Wednesday, July 2, 2008

France: Champagne

Bonjour, je m'appelle sacristain. Je goûte très bon. Mais, c'est trop tard, on m'a déjà mangé.

This is called a sacristain. I had to fight R off of it in order to take a picture of it. I'm probably not the best person to describe's a twisted lemon-flavoured puff pastry with sugar on top. I think it's a breakfast food. But, we didn't die from eating it in the afternoon.

Went out for dinner the other day...

Still amazed that wine is cheaper than pop. Not complaining.

This actually isn't what I ate. But, it is similar looking. I think I officially don't like meat inside of crepes. I've tried making chicken stuffed crepes before too and there's something odd about the texture and flavour of crepes mixed with meat. Well, at least it seems odd to me.

Here are a few sites just around the corner from the restaurant:

I also took a tour of Pommery, a champagne house. They have a fair bit of information on their website about the champagne process and their history, so I won't try to recount the information I learned during the tour (those types of details are R's department).

I'm glad I went, but I can't say that I enjoyed it very much. Yes, I know that sounds odd but it's fairly common for me to appreciate having had the experience while not actually enjoying it in the moment.

They had a modern art exhibit that had me rolling my eyes the whole way through the tour. I'll show you some of the pictures of the "art" in a bit.

After initially getting lost trying to find Pommery, this was a site for sore eyes:

Here's where you enter the building:

After entering, there's a large waiting area with this barrel as a main fixture of the room:

This is the significance of the barrel:

After having gotten lost on my way to Pommery and missing the tour I was going to take, I spent the next hour or so looking at the contemporary art exhibit set up in the lobby area while waiting for the next tour. Maybe I'm just not very open-minded, but I didn't get it. One room played a video, where a man was visiting a war-torn country trying to explain to the locals how they can make more money off of pictures of starving children and war than off of pictures of celebrations. I didn't understand why the video would be playing at a champagne house. In another room was a slide show accompanied by a soundtrack about how medicine was developed. It made those 80s movies from science class look interesting.

One neat, but also confusing exhibit was displayed just as you entered into the cave. A woman had guitars set up with bird seed all over the place and a bunch of birds.

We made our way down the steps into the caves themselves.

Pretty much everything in there is for show. None of what you see in the cave is actual product that is being sold or prepared for future sales. Kind of disappointing.

The tour guide was animated, but I couldn't understand half of what he said. Between the echo in the cave, the speed at which he spoke and his accent when speaking English (I'm usually pretty good with accents), I gave up part way through.

He gave me heck for taking this picture. He was pretending to be an artist. I think he felt at somewhat of a loss to explain the art.

Here's an example of "art". I'm not sure what it is. Kind of looked like a pile of garbage in a ship covered with oil. I take it is represents our disregard for the environment. True, I just made that up - but with the level of pretention of the art, I think I could get by on that interpretation.

Some other examples of art include a floor that had peaks in it to represent the level of crime in Liverpool, an alien in the ceiling of one of the cave rooms, illegible writing on the wall of literal translations of Japanese expressions written in English. I could go on...

But really, this is my preferred art:

Between this Champagne house visit and a trip to Mumm several years ago, I think I've had my fill.

The next posts about France will show the better part of my trip. StumbleUpon


glamah16 said...

Well this part looks great to me. All personal taste I guess.

That Girl said...

J'ai complètement oublié que j'allais écrire un poste l'autre jour complètement dans le français!

grace said...

the tour guide looks like a fun fellow and the sights are amazing. color me jealous. :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your trip! I love France.

Anonymous said...

I've been there and am completely jealous I'm not there. So wonderful!

Chef Jeena said...

France looks so fabulous! Great post thanks. :-)

Vicarious Foodie said...

OK, I am SO jealous. I've never been there before but have always wanted to go. Hope you find more to enjoy (focus on the wine)!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Great pictures!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! I so need a vacation!

Lori Lynn said...

Psychgrad - I'm with you on the PREFERRED Art!

HP said...

The best art was that breakfast lemony twist thing and you've already scoffed it. What a tease!