Day 77 - Epernay

Trip Start Apr 10, 2011
Trip End Jul 25, 2011

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Flag of France  , Champagne-Ardenne,
Saturday, June 25, 2011

Perhaps it's the fact that we have been on the road for 11 weeks, or that we are down to our last few days on the continent, but the energy levels were at an all time low this morning. Lucky I suppose that it struck today, as there isn’t an awful lot to do in Epernay other than a champagne tour and a tasting or two. So we left the hotel at the very leisurely time of 11am and headed to the Mercier champagne house.

We attempted to ask at the tourist office last night which champagne tour they recommended with children in tow, but they said they were not allowed to recommend one over another. However, they did tell us that the Mercier tour included a ride on a train through the underground cellars and after checking out the various options on the internet last night we decided that would be a good choice. Surprisingly we found that all the tours we looked at charged an entrance fee for children 10 and over, but under 10 is free. I don’t know what Mikayla would get out of it over and above Sarah, but there you go.

We once again fluked our timing, so we arrived just 5 minutes before the next tour was due to start.  As it turned out they didn’t charge Mikayla after all. The tour consisted of a short film about the founder Eugene Mercier, before being taken on a panoramic lift down to the cellars 30m underground. That made us all a bit nervous – damn earthquakes!!  Then came the laser guided train ride around part of the 18km of tunnels which make up Merciers underground cellars. Following that we headed back up to ground level, where we got to enjoy a glass of cuvee – Mmmm!! All too soon it was over, but we were hanging out for some lunch, and as the girls were yet to try snails, we set off to find a place selling escargot and champagne by the glass.

Most of the places we checked out were selling one or the other, but not both, but eventually we found a place. The escargot came in a garlic cream sauce, so it wasn’t too much of an effort to get the girls to try them, although once they had had one, they weren’t so keen to have another. Mike and I didn’t have any trouble polishing them off though and its true, they do go well with a glass of bubbles.

Unfortunately the romance of the champagne region had to come to a screeching halt when we remembered our dire need for clean clothing. So after a few hours spent meandering around tunnels under the Avenue du Champagne, followed by some al fresco dining on French cuisine, we then spent the next 1 hours sitting in a laudromat. However the feeling of clean clothes after having spent days getting them, not just dirty, but "travel dirty" is definitely another one of life’s luxuries at the moment.
Our evening was then pretty uneventful, taken up mostly with booking our Eurostar trip to London and accommodation in Paris in a couple of days when we will finally visit Disneyland.
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alex fabish on

i cant believe u ate a snail mickey thats discusting and when were u planing on telling me ur going to disneyland .........and while u have fun i sit learing the multiples of 16 and what the percentage of 1/5

The Bohnenns on

Yum - snails - double Yum Champagne!

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