We hadn’t travelled far from our hotel when we saw this charming sign in Reuilly. There was also a WWI monument and an old water fountain there, so we stopped to look around. Went in to see about the B&B, and were even more charmed by Meredith. She showed us the bright and well-designed rooms and we decided to make it our base for the next two nights!
It couldn’t have turned out any better. Meredith showed us to our room, gave us some pointers about places to see in the area. She and Bill (who was out photographing a horse riding competition) have run the B&B since 1998, if I remember right.
This is perhaps the most ecpressive soldier statue I have ever seen. I love this guy. He’s so strong and protective. The gesture seems absolutely unique in the genre, but it is so familiar and real. This place suffered a lot during WWI. Check this out and scroll down for photos of the streets in 1918.
The market was closing up, and we found a great dal on these cheeses: 3 for 3.30 Euros. Huh! Okay! That’s about $1.50 each. We stopped at a boulangerie and bought a baguette, an eclair and a tart with woodland berries on it and planned to picnic…which we did.
The cheeses are displayed on a rock in a little park just below Hautvillers, which is considered the birthplace of champagne by some. Certainly, it is by Hautvillians. Dom Perignon (a monk in the abbey here) tweaked the techniques and the types of bottles and figured out that three different grapes should be mixed.
This is our little Renault Kangoo! Adorable little car. Mom was sitting on the cheese rock having lunch in the wind. It was a little too much for this California-import. So I took myself and a share of the lunch down to the car, where I enjoyed this view of the Marne river and discovered the little pull-down trays in the backseats of the car.
There are all these little grave-marker looking things around, which identify the owners of the grapes being grown here. We also saw markers for Moet & Chandon, and for other world-renowned champagne makers.
You know how small towns in the States have signs listing the charitable organizations and churches? In the district of Aisne, they list the champagne houses!
Our tour guide at Mercier in Eparney. We went down into the miles of caves hollowed out of the limestone in order to keep the champagne at the correct temperature. Meredith had told us that the champagne might not be the very best at Mercier, but the tour was much less snooty and more fun than over at Moet & Chandon. We had a great time, and enjoyed the champagne tasting at the end, too.
Poked around the countryside a bit on our way back. Stopped and looked at truck gardens along the Marne. Went out for dinner in a nice local restaurant. Another fine recommendation from Meredith…who, I guess I didn’t say, is originally from the East Coast and was so unpushily helpful!