Friday, May 21, 2010

Reims wine country sounds like France

This is our first stop on our new tour Villages and Vineyards of Eastern France.  So say with me, Reims, sounds like France without the F.  Yeah I know go figure, crazy French language.  We thought Reims would be a small village but instead it is a large thriving city.  Our hotel the Hotel Continental is just across the park from the train station and overlooks the main street, a mall like area filled with restaurants and bars.  So alive.  The fountain above represents the popping of champagne corks.  Can you see it, I can.

This is our room in Reims, it's really large.  The furniture is all fancy and the bathroom huge, this in France is a treat, believe me.  Most of our rooms have been big but the bathrooms smaller.  Especially the toilets, Adrian hits his knees on the door if there is one.  It's funny.  We have a new bus driver for this trip her name is Hilda and she is from Belgium, she is a riot.  So funny and her laugh is loud and just makes me smile.  Our guide this time is William a very quiet and soft spoken Frenchman.  He is very knowledgable and a lovely man.  Then there are the tour members.  Well this is where it all unwinds. Our last tour was great.  The people enjoyed a good laugh and a few drinks.  We had made some really nice friends and this time the people are just so straight.  Fortunately there are a couple from our last tour with us and we kinda hange with them a bit.  We just had dinner with them and even they are saying the same thing.  So we aren't just imagining the dryness of the crowd.

We had a champagne tasting in Reims, delicious, and we learnt the restrictions put on the vineyards and sommeliers that allow the wine to be called Champagne.  Very restrictive.  Did you know that in France mostly the wines are labelled by town or region, not grape as we know them.  So looking for a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay can be a problem in many areas, except the Alsace where they do use the grape names to describe the variety of wine.  All this I never knew.

Really a good champagne is hard to go past, so when in France why go past, instead taste and enjoy.

Roaming through the street of Reims, we discovered this motorcycle, hmm I wonder where the owner is. 

This mural on the walls of a couple of buildings in Reims, were interesting too. 

So today we are in Colmar, again not a tiny village as we expected, but a largish town, quite modern and in the middle is the old town.  Tiny buildings, all painted and wooden framed, shingled roofs, art deco and slassic style.  A real mix and match I'll post soon.


  1. Thanks for taking me along on your trip.
    Exciting pics and observations.

  2. Well, I missed a big part of your trip ! ;o) I can see that you have a good time and I'm happy to read that you enjoy our country ... even if eating snails is not one of your favorite activity! ;o) Don't worry, I'll make you taste more" normal" foods ... I'll show you our markets . I'm sure you'll love them !
    See you soon !

  3. oh i am having so much fun and cannot wait to see you in a few days Helene

  4. They went to Reims in the last episode of The Amazing Race. When you watch it you wil probably recognise everything.
    Nice places that you are staying at.
    Love you xoxo

  5. it was a nice town with really nice cafes and bars to have apperitiffs in so we did of course

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