Our journey from Lyon to Troyes was largely uneventful and the satnag behaved itself. Especially since our hotel, Relais Saint Jean, gives two addresses, the satnag took us directly to the entrance for the secure parking. The other address is for clients on foot. Just take a look at the following photo’s ….
… this is Rue Paillot de Montabert , too narrow for regular traffic, and the location of the hotel entrance and reception.
The friendly staff had us very quickly checked in and, once we were installed in our room, we set out to explore Troyes. We were spending two nights here so hoped to get a real feel for the town. Here is what the hotel website and the Tourism Office / Departmental Committee of Tourism have to say ….
Troyes, historical capital of the champagne region, a city of Art and History, distinguishes itself by the beauty of its architecture, the timbered structures of its buildings, its gastronomy, its nine churches illuminated by their remarquable tinted glass windows.
The old fortifications which in the past protected the city have left their place to the main boulevards, which still identify the perimeters of the city and form the famous “bouchon de Champagne” or “Champagne cork” (clearly distinct from the air). Within the city there is a hive of commercial and pedestrian activity, historical monuments and buildings remarquably maintained, preserved and brought to life in order to make Troyes a pleasure to visit.
The “Pans de Bois” or wooden structures are omni-present in the city center of Troyes and especially around the Hotel Relais Saint Jean. Everywhere you can admire the tall wooden buildings, their “Colombages” and rounded features.
Our first foray onto the streets of Troyes took us around the narrow lanes nearest to the hotel. Everywhere you look there are old buildings, some with remarkable features. All have something unique, making them just that little bit different. Whether it be blatant, such as the building colour.
Or more subtle, by way of a carving in a door frame, or even the main building beams.
After our initial exploration we decided that we would eat, return to the hotel and recharge our batteries ready for a full day exploring. For our meal we settled on Les Relais d’ Alsace – Taverne Karlsbrau.
It’s possible that I had the biggest meal, ever, at this establishment. The main course seems to have obliterated my starter from my memory cells. For my main course I chose the Choucroute de la Taverne. I knew I was in trouble when the waitress brought out a wire frame and spirit heater which she assembled on our table. Shortly thereafter she appeared with a large platter, placed it on the wire frame and lit the heater. She then proceeded to load up my plate with meat, two large boiled potatoes and sauerkraut. Perhaps I should explain that, by meat, I mean a Pork Knuckle, a sausage (pork I think), a Frankfurter, several thick slices of Garlic Sausage and a thick slice of Bacon. She then started to pile on the sauerkraut. I think there must have been about a kilo of sauerkraut and she would have put it all on my plate if I hadn’t stopped her.
An american guy on the table behind me was very interested in my menu choice and I showed him where it was on the menu. He seemed quite keen to give it a try. But, I think, his wife dissuaded him and he had a burger instead.
Needless to say, I didn’t eat it all. I ate all of the meat but left the fat and skin from the Pork Knuckle. There was a lot of fat. Gerry helped out by eating the potato and I left most of the sauerkraut. I do like sauerkraut but the amount delivered to our table was really excessive.
I did enjoy the meal and the knuckle was particularly good. Back home I quite often will have bacon hock when it is on the menu. The knuckle had the same flavour and fall apart texture.
Meal over, Gerry and I, well mainly me, waddled home to the hotel.
Next morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we set out again to explore the town. The Tourist Info Office is just around the corner from the hotel so we popped in there and purchased a guide and one or two other items before continuing our exploration. Here are a few other photo’s to give you a flavour of Troyes.
After much walking we stopped for a drop of liquid refreshment during which we, along with all the other customers, were serenaded by a guy and his guitar. He was really quite good although we had no idea what the songs meant. When drinking you need something to mop it up so we decided to have lunch. Gerry had a Croque Madame and I had Eggs Benedict. Very tasty, although the sauce was a very garish yellow.
As the hotel was very close we decided to drop our purchases back at our room. We didn’t make it back out. Opting to relax a little before heading out for dinner. In the end we didn’t make it out for dinner either.
I suggested room service, which Gerry was more than happy with. Our room had a balcony with a table and chairs. So we sat out there, watching the sunset over the rooftops. Gerry with her Spaghetti Bolognese, me with my usual Assiette and all washed down with a nice bottle of Bordeaux.
A lovely end to a lovely day.