Travelled: 130 kilometres from Troyes to Reims, France.
Stayed: Reims community aire, free with usual services. N49.25003, E4.02153
By the time we escape Troyes and the DFO it’s well after lunch and we point the Hymer north-west on the A4 with no particular plan, but Reims is a couple of hours away and we agree to stop for a coffee about 4 pm and make a decision. We have visited Reims before on our first trip to Paris in 2010, catching the TGV out from Paris for the day. So we are a bit been there done that, but we enjoyed it immensely. Coffee finished we have found a small municipal aire close to the centre of Reims, it’s free and we enter the co-ordinated and hit the road again.
The Reims aire only has 8 places and we are a little concerned to see a motorhome leaving as we turn into the street. But after negotiating the gate we have our spot for the night. Close to the canal it has the park behind and perhaps a 10 minute walk to the tourist office. It’s still very cold and getting colder as the afternoon passes, so I get the thermal cover out again and fit it to the front of the Hymer. The Hymer has a huge rap-around windscreen and front windows (the side and rear windows are already double insulated). They thermal covers came with the Hymer and we only used it once or twice last year, but we have found it makes a huge difference in either keeping the sun and heat out and keeping the warmth in when we run the central heating. Which has been the last 5-6 nights.
Reims is situated on the Canal de I’Aisne and the River Vesle. It has a wonderful wide boulevard of trees and green space on the western side of the city. The old town surrounds the famous Notre Dame of Reims, a slightly smaller version of that found in Paris. It has the usual narrow streets and laneway, mostly with shops associated with champagne and brandy, however the city centre is very cosmopolitan with broad streets and fashionable shops, fountains, statues and of course a merry-go-round. It’s a little piece of Paris in our opinion, with its grey cream stone buildings and slate roofs.
It’s a short walk across the bridge over the canal, we follow the light rail tracks into the centre of town. Every few minutes a tram passes us quietly. A little window shopping on our way and we walk through to the Notre Dame and have a visit. The exterior was being refurbished on our last visit and they are still working on it today. We then continue our walk until dark and head back to the warmth and comfort of the Hymer for what proved to be a quiet nights sleep.
Michael and Pam