Love catching the train, we took the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris. Such an easy journey, I don’t know why more English people don’t do it.
We some how managed to time our one night in Paris to coincide with the final of the Euro Cup final, which France was in, so we drop our bags at the hotel and head out to watch the game. They had a Fan zone where they had set up big screens to watch the game under the Eiffel Tower, so we thought we would head there. The area had a capacity of 90,000 people, when we arrived it was full, doh, a fair bit of security where guarding the fence, wearing riot gear and police carrying big guns…that’s one fence I not going to jump!. So we figured we’d just head up to the Eiffel Tower end of the zone and check it out, assuming we’d also not get in there either but thought might at least find a bar to watch it in.
Ahh the Eiffel Tower, scorer final or not, we had to stop for photos!
We managed to get a few photos, then we noticed that there was stuff on fire in the middle of the street, and that people in the crowd where throwing bottles at the police…..mmmmm this not great. Then looking more closely, we could see riot police pushing in towards the crowd and throwing tear gas and smoke bombs…..mmmmm lets get out of here!
As we started to make our exit, we heard a commotion behind us, we looked back to see the crowd running towards us….shit, lets run…..after a bit we stopped and thought let’s just find the metro and get out of here. Seriously, it’s just a game of football!!!
A little further down the street and it was a totally different story, people where standing outside restaurants that had a screen and trying to get any vantage spot they could to see the game, we still got on the metro and headed back to the Latin quarter.
We got back to Latin quarter and managed to find a vantage spot watching the game in the street and drinking some beers, this is much better than rioting idiots. Was such a great way to watch the game, a mix of both French and some Portuguese fans, all watching together, no issues at all. Our biggest risk here was buying warm beer from random guys on the street out of shopping bags, lol
Sadly, as you will know, France lost, but they took it well, of course they all looked very disappointed, when some Portugal fans where celebrating and dancing in the street, all the French fans did was just laughed or shock there heads in disappointment, exactly how it should be. Late night snacking in the Latin quarter, kebab and crepes!
Next morning, we read that the situation at the Eiffel Tower escalated and rioters set fire to cars and that the police also used water cannons to control the group, 40 where arrested and cause of all the damage the Eiffel Tower was closed for the day, I’ll say it again, seriously it’s just a game of football!
Anyway, we went for a meander around Paris, we have both been here before so we didn’t need to do touristy stuff, (lucky cause Eiffel Tower was closd), we could just walk around and enjoy the city, first stop was b’fast…..mmm crosaint or crepe…..Nutella crepe today….tres bien.
Just a beautiful city is Paris, the buildings are just beautiful, we walked past Notre dame, the louve and some beautiful buildings, just love this city.
Oh did we just stumble across a shopping area….oh well, I’m here…..so my scarf collection has now grown by another 2, but seriously we didn’t shop much, we out did ourselves in London.
That afternoon we caught the train to Epernay, the heart of the Champaigne region, oh yeah baby, real deal champagne here we come.
Before we start our day tasting champagne, we need some b’fast….ah yummm crosaint, I’m in heaven
In Epernay you will find some of the famous champagne houses, Moët & Chandon and Pol Roger. Along the famous Avenue de Champagne, a beautiful UNESCO area, you can walk past all the houses, some allow tastings, others are closed to the public, but they are beautiful buildings.
We did a tour of the Moët & Chandon house and cellars, which included tastings….is 10:30am too early for 2 glasses of champagne….no it is not! Lol
The cellars are a series of tunnels and caves under ground, in fact in Epernay, they have around 110km of tunnels under the houses storing approximately 200 million bottle of champagne…..I know where I’m going if the world is ending!
We pop into another house to do a tasting, champagne is so cheap here, it’s such a shame my pack is already full, oh well we will just have to drink it all before we leave France, yep tough life!
We then jump in a taxi and head to a tiny town not far away called, Hauteville, omg was just the cutest little town ever.
Of course we also try some champagne from the local producers.
A full day of champagne drinking in France, yep life is pretty bloody good right now!
Next day, we try go to the Pol Roger house for a tasting, but tourist info steared us wrong, they don’t do them,so I just got the photos, lucky I’ve had this a one a few times so know what it tastes like already, lol.
We jump on the train and head to Reims, a larger town in the champagne area, also with some of the top houses, Mumm and Verve, we had arranged a tour of verve. Similar to Epernay, they have km’s of tunnels and caves under the town filled with champagne. Originally the chalk was mined out to build the town, then they realized it was perfect for storing champagne. during the war it was used to house and protect the local people, but they never stopped making champagne, love it!
The stairs list the years that they have had a vintage year. Bottles are stored in the cellars for years in the bottles that we eventually buy them.
They ask for a volunteer to open the bottle…ok I’ll do it, mean I’ve never done it before, lol, well not in france!
Yep tastes petty good, must have been the expert opener!
Next we collect our hire car and start our road trip around France.
Note: we are not heading towards Nice next, so we not near the attack that occurred, I will be in Nice in a week, I will monitor media before hand, we are safe and after the riots in Paris and what’s happened in Nice, we are being smart about our choices.