Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paris: Day Seven, Saturday

On Saturday, we hopped aboard a 9:00 a.m. TGV train (record-holding high-speed train that goes about 200 mph!) from Paris to Reims (pronounced "Ronse"), which is in the Champagne region of France.We first hit up the Notre-Dame de Reims. Kings of France used to be coronated here.

J. taking a snapshot of Notre-Dame de Reims:

A pretty cathedral window:

The view from the floor under a candle chandelier:

Down the hallway to the back of the cathedral:

Han, me, and J.

Ken and Han photoshoot:

We walked about 1.5 miles to get to the Pommery Champagne house, where we did a Champagne cave tour and tasing. J. outside of the entrance:

Pommery was founded in 1858.

Pommery's caves are something like eleven miles long; this is where all the magic happens in producing the Champagne. We, of course, did not tour all eleven miles of the caves, but just a small portion of them. The flight of what felt like a million steps you have to walk down to go into the caves:

This room held lots of super old Pommery Champagne, and honestly, I forget what was so important about them. I'll supplement with some other interesting information...One cool thing about the Pommery Champagne house is that they produced the first Brut Champagne, which is the driest (lease sweet) of sparkling wines. According to our tour guide, Brut Champagne is the healthiest wine because it has the lease amount of sugar in it (about 9-10 grams of sugar per bottle) Hip hip hooray!

Okay, this sommelier in the picture below was a pivotal character in my life (dramatic, much?) because he poured me my first legitimate glass of Champagne ever. I mean, I've had my fair share of Cava and Prosecco (friends and I affectionately call it Champ), but "Champagne" is a legally protected name reserved for only certain sparkling wines from the Champagne region produced to meet specific requirements.

And here we go with a photo shoot. J. with her Champ:

We each sampled two: plain (?) and a rose:

Ken and Han sampling theirs:

On the way back to town, we bought pastries from this place. I got a raspberry tart.

Some fun graffiti on the way back into town: a girl with a pet rabbit on a leash, eeek, so cute.

Our waitress at lunch:

Our train wasn't departing for a couple of hours, and we were tired of walking around, so we plopped down in a park to eat our yummies and indulge in some more Champagne:

Once back in Paris, we hit up a cafe for J. to get some escargot. It was at this brasserie where I drank what I declared to be the worst glass of wine in all of France. Lame. Ken and J. at the brasserie:

Han at the brasserie:

We needed a midnight snack, so we ordered shaved lamb sandwiches with tzatziki sauce, which were out of this world. It was in this little sandwich shop where a man told J. and I that his father told him to marry an American woman. This is the only picture I have of all four of us from the entire trip:

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