Our Barge, Odysseus

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reims, again June 5-6

Last year after we left the boat at Pont a Bar, we stopped in Reims for a couple of days on our way to Paris. This year we visited by boat. The town marina is in a very loud place, right across from one of the main highways in France and the traffic noise never stops. We found a free bankside tieup just a little way down the canal; it was still loud but the traffic was much lighter at night. We arrived on Thursday afternoon about 4 but our chores began in earnest on Friday. We had to visit a grocery store for some provisioning; the wine stock was getting low, and there is the great market on Saturday. The weather on Friday was pretty good so after the supermarket trip we visited the other big church in town, the St. Remi Basillica. The church, begun in the 11th century, is named for the bishop who crowned King Clovis, the first of the French kings. Many of the ancient French kings are buried there.

Also, of course, Reims is the headquarters of some of the largest and oldest champagne houses in France. We didn't actually taste any champaign in Reims (that comes later), but we did walk around the grounds of the Pommery house. As you can see, it's not the least bit ostentatious.

Sunday the weather had deteriorated and we decided to move on deeper in to the champagne region. We weren't exactly wearing champagne flutes around our necks as they do on some of the vineyard tours but we were mighty thirsty!

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