IMG_0322Terrible night at Le Hotel Coq Hardi. Beds uncomfortable and the pedestrian only mall a real noise trap, the dustbin throwers, plant waterers, allsorts were out in the night. Tonight looks to be even worse with a free waterfront concert, several tinnes of kit is being unloaded from trucks this morning.

The one benefit of the early start is that we were able to get the laundry done in a very clean and well organized launderette, M. Was even there cleaning it at the time we arrived and helped us get it all going. Actually the clothes will probably never be the same, much of the colour has washed out.

The Saturday market makes access to Le Hotel Coq Hardi very difficult and we have to drive around town several times to get even close to the hotel to pick up the bags. Worse yet is that I manage to hang on to the key to the parking garage so we have to return to the hotel for an extra time.IMG_1683

Un-forecast morning rain gets us into the local supermarket to avoid it and get lunch for another picnic. So with one thing and another we are not on our way until noon.

The road to Epernay is wide and straight (even avoiding the Payage) so not that exciting. We stop a couple of times to for the picnic and coffee (at the latter meeting a couple of groups of Brits, one on bikes and unusually the others selling camper vans to circuses).

Epernay is most interesting with the Champagne manufacturers having their factories(?) down the main street as you come into town. Its place that asks to be explored.

IMG_0325I’ve pre-booked the Comfort Suites Hotel, as the guide says that Epernay is often booked out at weekends. Now the Comfort Suites describes itself as being in Epernay and this is probably technically true but it’s several miles away from the downtown part where you want to be - no way is it walking distance.

Luckily we are able to find a room at the three star Hotel Les Berceaux (third hotel lucky) in the centre and cancel the Comfort without charge. Better yet the Les Berceaux is cheaper (only a bit but central is so much more important when on a bike).

Drinks in town and dinner at the hotel (expensive but pretty good).