Mid October 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
I found the Musée des Beaux-Arts quite by chance.
The next stop had to be the cathedral, stunning against the blue sky.
Round the side of the cathedral the Carnegie Library can be found.
I passed the Opéra, the opera house on my way back to the station.
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.