Our autoroute decision was a good one as we arrive relaxed in Reims at 3.45 rather than a scheduled 7.20. We are about the 4th car to arrive (that has not happened anywhere) and the parking is not ready in the pedestrianised, cafe lined Place Drouet d’Erlon. There is a champagne reception and a more formal dinner at 7.30 sharp and our decision is confirmed by the cars still coming into the parking area at 7.30.

We are not very far from the magnificent, 800 year old, Reims Cathedral but unfortunately the well known main facade is draped in scaffolding undergoing cleaning.

Returning to the Place Drouet d’Erlon the parking is ready and there is a very detailed ‘architects’ plan drawn up for the parking layout – sadly they have given it to a medic so any hope of the draughtsmans work being utilised properly is in vain!

Matt goes off in search of the hotel and when he finds it at the very far end of the Place Drouet d’Erlon from where we are parked he very sensibly asks the hotel if we can park right outside – which they agree to – so we leave the meidcs and there parking plan and head for the VIP parking a la the Rolls.

After the dinner the Place is the place to stroll with the cars lined up between the numerous cafes on both sides.

180km to go tomorrow and a very controlled entry into Paris – led by the podium places in both categories and then the cars in place order. We leave Reims at 10.05 and are scheduled to arrive in Place Vendome at around 1pm.

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