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Champagne Itinerary

Day 3

Monday. Pontavert to Reims.

Quiet roads today, and a lovely dedicated cycle route into the heart of Reims that takes us to the Hotel Azur.
Now we're in Champagne. Because of the huge demand for Champagne, vines are planted everywhere they can find the space for a vine. Se we'll see lots of beautiful vineyards on our way to our first tasting, at Bourdaire Gallois, where David Bourdaire will introduce us to how Champagne CAN taste. It can taste like this - it's just that it usally doesn't.
More vineyards, and a lovely descent into Reims. This afternoon we'll visit one of the greatest cathedrals in France, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Reims.  There's too much to see in Reims in one day. We're back here on Thursday, so today we'll visit the Cathedral and the next-door Tau Palace, where many of the Cathedral treasures and statues are displayed.
This was the site for the coronations of the French Kings & Queens (and 1 emperor). It is fantastic. Firstly, it's huge. Secondly, man-oh-man, those windows! I met a German guy in this cathedral who told me he thought it was the best Cathedral in France after Notre Dame. But I think Reims' stained-glass windows are better.
Having survived the French Revolution, the cathedral was massively damaged during the First World War - Reims was almost flattened, 80% of its bulidings were ruined. The cathedral lost its roof. All the remaining windows were destroyed when the lead melted. When you're looking at this incredible building, look more carefully. Most of it is new!
Next door is the Tau Palace.  As well as seeing some beautiful statues and artefacts, visiting the musuem in the Tau Palace means we can take a tour up the towers of the cathedral.
Distance = 32 Km / 20 miles.


Click this link for Day 3 route map on mapometer.

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