We found a nice spot in a campsite in Beaune with little lizards climbing the
wall next to us. We stayed there for a couple nights checking out
the town, the amazing Hotel-Dieu des Hospices and treating ourselves to some
traditional French food. We went to a very porky deli for lunch one of the
Then we had snales (escargots), beef bourguignon, poached pears in a
blackcurrant souse followed by a cheese plate one evening. It went down well
with with some local red wine but we could hardly get ourselves back to the van
for being so full.
Anyway it wasn’t all about the food though this town was seriously into it… The
Hotel-Dieu was founded in 1443 and used as a hospital until 1971. The roof,
with bright multicolored tiles, made it without a doubt the best looking
hospital I have ever seen. No expense was spared in the hospitals design and
the place was quite spectacular.
The nurses were all nuns. In the halls in which the patients were nursed there
were also chapels in which they prayed. The beds were in rows down each side of
the hall each with a little table and chair at each bedside. The nuns would pop
around the back of the bedside row to perform care in private.
The multitasking nuns were taught how to make drugs for their patients in the
pharmacy. It was interesting to look around a pharmacy from the 18th century
with bottles of interesting ingredients such as woodlouse powder!
In the kitchen I particularly liked the swan neck taps. Perhaps one day when I
don’t live in a van…