Blogs from Champagne-Ardenne, France, Europe


Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne July 17th 2019

It was time to leave the beautiful mountain scenery behind as we headed closer and closer to home. Before arriving in France we had to make our way through Germany, we spent one night in Titisee Neustadt, a small town in the Black Forest. It seemed very green and lush after the high mountain peaks we'd been travelling in recently. Pine forests covered the hillsides. The little town left a lot to be desired unless you can count an Aldi store that is! We stocked up on a few groceries and 'self catered' there. A party of 70 British school children were due to arrive at our hotel later that day so I think we'd been bumped off into the annex in a dreary, dusty room. I have to say the children were well behaved but ... read more
Clock Tower

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne July 2nd 2019

Our next leg of the journey went without any real hitches. The roads from Troyes to Dijon were a dream, quiet and smooth ,passing through sleepy villages. After a few stops for picnics and fuel we arrived at Bourg en Bresse by mid afternoon. Not a lot going on this town so we took life easy in a local bar then and early night. Next day we were on the road by 9am. It turned out to be a spectacular journey. Every twist and turn of the road brought a new scene, each one more amazing than the last. Finally we arrived at our next stop high up in the French Alps. We had booked a wooden hut overlooking mountain views. A few minutes drive away was the town of LA Rossiere. A typical ski resort ... read more
What more could you ask for?
Sometimes the most simple things in life are the best.
Spectacular scenery

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims June 10th 2019

We’re off on an extra little adventure. Daughter no 2 is doing an experiment in Switzerland and needs a van load of equipment driven from London to Zurich. So we are going to be roadies. Or, more accurately, the old man is going to be a roadie. I’m just along for the ride. Does that make me a groupie? Probably not with my own daughter. We start the day by catching an Uber to the college. We’ve not booked an Uber before. The old man eyes the App with the sort of suspicion you’d expect from someone encountering witchcraft. But the car arrives and we reach our destination without the driver casting a spell. The van is delivered – 35 minutes late. Daughter no 2 is very stressed. However, the equipment is packed and we are ... read more
Equipment loaded
And we’re off
In Le Shuttle

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Sedan September 21st 2018

About 2 months before our trip, we booked a private tour of the Marginot Line from Sedan, France. We had no idea what to expect. Well, we certainly got our monies worth. Our guide, Richard Tucker, met us at the hotel at 9:00am. We piled into his car and off we went. This was the first day on our trip where it was raining. Richard began telling us about the defensive line, what it was, and what it was supposed to do. He explained there were many different structures comprising the line; small bunkers housing light machine guns, larger bunkers housing anti-tank guns with machine guns, Casemates, which were much larger concrete structures housing artillery pieces, anti tank guns and machine guns, and finally, Ouvrage's which were underground complexes with large Artillery, pop up turrets with ... read more
Fort de Sedan
Battalion Bunker
Casemate-3 light machine guns, 1 20mm Anti-tank gun, and 1 47mm artillery piece

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Sedan September 20th 2018

We hated to leave Hotel D this morning As it was fabulous. The breakfast was the best so far with all of the usual European items, but scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon as well. We decided to walk to the Cathedral area to do some shopping before hitting the road. The roads were a lot busier this morning as we headed to Verdun, France, to see some of the World War 1 sites. The Verdun area was the location of some of the bloodiest battles of the war. The memorials are not visited nearly as much as Normandy, and after driving through the area we quickly realized one of the reasons why. Sites are spread far apart and accessible only by small, narrow roads and very small villages. The American Memorial at Montfaucon, recognizing the US ... read more
France's WW1 Memorial
Early French artillery
French Cemetary

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay September 1st 2018

Quelques kilomètres encore avec un arrêt d'une nuit à Troyes... Nous commençons à connaître ce camping par coeur... ses bons emplacements et pour une fois nous n'allons pas nous promener dans les magasins d'usines car un bel orage pointe son nez à l'horizon... Nous aurons ici un voisin hyper sympa, très grand voyageur qui passe son hiver aux antipodes, une partie de son année en Corse et l'autre partie il promène avec sa femme et son petit fils, biens sympas tous les trois... Puis vient le bonheur de retrouver en peu plus haut encore une famille que nous aimons tant... Travaillant tous deux dans le champagne.. on ne peut que se faire gâter... MERCI encore Emilie et Raphael... MERCI encore les trois petits bouts d'avoir laissé papa et maman s'occuper de nous pour la soirée... Cette ... read more
paysages de villages
belle nature

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims July 19th 2018

This morning Peri, Janine and I walked to the Reims train station to catch a train to Epernay. Unfortunately by the time we worked out the ticketing system we missed the train. One of the best things about travelling without too many time constraints is that you can easily revert to Plan B. We bought tickets for the next train and had about an hour to kill so we walked to the main shopping strip of Reims and spent the time browsing and trying on outfits - and we were none the poorer for the experience lol. Back to the train station with time to jump onto the correct train and we were on our way. The views along the way are a constant 'wow'. As we drew into Epernay station we were all blown away ... read more
The hous of Moet & Chandon
Enjoying our champagne tastings
Cute pop-up Champagne bar

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims July 18th 2018

Up earlier this morning as we were being picked up by our driver at 9am for our full day Champagne tour. Our driver arrived very promptly - his name is Valentin. He had a very comfortable vehicle for the 5 of us so we settled in for our drive into the country. Tour starts at 9 - our driver Valantine picked us up in his very nice car. We headed towards the area that captures villages such as Verzy, Verzenay and Ludes. Our first stop was at the Champagne house of Hughes Godme. This tour takes us to mostly boutique champagne houses - of which we found out there are around 200 of in this area. The lady we met is married is the owner with her husband and i think we caught her out not ... read more
A small selection of champagne bottles
Now that's a champagne glass!
Louise, Janine, Sue and Peri

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims July 17th 2018

This morning we are booked into the tour of Taittinger at 11:15am so we all had breakfast together and then spent time getting 5 girls showered and dressed - which is challenging as there is only 1 shower in the apartment. There is a bath with a hand held shower head but the bathroom is the walkway to the bedroom Peri, Sue and Lou are in so that is also interesting! We knew it was about a 30 minute walk so we set off with plenty of time to spare so we could take in the sights along the way. We arrived in time - to find out Janine had booked us on the French speaking tour haha. We were able to rescedule to the 11:45 English speaking tour but we were also aware that would ... read more
The birthday girl in her favourite place!
Inside the 'caves' of Taittinger
Why don't we get all these options of bottle size in Australia?

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