Posted by: David Stewart | July 4, 2013

An Ounce of Troyes and a Taste of Reims

These are from some notes I took about our Spring 2013 trip

Thursday, May 16

Troyes, France

Troyes, France

Reims, France

Gargoyles and statues, Reims, France

Troyes, France

Notre Dame cathedral in Troyes

We awoke and checked out of the Hotel Central in Beaune, Burgundy and started on up to the Champagne region. We had gotten a tip from some Australians that the town of Troyes was worth a look for its old medieval houses, so we made our way into the center of town, parked and checked it out after having some pizza for lunch.

If you have ever heard of a “troy ounce” used to quote the price of gold, then you know the town of Troyes, where the term originated. This is due to the exchange standards set in the 12th and 13th centuries. Troyes is also home to Lacoste and Petit Bateau brands due to its role as France’s historic knitwear capital.

I was really impressed by the town’s cathedral, which to me looked quite massive. While we were visiting, an organist was practicing and ran through Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, truly quite amazing. Check out the video on YouTube.

Troyes, France

Ruelle des Chats, Troyes

The old town has a terrific collection of old half-timbered buildings leaning this way and that, but the queen of the bunch is Ruelle des Chats – literally Cat Alley – where the old buildings are leaning over the street so much that their upper stories touch each other.

After Troyes, we drove up to the city of Reims. This place has been confusing to me since the English would call it “reems” but the French pronounce it “rince” or “rence” which would rhyme with “fence”. Also sometimes I see it spelled “Rheims” instead of “Reims.” Quite frustrating at times.

Our hotel in town was the Hotel Porte Mars, which is conveniently located right at the edge of the eld town core. The other nice thing about it was close proximity to a champagne producer (next door), oh and relatively cheap street parking.

After we checked in, we took a walk into the center of town to find the Notre Dame and the Tourist Information Center. The cathedral at Reims is very impressive and was host to coronations of all of the French kings. Today you can see old windows as well as some done by Marc Chagall in the last century. Outside the building are a number of enigmatically smiling angels and a statue of Goliath which is chained to the building.

Reims, France

Statue outside Notre Dame, Reims

We got driving directions from the Tourist Information Center to a large supermarket so we could refresh our supply of breakfast items, and then tried following them. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out to be accurate, which was not the first time this had happened to us, the previous time being in Beaune. Fortunately one of our phone apps like Around Me helped us find the massive Carrefour store.

After getting our food – and a bottle of champagne – we decided to go simple for dinner and eat at McDonalds. They had an ordering kiosk which allowed us to place an order in English without needing to order from their staff, which was a plus, although it was pushing the most unhealthy kinds of options to us.

Reims, France

Angel outside the main cathedral in Reims, France

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