Saturday, 17 June 2017

L’exactitude est la politesse des rois

Rully, a village approx. 50 km north of us is renowned for its wines (mainly white Chardonays) and for its château.

Rully - Château
Around this château each year a "marche gourmande" is organised, about which I wrote a blog some time ago. Rully boasts 23 AOC vineyards producing Premiers Crus.

As soon as one enters Rully along the D981 one cannot miss, on the crossing of this road and the roads leading to the centre of the village and the SNCF station, a sculpture in stainless steel entitled "Le vigneron de Rully" van Alain Loget, a huge statue of a grape picker. However, these are not the reasons why we every so often drive to Rully.

Le vigneron de Rully
Le Creusot is the home base of the 241P17 (The Mistral), a beautiful compound steam locomotive built by André Chapelon. This locomotive is used for a number of trips from Le Creusot, among others to Aix-les-Bains, Les Dombes, the Loire Valley and Switzerland. Some of these trips are passing through Chagny station and continue direction Chalon-sur-Saône. At Rully, between Chagny and Chalon, the train runs on a straight track and underpasses a road.

Mistral - 2013
After having studied all sort of maps (Michelin, IGN) we came to the conclusion that Rully in the morning was the best place to take pictures of the approaching train. There is ample parking availability, it is quiet traffic wise, the viaduct has a pedestrian pavement, the train has not built up more than the usual delays and the sun, when shining, lights the scene at the right angle.

Mistral - 2016
The only disadvantage is that we have to set the alarm clock to be there in time, around 8h00. One certainly does not want to end up in the situation of the guy who turned up while we were walking back to the car asking us: "Has the train really gone yet?". French people are late by definition (hence the title of this blog, attributed to Louis XVIII), which is no big deal when attending a dinner party. However, trying to catch up along roads with speed limits of 50, 70 and 90 km/h with a steam train running at high speed is a completely different matter!
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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Café du Centre - Cluny

For quite some time now we have lunch every other week at "Café du Centre" in Cluny. When a few weeks ago we entered the premises we noticed a piece of paper, nailed to the bar, saying that 25 May was going to be the last day of business; that was the day "Café du Centre" was going to change hands.

Café du Centre in better days
We were always very attached to the atmosphere there; according to us it was a typical French, noisy café-restaurant where it was always so busy on Saturdays that those without a reservation were turned down.
We were unpleasantly surprised when we found out that Manu was leaving with all the staff, and that the previous owner was coming back.

Café du Centre - the bar
Not that we did not like the previous owner, but Manu and his staff had really grown on us. The reason for the change is for me as a non-commercially skilled observer a mystery, but there must have been something very fishy going on. Part of the staff had worked under the previous owner, and that they obviously did not want to work for that guy again makes one think. The café was supposed to reopen early June.

Café du Centre
In the meantime June has arrived, and yesterday, the second of June, a van loaded with cardboard boxes stood in front of the place. Inside a number of people were cleaning and reorganising things. The restaurant however is still closed, however It might open tomorrow.
Fortunately we passed by "La Nation" in Cluny's main street, and we decided to have a bite there.

Café du Centre, waiting for better days
However, we were completely flabbergasted when we saw that one of the waitresses of "Café du Centre" we know very well was serving at the tables there. She was only temporary helping out, but it certainly gave a very pleasant déja vu feeling being served by Adeline….
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