Just about two hours, by car, from The Renaissance AdT, is the charming community of Reims. Sitting in The Marne Valley, it is a relaxing and impressive place to visit. The rural "Charm" of France is very special, and if you get a chance to go, it is most interesting and historic. I won't be able to share all the details here, but Reims, has played a historic role in France for Centuries. Kings were crowned here, wars were fought here and some wonderful dining is available here as well! Here are some examples and photo's you may enjoy!
BTW, if anyone can add to this information with pictures, experiences, or questions, please do!
The Cathedral of Reims, is a most famous site.
You can see the Cathedral for miles as you approach the city. Currently being renovated, the entrance is both impressive and special!
The interior is very beautiful, it was a cool day and one needs a jacket to cope with the interior. In hot Summers, it was a respite from the exterior heat! (BTW, my small camera, and the person behind it, do not do this place justice.)
In spite of it being a rather dark day outside, the stained glass windows were beautiful.
Hope you can read this! Joan of Arc, played a role in France's Royalty, and is mentioned here. Most interesting!
This one's for you, professor! A wonderful statue of Joan of Arc!
This Cathedral has played an interesting role throughout it's history!
Close to the entrance to the Cathedral, is the Reims Official Tourism building. This is a great place to get oriented on the area. Furthermore, just across the street is a public restroom, with an attendant, and exceptionally clean. Note, the town itself is really clean as well. Now for some "Bubbly" sights!
Champagne, is the basis for the culture, and nowhere in the World is there an area like this for it's "Bubbly quality"!
Beautiful Chateau's and working factories have thrived here for Centuries.
Interesting places are found in Reims, one of the most famous and interesting I thought was,
Les Creyers is a historic hotel, restaurant, and sits in a huge plot of land that has a park like setting! At one time, it was rated the #1 place in the World to dine. There are no Marriott's in the area, so if you had just one night or meal in the area, this is the place to go.
The entrance is narrow and opens up to a "Stately" Manor!
Yes, the entrance to the hotel is attractive. People from all over the World come here for meetings, holidays, or just to relax. Today, in addition to The French Flag in the center, is a British Flag, as well as a Russian Flag.
The grounds are gorgeous, but now it's time to "Head down Champagne Highway", our "Throats are getting a little parched", and we must make it to Epernay for some "Bubbly" samples! Hope you enjoyed this, and please do add comments if you can!
PS. I want to thank our wonderful Concierge, Remi L., for setting this memorable day! He arranged for the driver, organized the trip, and has always been of great service. He is one of the few Concierges, along with his counterpart, Chloe, that have earned "Golden Key" status for their expertise in travel! Since today was a National Holiday in France, V-E Day, we got to stand in the middle of the street and get a memorable photo as we departed Paris for The Champagne Region.
Thanks to all! That's Laurent, our driver, us, and "Gold Key" Concierge Remi L., in front of The huge French Flag under The AdT!
Thank you, Jerry, for taking me back a few years, when I spent a lot of time in Rouen for my Joan of Arc book! Isn't it an amazing city? When I was there a couple of years ago to film the documentary with Ken Follett, there were signs of the French economy taking its toll on the city, and I hope that has improved. But is a city where you feel all the charm and grit of the best of France. Did you manage to eat at the restaurant La Couronne (oldest inn in France, 1345) in the Old Market? I often take day trips from Paris even when I no longer have any research to do in Rouen just to have lunch there.
It was a wonderful experience!
Maybe someday we all can enjoy a lunch at La Couronne! Did not make it there this time, but will look forward to it in the future. The town seems to be doing very well, and the "Relaxed air" of the place vrs. Paris is amazing.
How do we see your documentary with Ken Follett? That sounds fascinating.
Here are a few more photo's you may enjoy, hope they bring back fond memories:
Louis XV Son, depicted in a beautiful statue, note the Cathedral behind it!
My simple camera cannot focus on the real beauty of the stained glass windows. This is one of the beautiful windows created by the famous artist Marc Chagal.
This is the rear of this wonderful Cathedral. The experience is really special!
Will look forward to going back and dining at La Couronne!
Thank-you professor17257 for your suggestion.
Good question! I have it saved on my TV from when his World Without End miniseries was shown on REELZ, but it's hard to find a place to buy it (it's called Ken Follett's Journey Into the Dark Ages, a two part accompaniment to the miniseries). The part I'm in is on Women, where I talk about Joan with Ken in both Chinon and Rouen. Here's are some sites that talk about it.
Thanks profchiara for answering jerrycoin's question. I, too, was wondering how to see the Ken Follett documentary!
It's so funny that we're all getting different ads (tho not surprising). Again I don't fully look like the sausage I seem in the non-castle parts of the interview. Having to button my gold jacket (which I don't do under usual circumstances anyway) over a large microphone jacket sure makes me look like one
Very nice photos and trip report and thank you for taking the time to create the post. I will be in Paris this September for three days and have been inspired to visit Rouen by the various trip reports and discussions I have read on the Marriott Insiders. I am definitely looking forward to visiting the cathedral and city.
That is a wonderful idea!
I must caution you that with three days in Paris, don't cut your Parisian experience short. If you have been before, and want to get to the French countryside wonderful. There is so much to see and do in Paris, it will take you three days. Now if you want to go to Rouen, it is a two hour drive, (Don't know about train travel), and we left at 10:30 AM and arrived at 12:30. Then went to Epernay, after a wonderful meal at Hautvillers, and got back to AdT at 7 PM. It was a full day, but still relaxing. We just rode with a professional driver. I am not going to drive in Europe anymore, but it can be done, if you are daring to do it.
When you go, please share your experiences and maybe some photo's with all of us!
It is actually a huge cross near the (in my view awful looking) modern Viking inspired church of Ste Jeanne d'Arc. That's where she was actually burned, even though a sign in the flower beds planted nearby claims to be the spot. A few other sites include the magnificent Gothic abbey church of Saint Ouen (where Joan recanted a week before her execution) and the only remaining castle keep from the time of Philip Augustus. That's where Joan was threatened with torture, but not where she was imprisoned (as another sign claims). If you want to see where she was kept from December 25, 1430 to May 30, 1431, you go a little bit down the rue Jeanne d'Arc coming from the train station and on your left there is an optometrist's office, with a tiny sign over the door that correctly says that's where Joan was kept. You can go in and see the remains of the bottom part of the castle keep. And I agree with Jerry, the Musée des Beaux Arts is excellent!
There you go again!
You do this to me on just about every trip! I get home, only to find out what I missed while visiting Rouen!
This may require another visit in December! Would be wonderful to visit these sights that jerryl and you have made me aware of for my next visit. Nothing like a visit again to Rouen with a meal at Les Creyers as well as one at La Couronne!
That would be a wonderful day!
Thank-you again! Here's the plan,
Drive, (Actually ride), dine, museum, Joan of Arc sights, dinner, and ride back, (After a little Champagne snack)!
I FINALLY found the full Great Women part of Ken Follett's Journey into the Dark Ages. I am interviewed in the final third of the documentary about Joan of Arc with Ken in Chinon and Rouen.
If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, "you can't trust that sneaky French Court and their spinmeister Yolande of Aragon" . Thanks for sharing Professor, very informative (NFL GM's probably study Yolande's technique of reporting injuries) and entertaining. Excellent 'stage presence' on your part, the camera likes you (my version also had a bonus Godzilla advertisement, in French).
Thanks, erc -- that's very nice of you! I wish I had known April in France of 2012 was going to be a rain and windstorm and would have worn something more appropriate. The purple jacket belonged to the associate producer, since I didn't even think to bring a real coat with me from Maine to France.
Somehow I missed the French Godzilla ad -- I'll have to check it out once again!
It actually aired on REELZ in the US and Canada at the same time as World Without End miniseries (I think December of 2012 or early 2013), which is how I managed to save it on my TV, but till now hadn't found an internet version. If REELZ shows it again, they might very well include this as well as the other part of the documentary on the Black Death of the 14th C. Although I'm working on that in my current research, I'm not in that one, which was filmed primarily in Florence. A shout out to the great crew for both, especially Tilman Remme, Annick van Wijk, Jann Turner (Ken's daughter and one of the producers of the miniseries), and of course, Ken Follett, who is a master storyteller.
I admit, although I'm used to public speaking, it was very hard to get used to (though the people mentioned above quickly made it easier), especially at first when I was just talking directly into camera equipment. Even in the scenes we had to film in the castle keep (because of the cold, wind and rain), I had to look at the spot were Tilman and Annick were standing and try to pretend I was having a normal conversation. Challenging, but fun! If only the weather had been better...
I'm so sorry we won't meet up in Venice next December, but I fully understand as I have become increasingly decrepit. At least after having seen a hand surgeon he told me the only surgery he can do for my thumb joints would be total fusion, which I will happily go for when near retirement at 70. But it's not in the normal places like carpal tunnel or lower thumb joint, but the top, and there is no replacement except total fusion. It's actually a relief for me, since it allows me to continue working on my research and travel till I can't do it any more (fortunately there is no retirement age for professors, so I plan to around 70). He did give me what's considered a hard splint (immovable plastic) and it seems to be helping.
I appreciate the correction. Honestly, at one point I was trying to wrap my head around how you did Rouen and the Champagne region in one day! Though it could happen, that would've been a lot of driving.
I should've known this by the stained glass. Rouen's (less colorful) is much different than Reims. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. It was very enjoyable.