I met the bus at 7 a.m. for day long excursion to Champagne where we were visiting the cities of Reims and Epernay - the 2 big names in Champagne making. Our bus was half English and half Japanese. So every time the English guide would tell us something the Japanese guide would translate and repeat it. I never noticed before, but it seems to take twice as long to say everything in Japanese.
Our first stop was at the Piper Heidseick winery. Good champagne. I was excited about the tour. We went down stairs as if to go into their wine cellar, and then they started breaking us up into groups of 6. Then these amusement park-like cars came up the tracks and we loaded in. Then the pre-recorded soundtrack began and the car took us through the Champagne for Dummies - Disney style ride. It was silly and condescending. Thankfully, it ended with a glass of champagne.
While we were waiting to gather outside and waiting for everyone to finish the 'ride'. I walked up to a couple from my bus. I could tell they were American by their accents. They were from Houston. I introduced myself. The woman seemed worried about something. She asked if I had any candy in my purse, I told her I did not. She said her boyfriend was diabetic and he was having some sort of episode. Then I remembered that I had the 2 pieces of Baklava from the tea room the night before. It was still wrapped in foil and in my purse, so I gave it to him. I thought maybe a small taste would bring him out of it. He ate BOTH pieces. Now I'll never know what the world famous Mosque tea room baklava tastes like. But, looking back, he was in need . . .and thank God I had it or maybe it would have turned into a crisis.
(but couldn't he have eaten just one piece)
Next, we went to The Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral- The one is Paris is more well known, but this one in very important in French history. It is where the first King of France 'Clovis' (really) was baptized and coroneted in the year 497 AD. It is also where most of the Kings of France were coroneted including King Charles VII whose coronation was attended by Joan of Arc. I've got great photos of the Cathedral in my photo album.
After lunch we drove to Epernay to 'Champagne Graceland' Moet and Chandon. Home of fine sparkling wines including Dom Perignon. They know how to put on a wine tour! We were greeted at our appointed time. Told a little history of the building, and then taken down into the more than 18 miles of wine caves, that have always been the cellars for Moet and Chandon Champagnes. No fancy factory somewhere else. Very informative without talking down too us or making it too pretentious. It ended again in a tasting room where their Sommelier popped the cork and poured us all a glass. Not of the Dom Perignon of course.
I also got some really good photos of their cellars too.