Luxembourg via Eperney (champagne cellar tour)

Trip Start May 25, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Monday, June 16, 2008

We begrudgingly departed Paris for the champagne countryside....stopped off at a little, but well-known town of Eperney, home to world-renowned Champagne manufacturers in the "Champagne - Ardenne" region. Booking was at "Mercier", where our group was taken via slow & cleverly designed glass-doored elevator (allowed us to see artful depiction of development of champagne production during the descent), to cellar level (maintained at a steady 4 degrees celcius).
Small robot 'train' (for want of a better description) took us thru various parts of the underground workings, while an employee explained them to us....for a non-champagne drinker like me, it was still quite interesting, especially some of the war-time dramas the French went thru keeping the good stuff from the enemy at the time.
We all got to sample the wares at the conclusion of the short tour, and some partook of the well laid out store before we hit the coach once more.
Countryside we passed thru was just all fantastic to see....had rained not long before we drove thru some parts and it looked great! Arrived just outside Luxembourg at the US war cemetery established to remember those lost during the nearby Battle of the Bulge....a solemn environment indeed, looking across the immaculately kept lawns and the rows upon rows of white crosses, 5000 in total!!  It was hard-to-comprehend this massive loss of life on one side, in just one seemed to speak above a quiet murmer the whole time we explored the quite large grounds, rememberance monuments, small chapel, etc.
General George S Patton's grave was positioned quite separately to the thousands of men he commanded, but we were told that there was all likelihood that it would be shifted in future so he could be among his men, alphabetically, as apparently was his wish.
After this poignant stop, we boarded the coach for the quick transit into Luxembourg itself, where we were given some time to ourselves to do some modest 'exploring'. The Valley of the River Petrusse was just an absolute picture, as can be seen hopefully from the photos....soon off to our very comfortable accommodation with a view back down the valley overlooking the township in the background. A more relaxing day today which allowed some recovery of the senses after being bombarded with so much to try & comprehend yesterday.
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