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Reims is a noteworthy place to visit: it has a cathedral where many of the French kings were crowned; it is the centre of the champagne region, providing tours into its many underground tunnels and caves where the drink is aged; and it is only a 45 minute high-speed train ride, perfect for a first-time ride to see how the kids would take to it.

Notre Dame de Reims, location of French coronations

I know, what’s in Reims for kids?  Well, if it didn’t rain on us in the afternoon, we would have spent it in the park’s playground, plus there was a bouncy castle of sorts and an obstacle course set up on its touristy pedestrianized street. Oh, and did I mention there happened to be a CARROUSEL in the area too? Double-decker, no less…

My boy whined, “Are we there yet?” after 35 minutes on the TGV (high-speed train). My daughter (who of course, was free to ride the TGV) was on my lap with a barf-bag beneath her chin, nauseous.  It was a short walk from the train station to Reim’s downtown and if you’ve been to places like Salisbury or Lincoln in England, it has the same feel to it: wide pedestrianized streets, a large cathedral at the heart of the community, lots of great shops around it—very charming and clean. And yes, touristy. But it wasn’t crowded that Saturday.

The cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims has an awesome front facade that I could have stared at for hours; it is so detailed with figures and forms, a remarkable example of Gothic architecture. See link for nice photos:

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/reims-cathedral

William, on the other hand, was thrilled that electric trams of candy colours were quietly gliding through the downtown and partly through the pedestrianized streets.

Just another carrousel ride, but on the second floor!

Despite riding the carrousel THREE times, my boy whined of being bored and wanted to ride the tram to wherever. There were plenty of kid-friendly restaurants in the area, but one was especially delightful and full of families and twenty-somethings. For distraction we had our desserts at the Boeuf ou Salade Restaurant. (I wish we had eaten there for lunch!)

 

Eating dessert like French kings

 

In the rain, we followed the tram track for some time to please our son and walked to the old Roman gate which dates back to the 3rd or 4th century. Very cool. But we called it a day after that. Window-shopping was not an option with the kids (aaww!) nor were the Champagne tours. (Actually, Clarisse was happy that she could use her “Hello Kitty” umbrella so I probably could have taken her anywhere.) But we old folks really didn’t want to ride the tram to wherever.

The gates to champagne country or whine country? Take a look at their faces.

Strangely enough, William recalls this journey with fondness and doesn’t remember being whiny. He wants to return in order to ride the trams.

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