Around Amiens

Community Highlights Road Trips Around Amiens

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle on Sunday morning around 6.30am and in pretty good shape. Collected bags, then off to Europcar counter. Not unexpectedly there was a bit of mucking about based around cultural differences, especially language. And my 50 yo schoolboy French seems to exacerbate these situation, albeit at times, antagonize the locals by trying to clarify why I am not getting what I ordered. We did however finish up with a pretty decent car.

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We are staying in Amiens for three days and using this time to recover from the longish flight, familiarize ourselves with the hire car (yes the steering wheel is poorly located on the passenger side etc) and of course to do a bit of touring around the area. We had an interesting and sometimes emotional morning ar the Sir John Monash Centre near Villers-Bretonneux in the Somme Valley which was a significant part of the Western Front that stretched from this area through to Ypres in Belgium.

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It is probably understandable why so many baby boomers are particularly interested in both WWI and WWII history. As was often the case our grand parents and parents were directly involved in these conflicts. My Grandfather Edgar Banfield was wounded in the first Battle of Passchendaele near Ypres in October 1917.

Villers-Bretonneux is a village that is famous in WWI folklore because the Australians under the command of Sir John Monash, defeated the Germans in April 1918, to regain the village, albeit after 80% of the buildings had been destroyed. The extent of casualties in this conflict is staggering. https://https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-I/Killed-wounded-and-missing...

Amiens is also known for its famous Gothic Cathedral. We have read that it is the largest gothic cathedral in France. Yes it is bigger than Norte Dame! (Especially now and lots of no smoking signs . . .) Brilliant and incredibly well preserved.

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Also did a little watercolor while I was in the Cathedral.

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This morning,we drove north to the seaside town of Cayeux-Sur-Mer. A very quaint sort of place and from an Australian perspective pretty bizarre. Cayeux was a favorite spot for WWI soldiers on “rec leave”. “During the First World War, the French government set up . . . . . a series of brothels in order to make money from the women and soldiers involved.” Anyway a nice spot with lots and lots of beach huts. And moules et frittes for lunch. Moules (mussels) are in season and a very hot item and the only person in the restaurant who wasn't eating any moules was Jill !!!

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Tomorrow to Brussels via Ypres.

This featured blog entry was written by fanniebayflier from the blog Northern Europe - summer - 2019..
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By fanniebayflier

Posted Tue, May 21, 2019 | France | Comments