In May, there are a ton of random holidays in France. This Thursday was L’Ascension, when Jesus supposedly ascended to heaven after being crucified. The family I work for left on Tuesday night for their house in the south so I had the whole week off, except for one hour of tutoring on Wednesday.
Honestly, I am growing tired of all this free time. (Boohoo, poor me!) I am only making a little bit of money from tutoring a few times a week, so my budget is limited. Luckily, I can entertain myself all day long by running, scrapbooking, parc-hopping, reading blogs, eating croissants, and bugging all my friends to hang out with me. I do get bored sometimes, but at least I am not stressed!
My friend Kelly is in the same boat as I am, so we decided to take a day trip to Reims, a city north-east of Paris. It’s in the Champagne region – my one and only goal was to drink my favorite beverage on earth!
Gotta love France – we hopped on the TGV train, and 45 minutes later, we were there! I love trains. 🙂
We arrived around noon. After a quick stop at the tourist center for a map, we walked from the train station towards the center of town. It’s a cute city, but it is a little touristy. After bypassing all the shops, we found a cheap Italian place to eat at for lunch.
Then we went to Taittinger for a tour of the caves (cellar) and a taste. The tour was fine – similar to other wine cellar tours I have taken. One cool fact I learned was that the men whose sole job is to turn the champagne bottles every day (this helps the sediment separate from the wine and drift to the bottom, where they later freeze and expel it) can turn 9,000 bottles in one hour!
After the tour, we went back upstairs and drank our half glass of champagne that was included in the fee. I was disappointed that we only got half a glass, especially since it was really delicious and I wanted more! We were also hoping to be able to pay a little more and do some tastings, but they only allow that for groups of 5 people or more.
While waiting for the tour to begin, we checked out the cathedral in town. It’s called Notre Dame and it resembles the one in Paris. It was built about a century later than the Paris one, and 25 coronations occurred there! The stained glass inside was gorgeous.
We also went to a tiny museum/garden, where we saw a cat! Very exciting for me… 🙂
With two hours to kill before our train back to Paris, there was nothing left to do but drink more champagne. We went to a wine bar and I had two delicious glasses of Roger Coulon champagne (the cheapest on the menu at 6.50eu per glass – I’m no expert, but I think when you are drinking real champagne in the region itself, you can’t go wrong!). No pictures because I was in champagne heaven. The wine bar gave us cheese and olives to snack on. I love when places give you complimentary food!
Soon enough we were back on the train to Paris. It was a relaxing, bubble-filled day! I can’t wait to go back and drink some more of the best wine on earth.