Mid October 2018

Leaving busy, noisy Paris from Nation

One and a half hours from Paris Nation by Bla Bla Car, Reims is in champagne country. Not far from the Belgian border, it is just north of the Wildlife Parc Naturel Régional de la Montagne de Reims, west of Metz and south of Lille.

Reims train station

I visited for part of a day and there is undoubtedly more to see. Julie, my driver, deposited me at the Gare / station (there are 2 entrances) and as we bade each other goodbye she kindly invited me to stay with her in a week’s time – she is a couch surfing host.

Very smart looking trams stop here too

Opposite the front of the station is a park, Square Colbert, which was completely closed for landscaping, and beyond that, along the Boulevard du Général Leclerc, are the posh hotels. At right angles is Place Drouet d’Erlon, along which you will find eating places galore.

And the magnificent Fontaine Subé, statue and fountain

I unfortunately chose poorly (I wanted a place in the sun and a chèvre / goats cheese salad). I do not recommend Café Le Gaulois – the food was very poor quality and over priced.

However, I did enjoy my kir!

The Catholic Église Saint-Jacques (Church of the patron Saint of the caminos (walking pathways, les chemins) in Spain (the one who gave Santiago de Compostella its name).

A beautifully simple façade

I found the Musée des Beaux-Arts quite by chance.

The black figurative sculptures look like shadows along the wall, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims
This is the garden a the back of the Musée des Beaux-Arts

The next stop had to be the cathedral, stunning against the blue sky.

Wonderful Gothic architecture of the Notre Dame de Reims cathedral. The place where 30 Kings of France were crowned.
Outer detail – angels
And inside, two of the spectacular stained glass windows, cathedral, Reims
The Basilica Saint Rémi is well worth seeing. This plaque is on the ground of the cathedral

Round the side of the cathedral the Carnegie Library can be found.

Art Déco entrance to the Carnegie Library
Foyer light, Carnegie Library, Reims
Detail – tiles showing a patient having his back examined, Carnegie Library, Reims
Window of the Reading Room showing books, Carnegie Library, Reims

I passed the Opéra, the opera house on my way back to the station.

The Opéra is also an example of Art Déco design
The Opéra seen from the front with Tragédie and Comédie at either end, and famous French composers inbetween
Someone has put up a bunch of dried flowers in memory of the ‘Martyrs of the French Resistance’
Grass is grown between the tramways – a good idea for Edinburgh?
I saw this on the window of the Tourist Information as well as here, at the door of the station, Reims

Reims Tourist Information

Reims Cathedral

Opéra de Reims

Carnegie Library, Reims

Musée des Beaux-arts, Reims

Bla Bla Car car sharing website – more ecological and cheaper than public transport – takes a bit of getting used to, but a great way to meet people

Couch surfing a worldwide website for people who offer a bed or couch to travellers. No money changes hands, but you are expected to offer something – to cook a meal or, in my case, give a Shiatsu.

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