Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Sunday, 27 August 2017


Hi, how are you?

We've stopped off for a few days in Reims (pronounced rance or ranz ) and what a beautiful city it is!  We've passed it many times in the past, hurtling down the motorway on our way south, but never thought to stop and visit.

If you don't need electric hook-up and can avoid the Port de Plaisance which is quite expensive (and has been practically empty the whole time we've been here) the moorings are good and free. The only down-side is the traffic noise from the main road alongside the canal but it's very quiet overnight so hasn't bothered us.

We've had a couple of excellent lunches out and there are many, many restaurants to choose from, catering to all tastes and bank accounts 😃

The fountains in the city centre are quite spectacular and as usual, photos just don't do them justice.

The highlight however, has been the Cathedrale de Notre Dame.  We're not "culture vultures" and are also very much agnostic, BUT we do like architecture and this cathedral has some of the most spectacular that we've ever seen.  I'd go so far as to say that we found it more impressive than either Notre Dame or Sacre Coeur in Paris!

There's a major restoration project underway at the moment and where work has already been done you can see how intricate the carvings and statues are. This is a statue of David and the display photograph shows it before and after restoration. Luckily it wasn't damaged by the fire that destroyed many of the original statues and only actually needed cleaning.

Even the lead gargoyles are pretty impressive

This is my favourite statue in the whole cathedral. She's  L'Ange au Sourire - the smiling angel and was carved between 1236-1245

I'd like to think that she was based on a real person, she has such a cheeky smile and looks to be telling the "saint" beside her to chill out and party 😀

As spectacular as the outside is, the inside is just WOW!

Unfortunately it was so sunny outside that photos of the stained glass windows didn't really show them to their full glory.  This is the main pulpit

and the marble alter

On the shadier side the windows were easier to photograph, once I could find a gap in the tourists that is. The cathedral is very popular and was very busy.

This is one of the newest stained glass windows, installed in 2011 and designed in colours to compliment the older, original windows.  It's not my cup of tea though, too modern for me.

There are two organs in the cathedral, a small one

and a much larger one

Surprisingly there is a type of cuckoo clock in one of the chapels. L'Horlogue du Chapitre was originally built in the 15th centuary and was installed here in the 17th centuary. It chimes it's carillion every hour and the angels above the clock face rotate as if on parade.

Every evening at 10pm the cathedral hosts a Son et Lumiere display. We haven't seen a Son et Lumiere before but it was well worth the 20 minute walk back into town.

The display commenced with atmospheric bag-pipe music and told the history of the cathedral with images projected onto the main facade.

Starting with the original church which was destroyed by fire in 1211

They showed how the designs were drawn

and then built

and then to finish, there were several scenes illuminated in multi colour


We've had a couple of really intense storms over the past few days, very welcome for the water but a bit scary too. The first one woke me in the middle of the night as it was almost overhead. Even with blackout blinds in the bedroom and my eyes shut I still "saw" the lightening. It must have been very bright outside! During the day it's been HOT!  Yesterday 29'C and only slightly cooler today at 27'C and the forecast for the next few days is more of the same......phew 😅

Bye for now, see you soon I hope

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