Driving home our plan was to do most of the driving on the first day and make it up to Reims in the North of France. It’s fair to say we got our timings a little bit wrong and we arrived in Reims a lot later than we expected. What we thought was going to be a 6 hour journey turned into a 12 hour journey. To be honest I’m not entirely sure why we thought we were going to be able to drive the length of France in 6 hours, but never mind.
We arrived late and crashed. Wanting to see at least a little bit of Reims we planned to get up early and go for a wander.
The shops and cafes were all still closed and everywhere was silent.
Reims is the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region and many of the Champagne houses have their headquarters here. Unfortunately for us, with our stay being so brief we didn’t have enough time to squeeze a tasting session in…hey, one reason to come back already!
There were so many beautiful buildings.
Reims has a beautiful, rather well known Cathedral, Notre-dams Reims.
On the outbreak of the First World War the Cathedral was used as a hospital, however it wasn’t long before Reims became under attack from the German army.
The city of Reims was devastated by bombardments in both the First and the Second World War’s with severe damage being done to the Cathedral. From the end of the war until this day there has been international efforts to restore the Cathedral to its former glory.
It’s fair to say the Cathedral is pretty incredible and has a rather impressive history to go along side it.
Because of this it is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site and for more than 1000 years French Kings were crowned here.
Moving inside, the Cathedral was huge (about 125ft high and 455ft long – if we’re going to be precise).
An exhibition of photos showed the Cathedral throughout the years, right from the bombings in the First World War up until today.
We lit a couple of candles said a little prayer and then moved outside as it was Sunday and Mass was about to start.
After a bit more of a wander around it was time to hop in the car and head to Bruges.
Reims was the perfect place for a little stop off on our road trip, it’s just a shame we didn’t have a bit more time!