Vineyards in Verzenay… Barbara Franken Photography
Finally we were driving along the outskirts of Reims towards the village of Verzenay, seeing the horizon filled with vineyards and we knew we were almost there. It had been a long but beautiful day driving, the sun shining strongly, turning the heads of the sunflowers that filled both sides of the motorway. Now all we could see were rows and rows of vineyards in this special part of the world that is famous for making champagne. We had arrived at no 6 Rue Venve Pommery, Verzenay… at the Champagne establishment of Emmanuel Pithois.
Champagne Emmanuel Pithois, Verzenay… Barbara Franken Photography
A lovely french lady, Catherine was waiting outside to greet us, guiding us through her gates and into the parking at the back of their home. She had a lovely smile and manner and spoke wonderful English and kissed us a lot. We grabbed out bags and followed her into her home, passing delicious aromas that hung in the air as we climbed the stairs to be shown our grand bedroom… fit for a king and queen. She asked us if it was possible to meet her downstairs in 15 mins to begin the tour of her husbands champagne cellars before we began the tasting, followed by a meal that she had prepared for us.
Nothing but the best bottle of Champagne they produce…
Barbara Franken Photography
We were welcomed into a beautiful sitting and dining room, that was ours to use for our stay. The decorations were just wonderful, I heard later it was Catherine’s passion and part of her enjoyment running their family bed and breakfast/champagne business. We sat down, quite weary and hungry, so the display of freshly baked savoury pastries were a delight and went down a treat with the bottle of champagne that kept being poured. Cheers… Sante… We chatted nicely for about an hour before Catherine said the dinner was ready to be served.
A Delicious dinner at La Maison Des Vignes… Barbara Franken Photography
We enjoyed a starter of goats cheese and figs on homemade olive bread with a glass of sweet champagne followed by a delightful plate of salmon and sauteered vegetables and a bottle of red wine, a refreshing lemon sorbet as a palette cleanser and finishing with fruit ice-cream cocktail with a champagne liquor… my mouth is watering again as I remember this evening… but boy were we tired, a little tipsy… and ready for bed.
A welcome bouquet of flowers… Barbara Franken Photograph
A room fit for a King and Queen… Barbara Franken Photography
It was a delightful evening and we had a good night sleep… sleeping a little later on our day off, going down for breakfast for 9.30am. Breakfast was another wonderful experience here, I do love it when someone goes all out with their passion, you can feel it in the air and in the food… and Catherine’s food was no exception.
French Breakfast… Barbara Franken Photography
Such nice displays… Barbara Franken Photography
We decided to go into Reims and take a look at this royal city that we’d heard so much about. Apparently many french royalty were crowned in the Notre-Dame Cathedral, following Hugh Capet who was crowned King of France in 987 and began the tradition of serving the local wine, a pale pinkish Pinot noir at the coronation banquets which helped grow the reputation of the regions wine and later Champagne. History of Champagne, wikipedia.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reims… Barbara Franken Photography
The Cathedral was quite stunning from the outside, they had begun the restoration on the outside as it was looking a little dark and with the clouds descending upon the city it felt as if we had arrived in a dark part of the world. We stepped inside to take a peek and saw the magnificent stained glass windows at one end of the Cathedral… I personally love Chargall’s dreamy artwork and found his window quite breathtaking and brought a spirit of lightness to the heaviness I always feel in places like this.
Chargall’s Stain-glass window Reims Cathedral… Barbara Franken Photography
We began to walk through the streets of Reims, to see the sights, feel the atmosphere and find a nice place to have a little lunch. The buildings were indeed grand and elegant, fit for a king and queen… but the more I walked amongst the buildings and conversed with a variety of people… I began to feel quite intimidated.
It had begun to rain so we looked for somewhere to have a nice lunch before returning for a quiet relaxing afternoon. We had hoped for an afternoon in their beautiful garden by the pool, but the rain was here to stay for the day. So a good opportunity to relax in our bedroom and I take myself on an inner journey, breathing consciously in and out.
I knew these feelings of intimidation weren’t mine and remembered feeling a similar way in the old city of Valencia the other day. I was beginning to realise these feeling belonged to all the people who were oppressed so long ago by the higher patriarchy and the fear had become trapped in the buildings and in our bodies until this day. Maybe this is why a lot of people, seem at times to be arrogant or lost as we literally take on the past feelings of all our ancestors as our own.
We carry the fear around with us, until we realise it isn’t our fear and become aware of how the higher patriarchy today continue to use us, feeding us with mis-information and playing-out their latest mind games through the media and digital electronics to control the mass… and want nothing more than the fear to be our end.
How does it make you feel when I mention that 1% of the population controls the rest?
My summer holiday was becoming a real reminder for me to question deep within myself just how much I loved myself… because I knew that one can’t truly love Self and remain in fear at the same time. Did I still have ancestral fears lurking so deep within that were now ready to be welcomed home by me… before their ultimate release?
Breathing deeply and calmly… in and out… I chose to allow fears that were ready for release to come back to the physical moment, to be embraced for the truth that they are. They were nothing to do with me, I was my own magnificent sovereign self whose essence is pure LOVE… everything that no longer served me could now be released.
There was no sign of Catherine or Emmanuel, so as the rain had stopped we went for a walk around the town, but didn’t come across any bars, cafes or restaurants so as it was time for a drink and nibble we decided to get in the car and return to Reims to find a restaurant for an early dinner.
Next morning we were up early to take the next leg of our journey to Holland, unfortunately Catherine thought we wanted breakfast at 9.30am again so we were waiting quite a long time before we could eat to our hearts content before heading off.
Holland wasn’t so far, a few hours drive from the mountainous regions of Spain and France, descending upon the green flat lands… I knew this country well and became quite excited driving through. Unfortunately the weather was dull and wet (the main reason why we had left Holland all those years ago) but seeing the cyclists, windmills, houses and the lush nature reminded me of the many years I had enjoyed living in Holland. Holland greeted me with an overwhelming feeling of coming home.
Dutch Windmill… Barbara Franken Photography…
Over the years the energy of Holland has become more and more dense as fear grew amongst the people as they became less certain what the future held. I feel into the energy of the land each time I visit… this time was maybe a fraction better, but life was quickly changing now, old systems and ways no longer worked and were becoming obsolete, leaving people to try and discover what worked for them. I could only hope that more and more people became more aware, like myself and make the choice to love themself totally and expand their imagination beyond and begin creating the life they are passionate about.
Holland was no exception and I felt If any country could lead the way to living a peaceful and harmonic life, I would put my bets on Holland. So IAM patience and remain observing in interest.
In 2012 I wrote a blog post about how I felt the need for people to begin Choosing Love vs Fear… Blog Post Jan 2012… Now 3 years later it is urgent, we have to release our fears… My book, Me My Magnificent Self… A Journey to Freedom, due for release soon, shares my amazing journey of how I discovered LOVE , TRUST and UNDERSTANDING and was able to release my fears.
Part III of my story will share more of my time in Holland and our wonderful stay in England, attending the fairytale wedding of my little sister.
Take care and ask yourself, how well are you loving yourself… As we can only truly love ourself if our mind is at peace and we have nothing to worry or fear.
Barbara Franken… Master Creator
Inspiring New Energy Consciousness.