Number of tie wraps: 50 (holding steady)
Countdown: 8496 miles down, 89 to go
Before we left Chimay today, the Roadster was treated to a professional photography session by Steev’Art. You can see the entire collection at the Steev’Art facebook page. Many thanks to our hosts for setting up the session and for the terrific hospitality the past two days in Chimay.
France announced our arrival the same way as Belgium two days ago — a chirp on my cell phone! I guess this is the modern version of border control in Europe. After taking a few minor detours for GPS errors, we arrived in the small town of Betheny, which is located just outside our destination for this evening, Reims.
In 1909, one year after the 1908 New York to Paris race, the city of Reims hosted the world’s first air race. The meet was actually held in the nearby village of Betheny, which had (and still has) wide open spaces for the slow aircraft of the day to use. The stands used for the race have been replaced by a sports complex named after Louis Bleriot (Stade Louis Bleriot), a famous French aviator who participated in the races.
Before we found Stade Louis Bleriot, we took a wrong turn and stumbled over the gem in the photo below. We found this at the end of a house in a residential area and it depicts the year of the race (1909) as well as some of the race participants and sponsors, including Glenn Curtis, Louis Bleriot, Hugh Farman, Gordon Bennett, and the Wright Brothers.
After a picnic lunch, we arrived at our hotel in Reims about 2:30. At the Cathedral, a five minute walk from the hotel, Karen and I found some pictures of Reims from 1908, which show what Reims would have looked like when the original 1908 racers drove through.
Karen and I went out again after dinner to see the “Dream of Colors,” a lighting display on the outside of the cathedral. The 25 minute show began at 11 p.m. and included different lighting effects on the cathedral figures accompanied by music. The still photo below doesn’t really do a good job of conveying the show, so I took some video that will be posted in the next couple of days.
Tomorrow is our last day on the road! We have a short 143 km drive to Paris tomorrow.