This is the first of several posts about what I did on my holidays, initially covering the first four days, with photos. Future posts will have the rest of write-up.
Thursday 26th June
Reims (pronounced ‘remm’ but most English people say ‘reams’) was the first of our two overnight stops on the way down to the south coast. Having overestimated the delays on the roads (despite heavy traffic on the M11 and A14), we turned up at the motel at 4pm, giving us a whole 3 hours before dinner was served at the restaurant. Instead of vegetating in the hotel room, we went into the centre of the city, since it’s been a while since we last visited, apparently (I have no recollection of ever visiting it, but there you go).
Reims is regarded as being the capital of the Champagne region of France, home to that expensive fizzy alcoholic drink of the same name, so obviously there were a few champange shops around. However the prices were about the same as we’d pay in England (and probably more than the Calais hypermarkets and wine warehouses would charge) so we passed on the opportunity to stock up. The city itself is nice, with many of the streets in the centre having been pedestrianised partially or entirely, so you don’t spend the whole time dodging traffic. The main square is quite pretty, and includes a fountain and a statue, along with shops and bars, most of which had tables out on the street as is customary in France (and increasingly over here too). It’s here that we stopped for a biere pression (beer from the tap) to recharge our batteries.
Reims is also home to a cathederal and various large department stores, which I had a brief dabble in, however I didn’t buy anything.
Friday 27th June
Touron and Tain l’Hermitage
Having left the motel in Reims, we headed down the motorways towards Valence, calling off at the amusingly named le Poulet de Bresse service area on the way – literally translated it means ‘the chicken of Bresse’ and this fact was reinforced by a large steel sculpture of a hen overlooking the picnic area. Bresse, by the way, referred to the nearby town of Bourg-en-Bresse.