Reims & Sillery

We have now turned into the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne and entered the Champagne region. And already we have been in trouble! Moored at the small village of Courcy, Austin got out his guitar and played old favourites. This turned into a general sing-along with Viv and Neville on the Tychy, until a monsieur from a neighbouring house told us to be quiet. He did say that he liked the music ( I think he was just being polite) but that his kids needed to sleep (I think that was just an excuse to make us stop!).

Next morning we bypassed the noisy marina of Reims and headed straight for the popular port of Sillery. The Tychy and the Freshwater were lucky to slot into the last free mooring spaces. 

I love it here because there are good showers and a washing machine, Austin loves it because the internet is great! We are set now to do a bit of a clean up and re-stock before Austin’s sister Marcia and husband Peter arrive via Sydney-Tokyo-Paris.

On a mission to replace the frayed mat in our saloon, we jumped on the local bus to the city centre and then took the curtesy shuttle to IKEA. We found a close to perfect size and colour carpet - just 5cm out - so returned with the usual stack of serviettes and other knick-knacks instead. 

End of the week we picked up Marcia and Peter from Reims Central Station and introduced them to Reims and boating life. Marcia commented:”It’s just like camping”! I think there might be a few surprises for her still ahead.

Austin and Peter were sent on a walk in the morning to fetch the obligatory baguette and croissants. Their walk took them past the Sillery WWI cemetery and through the back streets of the Champagne village to the local Patisserie. Showing great restraint they returned with a baguette and a couple of chocolate croissants leaving the tempting, colourful tarts and slices behind.

We spent another day looking around Reims’ Cathedral, where the famous angel was still smiling, then crossed the Royal Place and the Roman Forum. 

The city shuttle bus brought us to the Abbey of Saint Remi on the other side of town. The 11th century Saint- Remi Basilica surprised us with its simple romanesque beauty.

At night we secretly emptied our last reserve of Crémant d’Alsace  (Alsatian “bubbly") without being spotted by the Champagne purists!

Tomorrow we are off on Marcia and Peter’s maiden voyage down the Canal Lateral de la Marne.

© Austin Robinson 2019