During the Middle-Ages, going to Vezelay used to be one of the most famous pilgrimages in Europe. In the span of a century, millions flocked to worship the relics of Mary Magdalene which were (and "parts" of them officially still are) in its crypt:
If we have just one day, we can just visit upper-Burgundy, only a small fraction of what Burgundy has in store.
If you're really interested in Burgundy, if you have the time (and the money), I highly recommend that you then choose the "Two-day-Burgundy" version (which is REALLY nice).
But if you only have one day where you can get away from Paris, if you don't mind the long hours of driving
(6 hours out of 11 or 12 but beautiful scenery + I make great conversation) in order to see something different, this would be the tour to do!
We will first have a two-hour drive to Auxerre (pronounced "ossair") where we will visit:
The cathedral and go take a little stroll downtown on the main street
Then we will have a short half-hour drive to Chablis:
for lunch (and a wine-tasting in a cellar of course!)
Then we will have a 45 mn drive to Vezelay:
The only drawback after this last visit is that we then have a 2h30 drive back to Paris. You can always
1) look at the scenery:
The Vezelay basilica is very famous (among Romanesque-art afficionados like me) for it's tympanum:
Boy, do I have a lot to tell you about that tympanum! But what thrills me even more at Vezelay are the nearly 100 capitals inside the nave with their incredible sculptures. I mean, look at this one:
Isn't that amazing? And it's only two sides of the capital... Now, let's look at it a little closer:
Some of you could be inclined to guess that it represents the doomsday scenario for perpetrators of sexual harassment... but there are two other more probable explanations... Do you want to know? I could tell you! I've indeed learned to "decypher" most of those capitals which are unique not only by their style and humor, but also because a lot of them (like this one) represent old popular sayings and/or scenes of every day life (hopefully not this one for the latter).
And when there's no plausible explanation for what's depicted, you just need to look at the hands.
Because the hands say it all...
2) talk to me.
3) take a nap.
4) check your emails (wifi in the car if needed).
We should be back in Paris between 8 and 9 pm. But, you know, if I were you, I'd choose the two-day trip to make the most of it ! Your call.