Saturday Oct 5th. Reims, France

Written by Jack van Ommen on October 5th, 2013

For the second time in the last ten years I have spent money at a Mac Donald’s. The French eateries/pubs are not wired-less. I arrived in Reims at 4.30 p.m., sooner than I had expected. From where I started off this morning it was about 50 k.m.’s and that is difficult to achieve with all the locks. I left at 7.45 a.m. and it was still not full daylight. I was moored last night at Pargny-Fillain I managed to squeeze through the last lock at 1 minute before the 7 p.m. closing time. On the current canal/river the locks close at 6 p.m. Thursday was the last of the long spell of warm sunny weather. Yesterday and today was still un-seasonally warm but cloudy. I had to get in and out of my foulweather gear a few times but besides a short drizzle it stayed dry but Thursday and Friday night it rained steady. I could not have asked for better travel conditions. Often I have the waterways entirely to my self. But I have not found a moorage facility yet still open with a shower. And the one marina here in town was far to shallow. At least, outside of the one night in Ghent and the three in Oudenaarde I have not had to pay for my night moorages. Thursday night I made it to Jussy on the canal de St. Quentin.

I visited the world famous cathedral of Reims to check the mass schedule for tomorrow. 9.30 a.m. And in the next 20 minutes there was a free choral concert in the church given by the Chorale Heinrich-Schuetz from Kiel, Germany. I had expected that Inge and Wolf my Kieler culture-vulture crusing friends, I traveled with in Bulgaria and Turkey in 2011, would be in the choir. Outstanding choir and director, they were introduced by the French hosts as semi-professional, but then there are a few small details they could have learned from my last choir director, Herman Paardekooper. Their pièce de résistance was the Latin mass from Louis Vierne. I liked in particular “Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen?” from Johannes Brahms and the contemporary “Lux aurumque” from Eric Whitacre.

I hope that I get my camera problems fixed for tomorrow’s mass at the Cathedral. It has some of the finest stain glass windows and the large rosette above the entrance of any European Gothic cathedrals. This is the church where Charlemagne was crowned. The focus problem is apparently not in the lens but in the camera mechanics. I have to dig for my spare. Or be forced to figure out how to take pictures with my brand new tablet.

Oct 2nd Early in Escaudoevre

 

 

 

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