Yet another weekend was spent taking advantage of the amazing Discovery Tours, thanks to MUDEC alumni. This time we spent two and a half hours heading down to Ay, France. Ay is known for being a little village full of "champagne houses".
Obviously we wanted the full tour of one of the largest champagne houses in the area. The Ayala champagne house was founded all the way back in 1860 by Edmond de Ayala and is still running smoothly today. The 35 acres of vineyards make for a lot of champagne to sell.
All 15 of the students were able to walk through some of the most important parts of the house. We started by going down a spiral staircase that seemed to never end. As it got colder and colder, we got further and further underground. We made it to the wine and champagne cellar, which was 75 feet underground and a total of 1.6 miles long. Our tour guide Arthur did a great job of explaining the processes and reasoning for the champagne to stay so far underground for so many years.
As we made it back up from the cellar, taking an elevator this time, we were shown the beautiful rooftop patio that was created to help with business events. It was an incredible view and pictures were just not able to do it justice. It overlooked multiple vineyards and the little village of Ay as well.
We wrapped it up by walking through the fancy tasting room that is available to groups when they purchase the tasting at the end of their walking tour. Arthur explained all the differences in the types of champagne they produced and even what meals would go best with each flavor. Our group had such a fun time.
After our wonderful tour through the Champagne region and one of the prettiest houses, the 15 of us headed back to the bus for a nice ride to Reims. The great part about these Discovery Tours is having an activity planned, but then also having the freedom to explore a city on our own afterwards.
Just like in Trier, Germany last weekend, my friends and I spent the next few hours walking around and sightseeing. We stopped at a sandwich shop for a quick lunch and just enjoyed the nice weather. We walked around in the Cathedral of Reims while just staring and admiring the huge stained glass windows. Each church or cathedral we walk through just seems to amaze me even more.
Along with the beautiful cathedral, Reims has a huge park full of playgrounds, trampolines, picnic tables, and fountains. We walked through the park, sat at the tables and enjoyed the fact that we got to spend the day in France.
The time went too fast, and soon it was time to get back on the bus. A few students stayed to enjoy Paris that night, and the rest of us got comfortable making the two and a half hour journey back to our Luxembourg Château.