Monday, June 23, 2014

A trip to Montagne de Reims

Tuesday 17 June 
Talking to Axel last night, I mentioned that I was interested in seeing more of the countryside and some vineyards etc, but didn't know how I could accomplish this because I don't have a car. He tells me that he has a photo shoot at a winery and I can come along if I'd like! I have to be back at the flat by 2pm, so I head out for a little sightseeing beforehand.

More pictures of the cathedral because it's so pretty and all the French kings were anointed here which was a fun fact I learned. 

At 2pm we head to Champagne Duménil in Chigny-les-Roses. As we leave the city and get into Montagne de Reims, every hill I see is covered in vineyards and each tiny village we drive through has at least 5 signs advertising the various champagne houses based there. I meet Fredericka, the owner, and she shows us the way into the vineyards to get pictures to update their website. I entertain myself by taking pictures and walking around. 

Axel's friend Charlotte wanted to show me around the city, so he dropped me off by her when we get back to Reims. She was very sweet, and confessed she knew nothing of the history of each building so we agreed she could make stuff up because I wouldn't know the difference.  

At the basilica 

Saint Remigius's tomb

Charlotte then takes me to see some Roman ruins, and tells me that kids play in this park all the time, climbing up onto the arches and in the windows. 

I get back to the flat at 6:30 and spend the next 3 hours searching for someplace to stay Wednesday night and for a way to get there. CouchSurfing is great, but if you send a request and there is no response, or if they're too busy to host you, you're kinda screwed. Axel takes a break from editing, and shows me BlaBlaCar, the most popular website for carsharing in France, and finds me a car going to Caen at 11am tomorrow morning for only 20€ (vs 60€ for the train). Yay! So now I have a ride but when I arrive in Caen I have no place to sleep. I search every hostel website I know for an opening, but nothing is available. Gah. I post on the 'Emergency CouchSurfing in Caen' page hoping that someone will agree to host me for a few days. Mental note: plan ahead better. 

Every Tuesday night there is a jam session at the bar right around the corner and Axel tells me it's the best in the city. We make our way there at about 10:30 and I loved it. Whenever someone was tired, they handed their instrument over to whoever wanted to play it next. They played cohesively as a band for hours. 

We leave at 1 because tomorrow Axel has to go to a photo shoot at 8am... Which means I have to leave at 8am. Wah. But hey! Good news is I got accepted to surf for the next three days in Caen. Woohoo a place to sleep! His name is Julian and he's a legal advisor. Julian generously offered to pick me up from the train station so that's awesome. 

Axel shows off his ballerina pose. 

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