Sunday, 6 January 2013

Lights, camera, action.

Day 174 4.01.13 Rheims

We’re up early again and out to explore Rheims.  The cathedral and town hall we glimpsed all lit up yesterday evening are just as beautiful in the daylight.  We enjoy a walk around the city taking in all the architecture especially the Renaissance style Le Vergeur townhouse.  The high street is full of great buildings, with grand carved designs.  The theatre building is lovely although the colours look a little subdued on this dreary, grey day.  There’s a lot of variation in the styles here, even ordinary streets of houses will all be completely different from one another.  It doesn’t look too discordant though, just imaginative and interesting.

We set off on what becomes a big walk to the supermarket to grab some bits for sandwiches to take back to the van.  

By the time we get there though we’ve walked so far we decide just to buy actual sandwiches and eat them in a nearby little park.  With full tummies it’s time for another long walk, this time to the basilica of St Remi.  It’s another giant of a building with an abbey attached for good measure.  Inside there’s a central tomb with intricate carved figures all around.  The stained glass windows are very pretty and the arched ceiling walkways seem to stretch for miles.  Certainly worth the walk, the grandness and sheer scale of this church must be seen. 

Afterwards we while away a little time ensuring we’ve seen everything else worth seeing in town.  There is a light show on the cathedral as part of the Christmas celebrations but it’s a little while away.  We browse in shops and take in some hidden treats of the city we’d missed.

The light show finally starts and does not disappoint.  Set to a haunting soundtrack the cathedral is lit up in different colours picking out the detail of the carved figures in differing hues, to the point of even thin belts being differing shades.  

One section shows the cathedral being sketched from the ground up and another depicts people sawing and carving all the different sections.  All the while I was awe-struck and took a zillion photos.  It’s not to the level of the, frankly awesome, one we saw on Barcelona’s Segrada Familia but it’s still amazing and a really nice way to round off a busy day of sight-seeing.

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