Medieval eye candy and Monsieur John Waters in Semur-en-Auxois

We had hardly arrived in Semur-en-Auxois when HOB started to worry: “But where will we catch our bus tomorrow?”  I was doing my best to oooh and aaaah at all the charming details of this quaint town in the Burgundy region of France, but HOB couldn’t focus.  Most places have well labeled bus stops complete with daily schedules, but Semur-en-Auxois was sadly deficient in these more practical details.  No problem, we would ask at our hotel.

Our innkeeper, I’ll call him Monsieur John Waters due to his resemblance to a certain American director, MssrJohnWaters did not know the bus schedule.  Monsieur Waters did not want know the bus schedule.  Monsieur Waters had rather discouraging things to say about our French grammar.  When I told Monsieur Waters “Semur-en-Auxois has a beautiful church!” he archly reprimanded me: “It is not a church, it is a collégiale.”

Having given up on Monsieur John Waters, we returned to sightseeing.  While I quite enjoyed the Gothic details of Notre-Dame church, I mean collégiale, HOB remained anxious about how we’d find our bus the next morning.  This is our usual conflict: HOB is a worrier and I’m the queen of carpe Diem.  If we were dogs, I’d be a Golden Retriever and he’d be a nervous lap dog that pees on the floor when the doorbell rings….

So anyway, Semur-en-Auxois is a pretty medieval postcard of a town, if rather low on spectacular sights.  I’d recommend stopping by for quick peek at the church and to bask in the medieval ambience, but if you’re taking public transportation, don’t ask Monsieur John Waters for advice.


If I told you that you have hefty ramparts would you take that as a compliment?


Now doesn’t this town look better without two cheeseballs blocking the view?



Pretty bakery—too bad it wasn’t open.  We couldn’t find a grocery store either, so we ate all the emergency food from our backpacks.



HOB all worked up about finding the bus stop.  (Just in case you were wondering, we guessed the location correctly and caught the bus on time the next morning.)




La Collégiale Notre-Dame, built from 1220 – 1639.


Notre-Dame interior.


This plaque and a stained glass window inside the church commemorates fallen American soldiers from WWI.


The 13th century tympanum illustrates the legend of Saint Thomas (the doubting disciple) and his trip to India.


Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to eat dinner and an acrobat is flipping in front of the table and a dachshund is resting his head on your foot?


A perfect illustration of what it feels like to fly in coach.



Snail hand!




How we got to Semur-en-Auxois: bus from Djon.

Where we slept: Hotel des Cymaises:  Price: €68 for a double.  Recommended: maybe—the location was excellent but mind your French grammar.






  1. Beautiful. How I long to explore more of France. Bonne chance!!

    J x


    1. Me too. Whenever I’m planning a new trip I think “well we could go to France….or France….”


      1. Looking forward to reading more in the mean time 🙂


  2. Looks a lovely little town to visit…not sure I’d appreciate Monsieur John Waters though…I might try translating into French the suggestion that he boil his head…


    1. Ha! Only if I could get the grammar right.


  3. I laughed out loud at your dog analogy; my daughter has both of you as pets. Thanks for the laughs (also, ‘flying coach’) and the continued good advice. Have a lovely holiday season in Chicago (if you’ve stayed home) or abroad (if not.)


    1. Oh my, then your daughter certainly has her hands full with these two species. I hope you have a lovely holiday as well!


  4. So, uh, what is the difference between a church and a collegiale? M. Waters is making me feel ignorant…


    1. Oh I still don’t know. My friend google wasn’t much help either.


  5. What a great architecture! This looks like a truly amazing place to visit.


    1. So true. The whole region of Burgundy is spectacular. I especially loved Vezeley, Autun and the Abbey of Fontenay.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: