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Published: August 11th 2012
Jackie met this guy outside our hotel and right away gave him a kiss!
Finally we did not have to wake up and jump in the car for another road trip. We would be in Reims all day, leaving tomorrow for Dieppe. Our plan was to tour the city including its cathedral, the schoolhouse where the Germans surrendered to the Allies (Eisenhower) and then tour one of the large champagne caves.
We really liked this stop. We had a spacious hotel room, with a good parking arrangement. The town environment was upbeat with lots of tourists and good weather. We walked a few blocks to the Reims cathedral. We learned that 26 French kings were coronated here. The construction on the church began in 1211 and is an example of Gothic architecture. Even Joan of Arc came here in 1429 to encourage Charles VII to first be crowned, then drive the English out of the continent to end the 100 years war. But what the heck, you probably already knew that.
During World War I, this cathedral was devastated by bombing, then rebuilt with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller.
After our tour of the cathedral, we took a tram to a location near the famous schoolhouse, known
I told this guy that since he was getting fresh with my wife he could smell this!
now as the Museum of the Surrender. We exited the tram just in front of the Roman Gate. It is always hard to believe that the Roman empire was so immense and developed. I never tire of seeing their engineering marvels.
The Germans signed the surrender of all forces in the morning of May 7, 1945 in this building. There was a good video with English subtitles about that day in the museum. During the surrender, General Eisenhower was in charge but did not sit at the table. Apparently, the highest ranking German did not deserve to face the Allied Supreme Commander. A lower ranking American general accepted and signed the surrender document. All the participants places at the table are marked and serveral photos of the event were on the walls.
This room was one of Ike's planning rooms during the final months of the war. Many troop position maps were still on the wall.
We left the school and found nice place for lunch. Later, we decided to drive to the Taittinger Champange cellar for a tour of its facility. We joined a group of about a dozen people for an English tour. It turned
We loved the energy this town has. Lots of people in the street and bars.
out that our guide was an American student working here for a summer job.
The tour was fantastic. We walked down a winding staircase about 100 feet (30 meters). The walls of this cave was solid chalk. It was carved out by ancient Romans during their rein. It was only 50 degrees at the first level of the tour. Later we walked down to the next level and the temp there was 48. The temp is the same year around without a cooling system. It is all natural.
There were more than two million bottles of champagne stored here and another nine million in a second nearby cave. If the Mayan's are correct and the world will end this year, we should all try to be in one of these caves drinking our worries away when it happens.
Once we climbed back out of the caves we went for the wine (or in this case Champagne) tasting. We liked them all but chose not to purchase any. But we will likely always favor Taittinger's champange in the future since we were there.
Since we had Jackie's car out of the garage, we decided to drive south
Do you like outdoor dining? We do and it looks like everyone here does too. We never saw so many people dining at the same time.
to see the wineyards surrounding this area. It is amazing how many grape vines there are. As we passed one city there was a detour around due to a "festival" going on. We decided to park outside the village and check it out. It turned out to be a small carnival like we see around the states. We bought some snacks and headed back to Reims.
So far, this was one of our favorite days. Perfect weather and not much driving. From here we planned to drive to the Normandy coast for a few days. Stay tuned.
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