Wednesday 20th July dawned another scorcher, heading for 35° in the shade. We were up 7am and on a train bound for Dijon at 8.56am. Very specific at SNCF (France’s National Railway) and usually on time. It’s amusing to think it will take us weeks to arrive in Dijon by boat but just 40 minutes by train.
Our mission was to recharge our wifi (pronounced weefee here). Coming up is our saga to date so feel free to skip this next bit. Somehow we’ve burnt through €80 (10gigs) in one month. Frightening really. We have an Orange dongle thingie and as we have no French bank account or credit card we cannot have a monthly account which leaves prepay and to recharge online you must have a French credit card. Very frustrating as the only option left is going to an Orange shop of which there are few, especially in rural Burgundy we the canals are). We did once try buying a top up card from a Relay shop but couldn’t get through to the number on our French mobile. Someone told us you need to use a landline. I did ask a Frenchman what is the word for a landline but he had no idea to what I was referring.
Anyway last week we biked the 23km round trip from Tanlay to the closest railway station to try to get a train to Dijon. It was closed. The station, not Dijon. However a nice man informed us we would have to take a train from Montbard, a few days away, as it was the closest town on the route to Dijon. So that is what we did. The cost of our day trip from Montbard to Dijon was €43 for the train, €12 at McWifi opposite while we waited for the Orange shop to open (10am), €80 for 10gigs and, would you believe, €9 fee for the Orange employee to call on an Orange phone to the Orange recharge line to top up our Orange dongle. We are over Orange. To us it has become more red than orange. We need a better solution. We need unlimited internet for six months in Europe so any ideas please let me know. Thanks. End of rant.
While in Dijon we decided we needed a nice bit of culture to counteract all those annoying technological hassles (I know, first world problems) so we headed off to the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne to the Musée des Beaux-Arts. In this excellent collection they have thousands of paintings, sculptures, drawings, armour etc centred around Burgundian history from the end of the Middle Ages until the late 19th century. Well worth a visit. Free to enter but if you have a bag, after it is searched, you must pay for a locker. So not free really, is it. Hmmm.
So a wee day trip that was far from cheap but now we have our human right to be online back, albeit lightly used now as we try to stretch this 10gigs until October.