December 5

Day 9 Amiens

As we had been on the road with our driver, Paul, for 5 days already, European Law dictated that he had to have a day off today. So we took the opportunity to explore the very ancient and very historic city of Amiens. We started with a look around the cathedral, a 13th century Gothic building that is the tallest of its type in the world and the largest in France. Among its treasures are reportedly the head of John the Baptist. There are also references to the Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the defence of the city, particularly in 1918. Then a quick coffee and some traditional “macarons d’Amiens”, which are almond paste biscuits. After carefully instructing some of the other members of the group how to order coffee in French it became apparent that the shopkeeper spoke English perfectly well. Oh, well, good practice. We then made our way through the St. Leu area and walked along the canals to the water gardens.

It was then back into the main shopping area where the largest Xmas markets in Northern France are held and some serious spending. We ended the day with a meal in the Irish Pub, as you would expect in the middle of France. No matter where you travel in the world there always seems to be an Irish Pub close by.