A 45 minute high speed train from Paris and we found ourselves in the heart of the Champagne region, in the small city of Reims. The town is very quaint and cute, and served as an excellent spot to explore the area and the famous Cathedral.
The day we arrived, we wandered through the small city centre, really enjoying the slower pace and relaxed vibe after vibrant and bustling Paris. For lunch, Tim braved some Steak Tartare, and I tried a very small a mouthful. Considering I like my steak medium well, it was actually pretty good! After a day of wandering and some chill out time at the hostel, we had an early night in preparation for our Champagne tour the next day.
By some stroke of luck, we were the only ones on our tour, and with a fantastic guide, Marie, who was the same age as us. We had a very enjoyable day, learning about the region and the history of Champagne, as well as general good yarns. We saw the Abbey of Dom Perignon. Turns out Dom is monk, so Champagne was actually invented by a Monk! We visited both Moet and Chandon and the Tattinger houses, where we did tours of the underground cellars and enjoyed tastings. The underground cellars are very impressive and old, and rather cold! At lunch I tried escargot. Not as bad as I thought it would be, pretty much tasted like garlic butter. A bit chewy for me though. Our tour finished with a walk around the famous Reims Notre Dame, famous for being the coronation place of all the kings of France. It is a very beautiful cathedral, more impressive than Notre Dame in Paris, and older! It was actually destroyed in WWI, however was completely rebuilt by private donations after the war, many of them American. I managed to sneak away and light a candle for Nannan in the cathedral, I know she would have loved hearing about all my travels.
Champagne in champagne!
Norte Dame in Reims!
Looking out over the Champagne valley and Epernay
A we bit excited about being in the Cellars!
A bit of Moët
So much Tattinger!