Reims & the Champagne Route – Sunday, 5/13/2007

It took us a little while to figure it out, but indeed the Champagne Route is not just one road. It’s a whole area. You think… Ah, we’re on the Champagne Route heading generally south, so we’re okay. Not so. But it’s a great area to get turned around in. We really loved being in the vineyards and seeing the towns dotting the green.

They’re cleaning up Notre Dame de Reims (pronounced Rrrrahs, yikes!). At first I wasn’t sure about the removal of the patina, but you really can see a lot more detail in the cleaned up section.

What a task! See the cleaned area in the lower right corner!?

Mom and I both found this more impressive than Notre Dame de Paris (the one you think of when you think of Notre Dame…unless of course you think of the Fighting Irish.) It’s also nice inthat there are informational signs inside that tell you about the building and history of the cathedral in French, English and German.

Sadly, some of the statuary on the left side (as you face it) were damaged by a bomb during World War I. That must have been heartbreaking. I read that this church was built by volunteers over the course of 200 years. Even though that was centuries ago, I imagine that a lot of pride and a sense of belonging come from having a place like this in your midst. These images must have been someone’s favorites.

Just a mossy rooftop in a little village on the Marne river on our way back from Reims. Blue sky. We haven’t had a lot of that on this trip.

We’d had a good lunch, so we finished up the second of the three cheeses with bread in our room. I climbed up the hillside behind the B&B (that’s it in the foreground) to write and watch the clouds roll by.

The Marne Valley must have operated on birdsong before the days of automobiles and trains. It seemed like everywhere we got out of the car in the countryside, we’d hear layers and layers of song bird voices. I sat here and listened to short calls, long calls, the cooing of doves. Behind me was a woods that Meredith told us used to be part of the original chateau grounds.