A Travellerspoint blog

Reims - Version 1

More of Reims, get to Paris

semi-overcast 66 °F
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We have a late train ride from Reims to Paris (good thing as Phil and Dean stayed out until the wee hours) - and probably narrowly avoided being on some milk carton... But we explored more of the city (we will be back later on in the tourney). Their cathedrale as well as the palace museum were excellent - I have seen a lot of great churchs and this one was truly spectacular!

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By the time we were heading towards the train station, it was raining some, but of course, by the time we got to the train station it was sunny again. We arrived a bit too early, but it was fine as was the ride into Paris. When arriving in Paris, we had some issues with the photos for the Paris navigo pass (metro/train) - some retries and issues, but made it through (one issue we didn't realize was it took 8 minutes for new passes to be activated).

We got to our new Paris hotel (nice but small, and an elevator) and headed out to explore (and have dinner). Found a great place, but really needed a reservation, especially for 5 (Phil is still recovering). So we hit a local place (Tarmac) - which would become Rishaun's favorite place for some unknown reason (Pizza and Ice Cream).

Posted by M6-Greg 01:03 Archived in France Comments (0)

First Game - Live

To Reims for the first USA match

semi-overcast 50 °F
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We grabbed some very nice pastries and sandwiches from the corner shop again, slugged down the spiral staircase to a very busy and alive Lille - one that we did not recognize :) We decided to make the 3/8 mile walk to the main metro station rather than the metro switch. Phil and Kate hiked the extra 3/8 miles to avoid the metro all together. With the help of another attendant, the metro was simple this time - only single gates and you just have to enter the number of riders...

The train to Reims was via Paris (with a station switch). We venture from Gare du Nord to Gare de l'Est above ground which was fine, but the metro probably would have been good as well. At the switch at Paris, we can tell that we are headed for the USA game - loads of English speaking people in USA garb... finally - a game day.

When we arrive in Reims we are a bit unsure the best way to get to the hotel (there wasn't any online info about there public transport - but there seemed to be a tram as well as buses). After some of the more arduous traveling, we opted for Taxis instead - which was very reasonably priced. I think we all liked being at a "regular" hotel despited not wanting to admit it - especially the elevators. Since the game wasn't until 9pm, we headed into town to see a bit and get oriented. Reims is the "champagne" capital, so of course, we had to partake. And our dinner was very good as well..

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Phil spotted a familar, unexpected face at one of the pubs we dropped in at. Of course, the funniest thing about him getting two photos with Hope Solo was that he had to go back a second time - because he didn't like the way he looked in the first selfie...

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The stadium was a short walk from our hotel and it was good to see all the USA support. There was some major disappointment at the concession stand when we discovered they were only selling non-alcoholic beer in the stadium. The conspiracy theories abound... such as not wanting to make money at the Women's game, testing out the "dry" market for the Qatar games, etc. We had 2 groups of three for this game, and we had great seats - although the stadium was laid out nicely and there really wasn't a bad seat in the house...

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I'm sure you already know the result by now - but 13 ! - holy cow!!! Long before I heard it from anyone else, Phil said "That's more goals then he has seen by the the USA in all the men's teams that I have been to collectively" (which is no small number of games).

Posted by M6-Greg 00:52 Archived in France Comments (0)

Holiday in Lille

National holiday, mostly closed...

semi-overcast 58 °F
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As we discovered yesterday, today is a national France holiday (Whit Monday). So a great many things are still closed today as well.
As often happens, someone takes ill - this day is Rishaun taken by a stomach bug - others are slow getting going as well so I went out exploring the very pretty town even if things were not open (and to see what was). Things were decorated up, but we weren't sure if it was for the mexican week they just had or Whit Monday or both or neither - beautiful nonetheless...

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I found some really cool beer places - one with over 250 different Belgium beers - would have been nice to see - c'est la live..

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I went back to the apartment to switch off with Gwen so they could go to the Fine Arts Museum. To my surprise, Rishaun got up a few hours later and felt much better, so we joined them at the Museum and saw about half of it. It had some very famous artists as well as some very interesting exhibits...

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Next we went exploring for food and maybe a place to watch the next game. Gwen found a nice Irish pub with traditional and regional beers, a nice big screen projector, but unfortunately only had anti-pasta plates (kitchen not open yet). We also got the time wrong, so the game was a hour away still - so out exploring again... This time - food was the only priority :) We found yet another very kind and friendly waiter and some very nice local/french cuisine...

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With full bellies, we headed out in search of the local Waffles, but just missed them at the only open place from yesterday. We did find a sit-down place with milkshakes, waffles and good local beers - turns out the Milk shake was more like chocolate milk but the beers and waffles were very good.

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Despite Dean's love of Sir Winston, we head home to watch the Canada/Cameroon game at home - had to use the laptop though as we couldn't find the game on TV again...

Posted by M6-Greg 14:05 Archived in France Comments (0)

Goodbye England

And into France

rain 66 °F
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Time to say goodbye to England. But don't worry, the blog will remain in English :) The Kings Arms was pretty good to us, so we bid it a fond farewell as we head out early...

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It is a couple of metro stops to the international train station where we have to go through customs and passport control (don't think that I have ever done that for a train before). The Eurostar train is smooth and it is a nice trip to Lille, France.

Once we get to Lille, it gets a bit more confusing.... do we take the metro, tram? which set of ticket machines to use? We find a very nice and helpful worker - who doesn't speak any English, but gets us to the correct ticket machine, correct elevator to the platform. But the entry to the metro is not just a simple pass-through, have to go in and close doors behind you - and we have 1 ticket for the 6 of us to pass around. About 3 people in, we seemed to have goofed it up - and we are out of entries or something. Phil is stuck inside - but a very nice stranger gets him through. Dean goes back up to buy more tickets and the very nice worker stops him and shows up downstairs to get me and Dean through...

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Another hiking adventure to our apartment - about 50 steps again, but this time up a spiral staircase carrying our luggage. The group is beginning to think this is a boot camp I fear...

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Luckily we could get in early and dropped off our luggage and headed out to explore (and eat!). Dean got to select the place since today is his birthday! He found a great place right on the CDG square/place. We had a great waiter, again very friendly and helpful. The place was very beautiful as was the bell tower. It's a rainy Sunday, and Lille is a bit of a sleepy town - many things are closed. I'm not sure we understood what this green-parrot-dragon thing was either (other than very interesting of course)...

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We found and bookstore, more of a mini flea-market centered on media (books, posters, prints, etc.). Though "outside" it was all covered from the rain.

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A bit more exploring despite the rain - we discovered huge colorful statues of all different kinds of "creatures" - presumably for the Mexican festival week going on and got better oriented with the city. Next was a search for ice cream/dessert - between hiding from the intermitent rain, we did end up at the Waffle place to get waffles filled with sugar or chocolate - extremely tasty...

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As it was starting to rain harder, we decided to head back to the apartment when I heard someone call my name... Dean, Phil and Kate had found a nice pub to watch the game at - Sir Winston - which Dean would come to fall in love with - and begret the fact that he could not get one a shirt from...

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Posted by M6-Greg 12:46 Archived in France Comments (0)

More of London

First Museum and boat ride

semi-overcast 60 °F
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Off to the British Museum this morning, where we explore this very large museum independently rather than as a group, so we might have different experiences. It is really a huge place, and we are struck with the idea - is it really right that museums have artifacts from other cultures/countries ? (maybe they want them back? maybe they didn't take care of them themselves?...)

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Afterwards, we headed out looking for Turkish food, but we seem to have trouble with the spotty service and just decided to find somewhere... Ended up at The Swan (pub that had add for the Women's World Cup)...

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Decided to take the Bus down to the river to catch a boat ride on the Thames... Phil was playing the how-low-can-I-go with my Oyster card game when we saw a sign that the buses do not take cash - only the card. So Kate and him headed out walking to the park instead (turns out he had enough on his card, but he had already left)... The boat ride was very good - the "guide" (member of the crew) was quite humorous in pointing out many sites and musings about the cost of things in central London.

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Back to the pub where they couldn't find the Women's game, so we all watched on my laptop....

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Posted by M6-Greg 23:37 Archived in England Comments (0)

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