what my body needed to calm down from a chaotic week prior. Definitely what the rest of the girls needed since they were all sick. After enjoying a few hours in the spa we got our robes and got out to enjoy some tea, infused waters, and some of the luxurious skincare samples.
Vanessa and I quickly stumble upon this glorious $300 plus face cream. Convinced that it could be the fountain of youth, Vanessa and I start lathering ourselves in it. Hearing us cackling, a staff member comes out to try and sell us products. Quickly we divert the conversation and leave. It was time to go, we had 45min until our train left. #NoPressure
After the spa we headed back to our rooms to pack up and get ready for our train to Basel, Switzerland. Like I said we had 45 minutes until our train left….you think I would have learned my lesson by now and avoid these close time crunches.
Getting up to our rooms, our keys do not work. Son of a b!t@#. We had to go down to the front desk; in our robes of course. What do you know? An entire bus load of guests are arriving right as Vanessa and I step out of the elevator. Classy. The guy at the desk is laughing at us, and quickly activated our keys, so we could get the effe out of there.
Dijon to Basel
The 4 of us and our luggage squish into this small hatchback taxi car. We have 10 minutes to get from the hotel to the station, figure out what platform our train is on, and then make it on the train. My poor shins.. I can’t even.
Making it to the station, we get on our train, and find our seats, and have about two minutes to spare. YASSS. We pop a bottle of champagne as we start making our way to Basel.
Arriving into Basel Switzerland’s central train station, we immediately have our identification checked; #Obstacles. After this quick scare we make our way out of the station, and out to the main square. We have some time to spare before we had to make our way to the airport. I was starving, as all I had to eat all day was a half of a hot pretzel. I needed something, and there it was. Burger King. I spot it rather quickly, as I usually do.
At the register I order myself the usual cheeseburger, small fry, and a small Diet Coke. I meet the girls outside. We attempt to open a bottle of champagne, but are quickly scolded. Apparently it is not acceptable to drink champagne at the BK lounge. Bougie.
After the mustard and ketchup is finished oozing down my fingers, we clean up and head back over to the station to catch a bus. Basel offers a free bus connection from the train station to the airport. Perfect. With a bit more time to spare we decided to pop another bottle of champagne. The only acceptable spot seemed by the train station. We walk along side the degenerates up against the wall of the train station, who are drinking and smoking everything and anything. Finishing up our champagne, we easily get on the bus that takes us to the airport; about a 10 minute drive.
Getting to the Basel Airport, we make our EasyJet flight to Nice with no further issues and with time to spare.