35 before 35: Champagne in Champagne

Champagne

WordPress congratulated me on my anniversary this morning… apparently this blog has existed for a whole nine years today! So even though I didn’t intend to blog, I didn’t feel like I could let such a momentous occasion pass without a post. And what better way to celebrate than with champagne (albeit champagne that has already been drunk).

Whit Monday is a public holiday in Germany and Switzerland (or at least the parts that are relevant to us), which meant a long weekend. We didn’t want to let it go to waste, so with the Champagne region a mere four and a half hours’ drive from here, I decided it was time to check something else off my 35 before 35 list.

We were staying in Reims, but after arriving there on Saturday evening we decided to spend some time exploring other place and save Reims itself for the next day. First of all, we drove to a village called Avizes, where there’s a champagne company that one of Jan’s colleagues recommended (the one in the photo at the top of this post). Unfortunately they had already closed for the weekend so we couldn’t book a tour. We stopped in a little park just outside the village where even the landscaping featured champagne!

The next stop was Epernay… home of the (apparently) world-famous “Champagne street”. All the big names have headquarters there.

As you can see, it had started to rain by this point, so we were glad to head off and find some food (and actual champagne to drink!). We each chose the evening three course meal. Jan was driving, so he drank some delicious apricot juice, but I chose the version of the meal that came with three types of champagne. Sadly I don’t remember what they were, except that the first one did come from where it says on the glass. How’s that for a wine list though!

After breakfast the next day, we headed into Reims for a look around. I’m going to tell you about that in a separate post though, since there was no champagne drinking involved and this post is for the 35 before 35 item 😉 Instead let’s skip ahead to that afternoon, when we had a G. H. Mumm cellar tour booked.

We saw some of the barrels they originally used, each with the name of the village the grapes came from, learned about the villages where Mumm grow their grapes, saw all the different sizes of champagne bottle that exist (Mumm only has about 4 of them available!) and visited the museum.

Obviously the tour ended with a glass of champagne!

And that’s item 34 crossed off my list: Drink Champagne in Champagne.

 

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Back to reality

After a lovely weekend away it was back to work this morning for the last week of my internship. I’m only there til Thursday, then I have Friday to myself and start my new internship at 8:30 on Monday morning. That means I’ll have to catch a tram at 8am! Bye bye good night’s sleep…

Hamburg was really nice. The weather was gorgeous – almost too hot in fact. On Saturday it was 31 degrees! Normally Hamburg is foggy, rainy, cold or a combination of the three so we picked the perfect weekend for our trip. It was lovely to see our friends again. Despite the fact that we were there for such a short time we managed to fit quite a bit in. We saw the old burnt out Nicolai church, which now serves as a memorial for all those who have been killed in wars. The tower is still standing and now has a panorama lift in it, so we went up there to take a look at Hamburg from above before heading back down under the ground to look at an exhibition of photos from after Hamburg was bombed during the second world war.

We also took a walk down to the Speicherstadt part of town (down by the River Elbe) and later, when we met up with N, we took a ferry to a beach bar. For dinner N took us to a studenty part of town called Sternschanze. We ate at an Italian and Greek restaurant and I had an absolutely gorgeous Mussaka. Afterwards we headed down to the Reeperbahn for some drinks and Claire came down to meet us after she had finished work. We went to a few bars, including an Irish one with live music on, and finally made it home at about 6 o’clock in the morning!

Not surprisingly we didn’t mange to get up particularly early on Sunday. Once we did manage to get out of bed, Claire and I headed to Sternschanze again for some brunch while Jan (who was hungover!) went back to bed for 45 minutes. He came to meet us after we’d eaten then Claire had to go to work and, after relaxing in a little park for a while, Jan and I had to head for the train station. We almost didn’t make it on time when the underground train we were on broke down half way there, but luckily we managed to find a taxi rank almost straight away and arrived at the train station with about a minute to spare. The train then ended up being delayed and it was 10:30pm when we arrived back in Karlsruhe. A long weekend and a late night last night left me feeling very tired all day today but it was definitely worth it.

So, to sum up, go to Hamburg people. You won’t regret it!

Off to Hamburgerland

Hehe. I wonder if I’ll ever get tired of the joke in the title? Probably not, for I am strange and childish.

So tonight the boyfriend and I are off to Hamburg to visit my friend Claire. We leave straight after work tonight so this will be my last blog until I come back. We are also going to see a friend of Jan’s, N, who he went to uni with. Claire has to work tomorrow night so we’ll meet up with N. then.

And now a message for the one person from my real life who actually reads my blog. She also happens to be my boyfriend’s sister and is 22 today.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Frauke. I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by lovely people.

(Also, I’ve just discovered that you can change the colour of the font on here and am very amused that the button you press to make that stuff appear is called “Kitchen sink”. Tee hee)