Our 4-day break to Amiens and Picardie
Under the guidance of our very popular guide Johan, during 28–31 May 2010, we “did” Picardie, gardens and châteaux en route and in the area of Amiens.
Friday: Coffee & croissant at Château de Cocove, evening meal at Arras and on to our base in Amiens.
Saturday: Amiens – Jardin des Plantes, the cathedral of St Leu, boat trip through Les Hortillonages and on to the gardens at Sericourt
Sunday: Château de Rambures (pictured below) then on to the coastal town of St Valery and a trip round the bay to Crotoy on the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme.
Monday: en route for Calais we visited again Les Jardins de Valloires and a guided tour of the monastery.
Thanks to Jo, Martyn, Alma & Roy for all the organisation, Mark The Driver and Johan The Guide.
6:45am and we all gathered on the Green to get on the coach ready for a 7am departure for The Chunnel.
Everyone had their passports and weren’t allowed on the bus unless inspected by Border Control Agent Alma.
After a brief comfort-break in Kent we headed for the Chunnel and arrived in Calais where, after a tour of the local industrial estate, we eventually found and picked up our guide, Johan.
Not far from Calais we stopped for coffee & croissants at Château de Cocove. Refreshed, we visited the cemetery Notre Dame de Lorette. Then on to Arras for a walking tour and dinner before completing our journey to Amiens, arriving at 8:30pm.
A visit to the valley of the Somme would be incomplete without remembering those who died in battle.
We stopped at the cemetery of Notre Dame de Lorette. One of the major French National Memorials (and her largest First World War Cemetery) the chapel and lighthouse tower at Notre Dame de Lorette dominate the ridge for which the French fought a long and bloody battle.
Christian, Jew, Muslim and unknown fought and died together for France: some are buried here.
In the morning we started our day with a short journey to the Botanical Gardens (Jardin Des Plantes).
and the bougainvillea lollipops!
Then on to the cathedral of St Leu and, after lunch, a boat trip to see the “floating gardens” – Les Hortillonnages.
And next – the gardens at Sericourt.
The gardens at Sericourt are a delight! Water, walkways, meadow, topiary and much more.
And it’s time for dinner again!
This morning we visited the Château de Rambures set in a romantic park with rose gardens in medieval style, apple orchard, ferns and hostas.
After a guided tour of the castle – the first brick castle, the construction of which began between the end of the XIVth and the beginning of the XVth century, towards the end of the Hundred Years war.
The roses weren’t quite blooming in Picardie (winter temperatures down to -18C didn’t help).
but they have an apple orchard with some unusual varieties, including a Rambour (Rambures?)
Pomme d’or (Golden Delicious?)
Douce Coêt Ligné
Douce longue queue (must be English???)
Amère de Berthecourt
Noir de Vitry
For the afternoon we headed towards the coast for the medieval town of St Valery for lunch and afterwards our train journey to Le Crotoy on the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme. Non-anoraks look away now. In addition to proper (steam) trains we found a proper car
But back to the steam train.
Some weren’t into the engineering but came along for the ride.
Don’t lean out now, Margaret!
Lunch at Montreuil-sur-Mer (only it isn’t), on to Calais, and that was the end to a wonderful holiday….
… except for the ritual dance for exorcism of the “spirits” from (at least) one member, performed sous La Manche, supervised by 2 priests.
Meanwhile your webmaster (the bloke in yellow) prefers to sleep it off.
Photo by Alan (they know where he lives!)
See you all again next year??