"A long week end in the vineyards and forests" Top 5 Page for this destination Champagne-Ardenne by kokoryko
Champagne-Ardenne Travel Guide: 597 reviews and 1,985 photos
Mid May, a friend from South East Asia visited me in Paris and we have been to many of the “must see” places of this city but, coming from very far, and not having the opportunity to travel often to Europe, I proposed my visitor to make a tour in the beautiful French countryside for a long (4 days), week end. So, here are a bit of places we visited during “random wanderings” in the Champagne Ardennes region, North East of Paris; as we were not far from Belgium, we crossed the boundary, and. . . My friend noticing Luxembourg was not far, we decided for an excursion to Luxembourg, and. . Oh! Germany is very close!! So we also went to Germany in the beautiful Mosel Valley; so, the same day we had breakfast in France, lunch in Belgium, dinner in Germany. . . . . . Wonderful days with lots of intriguing and interesting questions a very foreign person asks, confronted to a world, so strange to an Asian Muslim. Weather was not very “touristy” but this cannot be changed, and travels go like that!
Back to random wanderings in Champagne Ardennes: I found the less known Ardennes part as interesting (if not more) as the Champagne one; the local beverage is not as noble as in Champagne, but the local beer, like in Belgium is a feast for the thirsty palates. I include here a few descriptions of places outside Champagne Ardennes region, but very close to this region.
Champagne is of course the home of the famous wine (other sparkling wines are sparkling wines, but not Champagne!, not even “Champanskoye” or “Champain” or “Champagner” or whatsoever). Champagne is also the home area of the smiling angels of Reims, the place of crowning of the Kings of France, the place where the beautiful Marne River draws its meanders, the place of some of the most deadly battles of WWI, beautiful little villages. . . . .
Champagne is not only where the wonderful eponym wine is grown, it is much wider and covers two main types of landscapes:
- the “Champagne humide”, or “wet Champagne”, small hills, to the West, covered with small woods or meadows, the slopes of the hills where are most of the villages and of course the vineyards; the fluvial plains with meadows and small industrial villages.
- The “Champagne pouilleuse”, or “lousy Champagne” (this is the name I learned when at school but it is now named “Champagne crayeuse” (chalk Champagne), to the East, a more dry, wide open area, with big colza and wheat, corn, oat fields, wide apart villages.
Everybody knows that the name “Champagne”comes from the Latin Campania, meaning open fields area; a region in Southern Italy, has the same name, and nearby is the region of Puglia (translated into the French “Pouilles”), so the name Champagne pouilleuse has a Latin origin too , name coming from Apulia, the ancient name of this Italian region; I find this fashion of being absolutely politically correct really appalling and stupid, and that made changing the centuries old name of the region. (there is nothing incorrect in pouilleuse!)
As I discovered in a random way, the page will be a bit random. . .
And the deep forests of Ardennes, covering the hills, the wonderful food, the great hospitality of people, the Meuse river, “The balcony in the forest” (by Julien Gracq, a real black sheep who refused literary prizes and honors), the homeland of Arthur Rimbaud, it is two hours from Paris, and I will visit more soon, explore the rivers and the hills; the hikes seem really promising. Villages, old fortified cities on the marches of France, wonderful food and beer, I already know where some of my future hikes will lead me.
- Pros:Beautiful forests and valleys
- Cons:Why cons?
- In a nutshell:Planning hikes in the beautiful forests
And back to Champagne! On the route du Champagne, the small villages are decorated by local artists, celebrating the... more travel advice
Driving back to Paris. . . a corn field in the south of Ardennes (main picture), abandoned farms (second and third... more travel advice
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