Waiters’ Race @ Reims part2

After watching the race near the south end of La Place Drouet-d’Erlon for a while, mum and I decided to move closer to the start of the race.

Now, we were on the halfway line of the racecourse…

There was no seating for mum but the new place offered a much better view…

The waiters’ race, le course des garçons de café, was originated from Paris, France, and the first race was held at the beginning of the 20th century. The idea behind the event was to promote the recognition of the waiter profession in Paris.
The principal rule of the competition is to carry a tray laden with a bottle of water and a few glasses while racing as fast as possible without spilling its contents on the tray. Another rule is the participants are not allowed to run. The reason behind it is because waiters never run during their service, therefore, they are only allowed fast-walking.

See, they are walking, not running…

The pace of their walk was steady and the trays seemed to be glued to their palms.

However, there was always an exception. This guy was not particularly in a hurry, was he?

He was more interested in posing for a local newspaper photographer!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Waiters’ Race @ Reims part1

‘Re-bonjour, Reims!’ We greeted the city like our old acquaintance as our car slipped away from A344 and entered the city centre.

The city centre was very quiet because it was Sunday. However during we were checking in to a hotel, the receptionist informed us that there was some event happening on nearby Place Drouet d’Erlon.

So what is going on…? OMG!!

Course des garçons de café – waiters’ race!!

I had seen a similar race in Paris ages ago and I was amazed by their professionalism and athleticism.

So let see what Reims’ waitors can deliver…​


One of the locals kindly placed plastic chairs for us by the temporary barriers and we could watch a qualifying heat in style.

It was a hot day and a dog was cooling down in the shade…

Poor you. Wearing a fur coat in the summer isn’t easy, is it?

Place Drouet d’Erlon in which the race was held was a pedestrianized street in the heart of Reims. The thoroughfare was laden with various bars and restaurants and probably the liveliest part of the city…

The waiters’ race started at the north end of Place Drouet d’Erlon and the participants were to hurry down southward, making a beeline to la Fontaine Subé, a famous landmark of the city which stood at the junction of Rue Buirette and Place Drouet d’Erlon.

Once reaching to la Fontaine Subé, the contestants were to circle around the monument and to dash back northward, using the east side of the wide street…​


The public of Reims also had a go at the race…​

 

Bon courage!’ “Allez!’

We wondered how many had survived navigating the long cobbled street without spilling the contents on the trays. Carrying a tray while walking a long distance didn’t look easy nor fun for me.

If the inevitable happens, you are out, like him…

Désolé!

The race report will continue. So watch this space…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Exploring Reims 

We arrived at our first continental city, Reims, around 1pm. The journey on A26 was very smooth and we found the hotel without much trouble.

Our abode at Reims…

The only food we had so far was coffee and pastry at Folkestone, therefore, we were rather peckish. ‘Shall we find some grub?’ Mum and I hit the town centre of Reims.

At a statue we found on Place Drouet d’Erlon…

We sauntered Place Drouet d’Erlon towards north and decided to have lunch at Restaurant L’Edito. The thoroughfare was lined with various cafes and restaurants, and was reasonably crowded with the people who were enjoying sunny Friday afternoon. ‘Let’s sit outside and enjoy people-watching!’ So we sat at one of their table along the promenade.

Mum opted for seafood paella…

And I picked salad with roast chicken…

It was rather breezy and a little on the chilly side as the recent heatwave was yet to develop over Europe which made me regret about ordering a cold salad instead of hot food!

After lunch, we went to look for the famous cathedral of Reims.

We found a cute merry-go-around by a local church…

Mum’s knee seemed to be ok so we walked slowly towards Rue du Trésor from which we approached the cathedral.

The spire of the cathedral soaring towards the sky…

As a cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims is not as high profile internationally as namesakes in Paris and Strasbourg. However, the church is the place in which the very first king of the Franks, Clovis was baptised by Saint Remi in 498. Since then, 29 kings of France were crowned at the cathedral between 1027 and 1825.

Another famous character of the cathedral, Jeanne d’Arc…

This brave woman liberated the cathedral from the English and helped the Dauphin Charles to be crowned king on the 17th July 1547.

The window of the Baptism was adorned with stained glass window created by Marc Chagall…

I was rather surprised by the relative newness of the stained glass windows. Having said that, France, especially northern France, went through lots of wars throughout their history, and therefore,  something as fragile as stained glass surviving from the medieval time without restoration or being replaced would be too unrealistic to expect.

A magnificent rose window above main doorway…

Having a last look of the nave…

The west side of the cathedral…

On our way back, we dropped in Monoprix nearby and bought some snack and water. I urged mum to rest her back as the longest drive of our road trip awaited the next day…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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