Reims Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Traveling isn't easy when you're alone. When you're not used to it, that is. In the summer of 2007 I got obsessed with the idea of 'seeing a part of the world before I grow old'. France, Germany,...it didn't matter where to. What a disappointment! The travelagents and touroperators I contacted had a good laugh. "Missy, it's August! There is nothing available, not even a broomshed. You have to make reservations in January, February to be sure of a single room. Come back in a couple of months."
Some tantrums later a friend of mine gave me a great advise: road hotels. They're cheap, clean, easy accessible from the highway and they don't care if you're a single traveller. Because it was my first journey I decided to go to the Champagne region and booked an Etap hotel near Reims.
After three long hours in a hot car ( dammn I should have bought one with airco ) I finally arrived in Reims and parked near a church. Churches are always on the map and can easily be found in the city skyline. Well, this one wasn't. It took me a quarter of an hour to locate my position but at long last I was heading for the city center. Remember where I parked, remember where I parked, remember,... By the time I thought of the pen I had left in the car it was already too late. That would be a worry for later.
When you're looking for a magnificent cathedral: Reims has got it. It's facade is one statue after another and it even has a 'laughing angel'. Just look for the one that is neat and clean and you've found it. Tympans, pinacles, leaded windows, gargoyles,.
After having passed the 'Hotel de Ville' I arrived at the 'Hauts et basses promenades' and since it was very hot that day I plunged myself on a nearby bench. "Hey, I'm doing it! Travelling...Woohoo!" Maybe it's me but people tend to stare at a young woman all alone on a bench ( with a strange grin on her face I have to admit ). You really couldn't say it was a quiet place because of one of the main streets passing right in front. Time to move on.
On one end of the promenades you'll find the 'Circus' and on the other end the 'Port Mars'. It was difficult to get a better look of this triumphal arch because of the busy road between me and the monument.
When you say "Reims" everyone goes "Cathedral". Well, I found something better in the Rue de Mars. Number 6 has three mosaicpanels which depict the making of champagne. All very good preserved and the colours are beautiful. And what a huge round (wooden?) door! Never seen anything like it.
Place Royal is everything but royal: deserted, desolate and depressing only with the skyline of the cathedral on the background to cheer it up a little.
I've never seen La Rambla in Barcelona but I imagine Place Drouet-Erlon looks a bit like it. Full of people ( tourists and locals ), shops and restaurants on both sides and vibrating with life. And is it me, or is there at least one pastry shop on every street corner? They had all sorts of cakes I have never heard of, and I am a bit of a connaisseur.
Don't ask me how I eventually found my car, nor how I found the hotel. It's all a blur to me. All I know is that I didn't get a penalty for driving in the wrong direction or ignoring a red light. Tired, hungry and already a bit homesick I had dinner in an Italian restaurant near the hotel. Well, I was still in one piece and so was my car... I wondered what the next day would bring?