This morning the sun woke us up in the Capital of the Champagne region – Reims. We slept quite later after the long day of driving yesterday, but we looked forward to exploring this new French city. We had also arranged with our host so that she had booked a tour at one of the champagne houses for us. Many exciting things were ahead of us.
First Attempt to Explore Reims: Little A in a Baby Carrier
Little A has been happy from time to time to be carried around in a baby carrier. We are also staying in an apartment with no elevator. So since we were hoping to not need to carry the pram down the stairs we opted to try also the carrier today.
It started really well and Little A was happy for the first kilometer of walking. We had reached the main sight of Reims – the cathedral – when she started to get annoyed. The heat might have had something to do with it, as the temperature was rising. Suddenly she did not want to be stuck in the baby carrier. She really made sure to tell us (and everyone around us) about it and we had caught a quick glance of the cathedral before heading back to the apartment. Once back she was happy again and we started to plan the rest of the day.
The cathedral is an impressive sight and it towers over the city. Therefore, we bumped into it quite a few times during our day in Reims. It is also a place of historical importance, as many French kings were crowned there. The towers are 81 meters tall. I really felt small next to this construction.
Second Attempt to Explore Reims: Little A Back in her Pram
We had the tour at the champagne house booked for 15:10 in the afternoon and it was already nearing lunchtime. So, we carried the pram down the stairs and started our second attempt to explore Reims., This time we started with a small lunch at a bakery in the center. We decided to go to La Porte de Mars – the Roman arc. It was just a short walk from the cathedral, but we were not able to see it. Once we arrived we could see that it was completely covered by plastics. There was an apparently a restoration work going on. Instead, we turned around and started to walk towards the champagne house. We knew we were in the right place when stepped through the gates to a castle-like building.
Champagne Tasting at Vranken Pommery
The main event of the day was the tour of the champagne house Vranken Pommery. For 20 euros per person, we got a 1 hour guided tour in English as well as a glass of champagne. An additional 10 euros gave you an extra glass of champagne, which we declined to do. We had decided to carry Little A in the baby carrier again and she seemed to enjoy it lots more when we got down in the cellars. It was around 10 degrees in the cellar and I guess that Little A is a bit like Jesper and prefers it not being too hot.
Little A was satisfied for about half an hour Then she again told us that she wasn’t happy with being carried around in the baby carrier. Instead, Jesper had to walk around with her on the shoulder so that she could see what was going on. That worked almost for the rest of the time. Once back up it was just to sit down and ensure that Little A’s needs were fulfilled.
How about the tasting of the champagne? We had a glass each of the standard champagne. We quite enjoyed tasting it. As we are no experts we were not able to distinguish it from other sparkling wines. There was a more exclusive champagne to try for the people who had paid for a second glass. But we were quite lucky. They had miscounted the number of glasses and had one glass too many of the second champagne. We got it for free. Who says no to that? And yes, it was possible to taste the difference when it came to the more exclusive champagne. Both were tasty!
An Evening in Reims
After the wine tasting, we went to the supermarket to stock up on goodies from Reims. With so much fun going on, it’s sometimes easy to forget to eat. At about 7 p.m. we noticed that we were starving, and after checking out a few different places, we found an Italian restaurant. Imagine that, we ate Italian food in France. The food was good and everyone was really understanding about the baby. Two ladies admired us while I was feeding her. Err. It seemed like Little A didn’t really enjoy all the noise. She told us – for one last time – that she had had enough for the day. Once we left the restaurant, she kept laughing all the way home.
We are staying two nights in a room (through Airbnb) near the historical center of Reims. Our host has been really nice and helpful, even though we’ve mostly communicated through Google Translate. The room itself is very cozy.
Tomorrow we will leave Reims and continue towards Metz, a new destination for many more adventures.