Turns out, I was utterly underwhelmed by Paris. And it wasn't just because of the weather which, for the record, was cold, wet, and windy. It wasn't because of the waiters either, who were, one and all, rude to the point of parody. Perhaps it was the fact that I'd been there before, several times in fact.
Ho hum, ho hum, my how the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night.
Hordes of tourists--check. Vile smells on the Metro--check. Seen it, done it, tasted it all before. But did it really cost 12€ last time?
Whatever the reason, I was perfectly happy to climb a bus and head to Reims and the Champagne district on Sunday afternoon. Everything about this part of the trip thrilled me. Sunday night, we had a tour of the Pommery cellars followed by, hands down, one of the best meals I've ever eaten (the waiters wore white gloves...need I say more?) Monday we toured Reims cathedral; then a bus tour of the city, the surrounding vinyards, and the Hamm Champagen house. All of it accompanied by magnum after magnum of lovely, crisp champagne...which, according to the locals, is appropriate for any and every occasion and/or non-occasion (as the case may be).
We sloshed home late last night. Lo and behold it's cold, gray, and windy here too.
....Back to life. Back to reality....