Epernay to Givet by Bike

Aug 16th, 2009, 10:16 AM
  #1  
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Epernay to Givet by Bike

Champagne to Beer

Not really a visit report but more some notes from a recent bike ride from Epernay to Givet in the Champagne/Ardennes region of France. UK currency was still less than useless so we traded down from 3 star hotels to 2 star B&Bs. We got very lucky with the B&Bs but found the 2 star hotels just too low for our tastes. Prices ranged from Euro 80 to Euro 50 for two including breakfast/night.

End of July and start of August 2009. We always found a room for the night despite it being the holiday season in Europe. We pre-booked the first and last three nights at Parva Domus. Parva Domus is exactly as good as Fodorites said it would be. Lovely people, perfect position, ok breakfast, ensuites have no door just a curtain.
We biked north East around the Montagne du Reims and ended up at Val de Vesne the only B&B in town. [email protected] a lovely old farm with a good room and access to a kitchen. Two local restaurants within 2 miles.
In Reims we stayed in 11 rue Posardin for 2 nights, [email protected], after getting a Croatian at Tourist Information to book it for us. V clean rooms, all ensuite, with a helpful host and close to the action. We found a good eating area “The Forum” which has a range of good restaurants and ate at both a Chinese and a Fish restaurant.

We then worked our way North biking 40km most days, drank mainly rose and then Beer as we began to get closer to Belgium.

Vieux les Asfeld stayed in Auberge D'Ecry‎ which was very cheap and really being run as a restaurant not a hotel. They are a recognised good restaurant which made it tough for us as they were closed for our visit. Still they gave us plate of D’aub to stick in a microwave for our supper (ah the oppulance of holidays abroad).

Rethel; stayed in the Sanglier d’Ardennes which is a bit of a dump, (don’t ask for the westerly facing rooms unless you love pigeons).

Launois-sur-Vence in a Logis of reasonable quality which was helped by having a great restaurant and the small village having a brewery at the other end.
Rain made the next day a bit tough but we passed through Chareville-Mezieres for Lunch and ended up at Montherme at a commercial travellers Logis Hotel le Franco-Belge‎ which has been decorated recently but has tiny rooms. We ate in the café opposite and despite its looks it did fine food (for bicyclists)

The final big hike was Montherme to Givet in a single day which was helped by a meal at La Bonne Source‎ in Revin. We had the whole fire station in there with us so no idea what would happen if there was a fire.

The path was either roads with a few cars or towpaths which were either very clear or ended in brambles. Towards the end we used the “Route Vert” which is being promoted as a new flat path to compete with Mosel. (It does pretty ok but was basically empty of users when we were on it) At Givet, after passing the Nuclear power station we stayed at www.orchideerose.com which again was very good value, the host teaches English and gives easy access to the accommodation. Spent a happy day visiting the power station (engineers on holiday!) and eating through the restaurants which pick up a lot of Belgian passing trade.

Back to Epernay by train (carrying bikes) and we finished the holiday by visiting wineries and shopping. Very noticeable that many shops are closing in this part of France as the credit crunch hits home.
bilboburgler is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 09:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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planning a bike trip from Reims to Epernay through Bouzy & Ambonnay. all one day. wondering about your experience taking bikes on the train, as we would like to just take our time leaving Reims in the morning, get to Epernay and then probably put bikes on train to get back to Reims in time to return the bikes to the rental place. any special requirements for taking bikes on the train?
djoannides is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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The trains have a great section for hanging up bikes at one end. You look out for the bike sign on the outside of the carriage. Roughly 10 in the carriage we took. Should be easy unless say a bunch of school kids have done the same but pretty unlikely in my experience. Good luck, the canal system also offer great non-car pathways. Montange de reims is nothing to a fit bike rider
bilboburgler is online now  
Sep 20th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Sounds so nice. I'd love to do something like that. Was it very hilly? Do you take your bike from home somehow?

Thanks. Fun to read about.
stokebailey is offline  
Sep 21st, 2009, 04:13 AM
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If you look at the area it is full of canals and rivers etc so you can cut out most hills (not all obviously). We came from UK and took our bikes on the back of the car. Stayed overnight in our first B&B and came back for extra nights at the end. Asked them if we could leave our car with them and since we were coming back and they had room then ok no extra charge.

Despite having the big drag of Champagne this is not a real tourist area but just like Alsace it has enough to show off about and places to stay. Charleville looked very good and we only spent a couple of hours there
bilboburgler is online now  

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