Blogs from Amiens, Picardy, France, Europe


Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens June 17th 2014

Arrivederci Venice Already I miss the sounds of the gondoliers in the canal beneath our hotel window. In the morning we heard their easy banter as they prepared their gondolas for the day. Later in the day and in the evening, there was often the sound of a piano accordion playing and a tenor singing, “O Solo Mio” to rousing applause by the onlookers. There was always happy chatter and laughter from the constant flood of tourists being taken for their 40-minute ride around the canals. Our home for the past four nights has been the Hotel Lisbona, an old Venetian hotel with velvet wallpaper, tapestries and chandeliers. We were on the third floor and as these hotels don’t have lifts, it wasn’t easy getting the luggage, or ourselves up and down. This is definitely not ... read more
Stairs to our room.
Riolta Bridge
The market

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens June 7th 2013

I had bought a ticket to Amiens in advance. I wanted to go there to see the Amiens Cathedral, listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I had early departure (and cheap ticket) in the morning, but managed to have breakfast (it was scheduled at 7-30, I went there at some 7-20 or so); there was no milk and I had to wait about five minutes. The train to Amiens took an hour and twenty minutes and there were no cancellations or late departures as compared to Rouen. I walked without a map, saw an unusually tall and narrow building in front of the gare – it is called Tour Perret, a 27-storey residential skyscraper. I was looking for signs of the cathedral, and soon its arches showed up. The cathedral is the tallest of the classic ... read more
Amiens Cathedral

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens August 5th 2012

Amiens was a city Terry always wanted to visit again after reading his favourite book 'Birdsong'. There is only one campsite and it was not good, expensive with even more expensive WiFi, therefore, we reduced our stay from one week to 3 days. The weather also was no longer good, more like an English summer. First opportunity though we were off to the city centre. 'Birdsong' describes the beauty of the canals built by the Romans alongside the River Somme. The heroes of the book fall in love there whilst travelling in a punt. You are no longer allowed to wander around these canals by boat so we had to take a tour in an electric powered punt, however, this was fantastic. The canals are built within very fertile soil and locals compete with each other ... read more
On the Amiens Canals
The Gardens alongside the Canals
Canal View

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens May 22nd 2012

Day 10 2nd day in Amiens and the WW1 battlefields. A really nice night at a fine hotel the night before with a cheap dinner - think they forgot the wine..... Off to the Somme and then to Bullecourt where there were too many Oz soldiers killed - something like over 13,000 along with 7/8 of the Newfoundlanders (now a country swallowed up by Canada) and lots of British and NZ soldiers. Then we went to the South African memorial. There were so many men killed that they decided to leave them where they lie in the wood and have bought the land and allowed the wood to regenerate in its natural form as the memorial to those killed. The day finished and we went to our next hotel, a tad different to last night - ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens May 21st 2012

Day 9 We leave Paris this morning. Our apartment check I'd some at 0600 so we can get the bond back and have time to get to the station for a 0728 train to Amiens where we then go on a 2 day tour of the Western front WW1 battlefields (Somme, Poziers, Villers Bretenoux, etc.). We get to Amiens without a hitthe wait outside Subway (sandwichery as they call it here) for our 0930 pickup. 0945 and start to wonder - 0955 and making calls to tour group - bugger, that is 1800 in Sydney. Try again and they offer an emergency line but as I am about to hit the buttons, a man that Chris had noticed standing on the corner comes over - our contact who had been on the corner he usually meets ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens September 10th 2011

So on the way to my second marathon with my work colleague at the time Kate, we stopped off at Amiens. Amiens was a nice place where i caught the RWC pool match between Argentina and England, ate a huge pot of mussels with fries, visited a very nice cathedral and walked around a medieval market. The medieval market was brilliant, with all sorts of weird and wacky things been sold and a high buy in rate with a lot of people dressed the part. Walking around such a historic place with people dressed in medieval attire was a unique and fun experience. Amiens cathedral is a beautiful place, that houses a memorial to ANZAC troops amongst others for those that lost their lives fighting in the 100 day offensive that started with the Battle of ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens May 3rd 2011

Day 3 and legs are dead. Michael (lets crack on) Cooke is setting the pace. Paul & Colin are plotting revenge at the back. Lovely countryside but still very windy. Lots of wind farms along the way - never a good sign. First near death experience as a speeding French lady pulled out without looking but Cookie managed to stop - good job he got his breaks serviced before he left. No more accom booked and a friendly native has just told us Doullens does not have any hotels. Hmm ... Found a basic hotel & headed into the night - the only ones out! After pizzas we had to ask for a bar to unlock & let us in. Barcelona v Real Madrid was on the tele & Tony, a fantastic host & the champion ... read more
Lunch in the sun

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens November 28th 2009

I learned to tango in Amiens. I never expected to tango, but when the opportunity arose, I defined the first rule to live by on my trip: I am not allowed to refuse an invitation to anything. The point of this thing is to expand on every element of my social being, and the only way to do that is to get out and DO THINGS. Tangoing is actually pretty easy. Tangoing WELL requires a few lessons. My SERVAS host, Jason, is a math teacher by day who moonlights as a tango instructor. He is a short, endearing 30-something year old man who loves comic books, and who (like many French people I’ve met) seems to have a closet that consists almost exclusively of striped, Marcel Marceau-esque shirts. My time in Amiens was actually just a ... read more
Amiens at its best
Amiens cafe

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens December 11th 2008

We read about a Cathedral that topped Notre Dame and is the biggest in France, we decided to head off for a day in Amiens (even though neither of us had ever heard of it and still cant pronounce it). Our Europass train ticket has been fantastic for just jumping on trains and heading off wherever we want to go, whenever we want. It took a little getting to, about an hour on a train and then another half an hour on a bus (a flash TGV bus though, so it wasnt exactly a hardship). Our first stop was to check out this cathedral, which was worth the trip alone and was truly impressive. The front face was absolutely covered with carved figures and took years to complete. Would recommend a trip to anyone to see ... read more
Amiens Cathedral front on
Picturesque little town

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens November 22nd 2008

We finally had our first official orientation today after being here for 3 weeks now... and the President of the international students association was naming all the countries that were attending the university here. He mentioned Vietnam...and for some reason I was the only asian guy in the room, so there were heads turning for a while trying to find this Vietnamese guy until all eyes finally laid on me. lol. Then i realized what just then i had to say out loud, from chicago or en francais "Je viens des Etats-Unis"! After I said that, people had this look on their face like they were kinda confused. lol. And then they served us lunch. We went around introducing ourselves and then of course the first thing they said was "ah, tu viens de ... read more

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