Monday, October 10, 2016

A pet friendly Columbus Day weekend in France... part two

On the morning of Friday, October 7th, 2016, Bill and I were having breakfast.  I asked Bill, "When you think of France, do you think male or female?"

Bill looked at me with an expression that clearly said "WTF are you talking about, woman?"

"When I think of France, I think of females...  Like a soft, feminine, beautiful woman.  When I think of Germany, I think of a big, strong, detail oriented man with an obsession for precision."  I explained.  "Italy, Spain, and Greece all seem feminine to me.  The Netherlands and Scandinavia seem more masculine."

"What about Belgium?" Bill asked.

"I don't know." I answered.  "Maybe a very masculine lesbian?"

Then I had to stop and laugh because we were having yet another ridiculous conversation.  I don't really think of Belgium the same way I do France, though.  France is refined and pretty.  Belgium is like a funny kid sister.  I love both countries for different reasons.  It was great to see Belgium last month, but it was also a pleasure to visit France again.  I love to kid Bill because when I first met him, he used to make jokes about France.  He'd never been there before, but had heard a lot of his co-workers joke about how France retreated during a battle.  But after the very first trip we took to France back in 2009, he fell deeply in love.  I can truthfully say Bill is now a Francophile, while I'm probably still partial to Belgium.

After breakfast in Germany, we loaded up our aging RAV 4 with luggage and provisions for the dogs and ourselves.  We set off for Semur En Auxois and were rewarded with a mostly pleasant drive.  The only traffic we hit was in Freiburg, as we drove through the town along with many large trucks.  Once we were past Germany's sunniest city (and indeed it was sunny as opposed to Unterjettingen), we had pretty smooth sailing.

We stopped at a rest area for a potty break and Bill picked up some sandwiches and snacks for us.  I held the dogs while they barked at some horses that were in a trailer. I always feel badly when they bark at horses, especially since I spent most of my childhood around them.  Maybe some day they'll learn that horses are pretty cool.  At the next rest stop, Bill made a mistake and got in the truck lane.  For some reason, there was no way to rectify that mistake, as the truck lane led to a parking area where there was no way to turn around.

The drive down to Semur En Auxois is very picturesque and there are opportunities to pull off and visit places on the way down.  Had we not had the dogs with us, we may have done just that.



We passed beautiful Chateuneuf on our way to the Tower.  Later, we drove up to it.

I had told Louise by email that we would try to make it to the Hexagonal Tower by 5:00.  It turned out we would get there 45 minutes early.  It was no big deal, though.  Louise and her husband, who is a master stone mason, live right next door to the Hexagonal Tower.  In fact, though it had the appearance of an old structure, Louise told us that her husband had decided to build it.  They got permission from the town and he built a very unique little "Gite".  I told Louise that I had actually decided to visit because I thought the Tower was so cool looking.  Who knows?  The Tower may put Semur En Auxois on the map!

The Hexagonal Tower just opened for business in July 2016, so we must have been among the first to try it out.  Aside from the tower, Louise told us that her husband had built their home and they were just finishing up the construction. It's a very beautiful house.  I was impressed by her husband's work.  We were not charged a security deposit, but something tells me this might not always be the case in the future.

Louise, by the way, is a very pleasant lady from Great Britain.  I was immediately charmed by her accent and asked where she was from.  She comes from Kent.  I told her that my earliest memories are of England, since that was my dad's last duty station in the Air Force back in the late 1970s.  I was very young when I lived in England, but I still fondly remember my time there.

Once we met our hostess, we entered the Tower for the first time.  It truly is for two people and is definitely not kid friendly.  In fact, in the ad for the Tower, it specifically states that it's strictly for two people and children cannot be accommodated.  I'm sure the reason for that is because there is simply no room for more than two people.  Over this Columbus Day weekend, we really got a taste of what it would be like to live in a tiny house.  Here are a few pictures of the inside of the newly constructed Tower.


This is the yard area next to the Tower.  It offers a bit of privacy from the somewhat busy road that passes in front of the property.


This is the inside of the first floor.  You can't really see it too well, but there's a counter to the right that has a microwave, two burner stove top, a small refrigerator, dishwasher, and sink.  The house is stocked with cookware and dishes, too.  Behind the two chairs is a small table and chairs for two people.  Louise thoughtfully stocked the tower with books in English and French, as well as some DVDs.


Upstairs is the bedroom.  It is equipped with what I think was a full sized bed.  There's a tiny bathroom with a rainfall shower.  The Tower is on a septic tank system, so the plumbing could be fragile.  We did not experience any problems.  I loved the way the sheets and towels smelled.  I should have asked Louise what kind of detergent she uses.  I noticed she was line drying a lot.


Big rainfall shower head!


Tiny bathroom with sliding door.


Skylight offering nice natural light to the tower.

Our rate included breakfast, which Louise brought to us every morning at eight o'clock, sharp.  I had hot chocolate and Bill had coffee.  We also had wonderful croissants, bread, jams, yogurt, orange juice, and fruit.  


Very nice breakfast!

I must caution those who are attracted to the Tower that the stairs can be a little scary at first.  There is a handrail on the wall, but nothing on the side that faces away from the wall.  The steps are also a bit narrow.  Therefore, it pays to be very careful going up and downstairs.



As you can see, Zane was not sure what to make of the stairs.

My only complaint about the Tower was that the WiFi access was rather poor.  We were getting the signal from Louise's house, which made it pretty weak.  I couldn't get WiFi at all on the first floor, though it worked okay on the second floor.  Fortunately, I was able to use my phone's cell signal, too. Also, I would have liked a larger bed, but for three nights, we did fine.  The bed itself was very comfortable, albeit a bit smaller than what we're used to.

The Hexagonal Tower is in a good location.  Bill and I were able to walk the dogs from the Tower into the town.  I have some gorgeous photos of Semur En Auxois, which I will be sharing in the next post.

Part 3 

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