Spring break in Belgium is two weeks long. Two weeks. That’s a lot of time to kill. And since winter in Europe just does not seem to want to end, why not make the most of the snow that’s on the ground and go skiing? So we hopped in the car and headed to the Alps. ‘Cause we can do that.
Day one in the car landed us first in Reims for a lunch break. We thought we’d stop for a quick sandwich, but there was a McDonalds next door, which little E had to have. So first we stopped for a quick sandwich, then we stopped again for a quick nuggets and fries happy meal.
Since we were there we had to step into the Cathedral. France went on a cathedral building spree for about 200 years starting in the 12th century, each trying to outdo the others. Then one collapsed so the race to have the biggest cathedral ended. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims is beautiful. I only have Notre Dame in Paris to compare it to and I’ve only been inside that one with about 1433461284616843 other people at the same time so maybe the fact that it was much less busy made me like this one better.
We hit the road again and headed to Beaune to spend the night. Beaune is in the Burgandy region and our hotel was in the middle of a field of vines. The little stumps that are grape vines in the winter aren’t as pretty as they are in the late summer when they’re covered in grapes, but it was neat, nonetheless. The streets of the old town of Beaune are small and windy and not meant for American sized SUVs, to which our back bumper can attest.
Day two in the car would have been a much quicker trip had the French not decided to put 45 tolls between us and our destination. Every 15 minutes we stopped to either take a ticket, pay for that ticket, or (my favorite) pay some other random toll by depositing money, one coin at a time, into slots in a machine. No baskets you pitch your coins into and drive on. These tolls took forever. Lunch needed to be a quick affair due to the constant toll stopping so we visited French McDonald’s number two, where I wanted the kids to order the Happy Meal entitled “Petite McBaguette”, but they weren’t having it.
We finally reached some mountain driving, which was gorgeous to those of us looking out the window as opposed to watching Scooby Doo in the backseat. The mountain passes are still guarded by ruins of old posts meant to keep an eye on invaders from the next kingdom over.
Hey! There’s our mountain! Up and up and up we went. Then up some more until the road dead ended at our condo.
Want to read about some actual skiing? See you tomorrow…