Even if you have no interest in champagne, you would enjoy a few days in Reims.
You would know about the cathedral of course, where the French kings were crowned.
At night there is a light show covering the front of the cathedral (puts Sydney’s Vivid to shame) which depicts the renovations made to it after WW2. It’s a stunning piece of 3D computer graphics work. It’s so realistic that the dogs in the audience start howling.
There is a tram in one of the main streets that literally runs on grass. No, not powered by dope - it rolls along on tracks laid in a manicured cooch lawn in the centre of the street. Tres chic!
The first day of cycling was a 55 km journey through the champagne vineyards to the south-east ( that’s the general direction you go in to get to Rome) with a lunch stop in Bouzy. And then along impressive canal paths with a lold ock every so often. Bouzy is aptly named for a champagne town where huge vineyard tractors roared through the town taking freshly picked grapes to the crushing factories. It’s vintage time.
I sampled both the red and the white champagne grapes as we rode through the vineyards and can reliably assure you that the McLaren Vale Shiraz grapes taste much better.
At dinner that night in Chalons I saw something I’ve never experienced before. The restaurant toilet had no light switch and I was befuddled by this until shown that the light turns on when you LOCK the door from the inside.
The only downside to this piece of power-saving brilliance is that someone has to explain it to every tourist who goes to the toilet.
Oh, my bum is sore from sitting upright on my saddle like a Dutch grandma instead of bending forward. I will get used to that soon enough.
By the way, I love the old French buildings. Loads of character.