Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Flashback: 2007 European Vacation Part 1, The Champagne Region of France

Those of you that read The Big Finn's Big Blog know that my wife and I vacationed with the TBFs this past May. Although TBF has already blogged about it, I have yet to post my take on that here we go!

We departed from Chicago on the afternoon of May 16th and landed in Basel the next day at around noon. The TBFs picked us up at the airport, dropped some of our bags at their house and soon we were on the road headed for the Champagne region of France.

I am not at all at ease with air travel, so consequently I do not sleep while flying. My wife does a bit better with air travel and will nap occasionally while we fly. As a result of 13 hours of air travel with little sleep, we both were pretty tired during the 4 hour plus drive to France. As you can see from the above picture, Mrs. Colon Blow finally gave into sleep while in the car by diving into a pile of pillows and blankets.

The next day we drove into Epernay, and toured the Moet Chandon facility. I really did not know what to expect when we toured the grounds. I guess in my mind I was thinking that it would look much like an assembly line plant, similar to a beer brewery.

I was amazed by the network of underground tunnels and cellars under the facility and the surrounding streets filled with thousands of bottles of champagne! I never imagined that the process of making champagne was so slow, manual and very old world.

That same day we walked through the vineyards surrounding Epernay. We found the scenery and surroundings to be quite beautiful and serene.

The next day, we traveled to Reims to visit and tour the Pommery champagne house. We experienced much of the same in terms of the tunnels and cellars, but this house made it a point to place some very interesting art and lighting throughout the cellars which made the tour a very visually stimulating experience.

Finally, I must mention the hotel that we stayed in during this part of the vacation. The Hostellerie La Briqueterie was nice enough, although I would not give it high marks for the room we stayed in or for the aloof service that we received from almost the entire hotel staff with the exception of the night desk manager. I did enjoy the outside garden and regret that we did not spend more time in it while we were there.

In summary, we had an interesting and enjoyable time vacationing in the Champagne region of France. I do not feel it was a good enough experience to justify a return visit in my lifetime, but I am glad to have experienced it and I am left with some very good memories from the trip.


At 1:19 AM, June 23, 2007, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Honestly, I wouldn't have expected art in there, either. I thought the tin foil (?) monks were pretty cool.

At 9:00 AM, June 24, 2007, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

You have just been tagged by moi :)

At 1:57 PM, June 24, 2007, Blogger Colon Blow said...

What does "tagged" mean?

At 10:03 PM, June 24, 2007, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Go see on my blog. I put up a meme and I'm asking you to do it, too. You'll understand when you read it :)

At 1:46 PM, July 10, 2007, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Would you believe that I just figured out that the champagne we got was from Moet and Chandon! LOL shows how much I know about champagne!

At 1:02 PM, November 27, 2007, Anonymous King da Cat said...

Dis blog is dead to me!

At 6:31 AM, July 01, 2008, Blogger The Big Finn said...

I guess the one year anniversary of your last post just came and went...


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