Epernay, France

Chateau at Chalons – Jeanne d’Arc was here
Canal a l’Ourcq
Vines for the Champagne


9 Aug 2010,
Ibis Hotel, Epernay, France         

85 km, 4.32 hrs, 18.7 kph
0800 – 1500   Via Saacy sur Marne, then along N side of Marne too Chateau Thierry, Dormans and Epernay.         

We plunged back down into the Marne Valley early this morning, mist rising above the river, sun through the morning clouds, road through country estates.  Disappointing to see the same roadside weeds we have in BC – knotweed being the worst.         

Crossing to the N side of the Marne at Saccy, we turned east, and were immediately in Champagne country.  Every village has numerous champagne houses.  They all look prosperous, lots of the world must be drinking champagne.  Every inch of south-facing hillside is planted, with new vines in all the little leftover patches of ground.  35,000 hectares planted.       

Coffee in Chateau Thierry  –  It seems ungrateful to turn down all the hard work which goes into the patisseries.  We rode up the steep hill to the medieval chateau.  Jeanne D’Arc was there in 1435.  Beautiful view of the Marne, the valley, the vineyards, the war memorial, and the big windmills on the hilltop.         

Then onwards to Dormans for lunch.  Rolling hills on the road, fairly easy riding along the N side of the river away from the trucks and the traffic.  We keep looking for a cycle route along the towpath, but along here the path is pretty rough and not worth leaving the road for.   It’s always hard to get on the bikes after lunch, and today there were some long hills on our N side road.  Reached Epernay at 3.00, but no rest because we had a tour booked at the Moet et Chandons caves at 4.00.        Rest, dinner, walk through town.  Beautiful public spaces – squares, churches, outdoor cafes, a lot of places to enjoy the town.       


About Olin and Suzanne
Olin and Suzanne's cycling trip, across Canada and around the world.

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