Its been a fantastic week in Reims, and we have 8 empty champagne bottles to show for it! We are off to Paris for 2 nights, assuming the torrential rains or the rail strike doesn’t interfere. Then we will kick off the Nordics leg of the journey in Copenhagen!
So language in Reims was a bit difficult – I had about 6 weeks of French in high school, which has certainly been better than nothing. And as a vegetarian, I haven’t been eating especially well (other than our lunch at a 2-Michelin starred restaurant). Don’t get me wrong – the cheese & bread is delicious, but I haven’t had much else during our time here.
The German had a great observation – every culture has some stereotypical thing you see people carrying as they walk down the street. In the UK, its usually an umbrella. In the US, its usually a Starbucks cup. And here, its baguettes. Seriously. We can’t take more than a few steps outside of the apartment without seeing someone walking down the street with a baguette. Yesterday we saw someone running down the street with a baguette, like there was some kind of baguette emergency.
Also, everyone smokes here. They really are living up to the stereotype of smoking Gallouis cigarettes and carrying baguettes down the street.
Another thing which struck me about Reims is that everything closes for about 2 hours midday for lunch (other than restaurants, of course). Shops close, kids go home from school, and everyone stops and eats. As someone who ate lunch at her desk for the past several years, I was really struck by how nice it seemed that everyone stopped and took a midday break. I don’t know if people in offices get to do the same, but I hope so…