H/B/F 2017: Reims

It’s always sad to leave Paris, but the adventure must continue!  We took a train to Reims (pronounced “Rance”), which is in the Champagne region and another first-time visit for us.

Reims is known for the Marc Chagall windows in its cathedral, as well as–obviously–champagne.

Because most of the windows were destroyed during World War I, many were replaced by simple clear glass.  In 1974, Marc Chagall was commissioned to design a set of stained glass windows for behind the altar.  They’re incredibly beautiful, colorful and they tell a story throughout.

For lunch, I had a couple small plates of meat, cheese and a ridiculously good eggplant ‘lasagna’ (on the left) built with cheese, smoked duck breast and pesto.

Because Reims took a hit during both World Wars, its architecture represents many styles.

While in Reims, we took a tour of a champagne cave.

Our guide first explained the grapes used for champagne-making and the different areas within the region.  G.H. Mumm is one of the largest champagne producers, is the official champagne of the Kentucky Derby (among other events) and even has a partnership with a vineyard in Napa Valley.

Believe it or not, but there are 25 MILLION bottles of champagne aging in the Mumm cave in Reims!

My favorite part was learning the process of making champagne, which involves two fermentations, a systematic tilting and turning of the bottles, and the removal of sediment from the neck.  Read more about it here.

That evening, we ventured out of the tourist zone to a paella place Andrew found online.

On the walk there we did feel a bit like we weren’t in Kansas anymore, but our destination was worth the trek.  The place was pleasantly filled with locals, we had excellent service, and the food was delicious!

On our walk home, we enjoyed watching the light show on some of the buildings throughout town. This one cycled all the colors of the rainbow!


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