Blogs from Picardy, France, Europe


Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens April 26th 2019

Wednesday 24th April This morning we boarded our coach for the trip to Amiens for Anzac Day. We first went to the town of Corbie to find some lunch. Before the French Revolution Corbie was a very important place, with a large monastery which had been there for centuries. It was a centre for writing, transcription, etc. Most of the monastery has been demolished, but a large church which was once part of the complex remains. After lunch we visited the Victoria School in Villers Bretonneux, which was rebuilt by Australian soldiers after it was destroyed, along with most of the village, in 1918. Funds were raised in Australian primary schools (particularly in Victoria), and even materials were sent over. The school hall is lined with Victorian timber. The attic of one wing of the school ... read more
Anzac Day Dawn Service
Memorial at Le Hamel
Church in Corbie

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens July 5th 2018

It’s 8 am and I rollover for the first time, it’s pitch black and really, I don’t even know that it’s 8 am. I gently get out of bed so not to disturb Kirsten, I hear Kirsten say...not so fast there Mr. Stealthy. Woh, are you awake? Yep, we are leaving by 10 AM, you’d better be showered, fed, packed and loaded in the car or I’m leaving you like a bad habit. I’m thinking that sounds pretty strong coming from someone who doesn’t know where the car keys are........ I’m showered and down stairs having breakfast with Uli & Gudrun when Kirsten and Omi show up. No sooner than they sit down..... Claudia’s husband Tommy comes in. He just flew in from NYC and wanted to visit us before we left. We sat there for ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Peronne October 8th 2017

Back in the saddle again!! After a delightful but moving day yesterday, it was back in the saddle again today for the ride from Peronne to Marquion. The day started with the transit of a couple of locks and then we offloaded the bikes and headed upstream along the Canal du Nord, pausing briefly on a bridge to take photos of Elodie as she passed beneath us. The riding today was at a very pleasant pace and the weather was kind, with light winds and scattered cloud. Temperature of around 15C. We rode through picturesque village after picturesque village. Very quiet as it was Sunday. Henry found a café open for morning tea and we stopped in a lovely picnic location in Moeuvres for lunch. We made such good time that we arrived at Marquion at ... read more
The team waiting for Elodie to pass  below
Here she comes
Lunch Break at Moeuvres

Europe » France » Picardy » Peronne October 7th 2017

What a lovely day!! My backside didn't go anywhere near a bike saddle all day today and, for that, it is eternally grateful!! After a yummy breakfast of bacon and eggs with all the usual trimmings, we packed up and headed into town. A brief tour of the Saturday morning markets cost me nothing more than 2 Euros for a scarf and 3.50E for a couple of pastries. The lady at the fruit stall gave me a delicious plum for free!! Next stop the Historical Museum de Guerre Grande (Historical Museum of the Great War). Well worth a look for an overview of the atrocity which was the First World War. What a frightful waste of 11 million young lives!! Plus, of course, the aftermath of so many men with physical and psychological ailments many of ... read more
The Weapons of War
German War Graves
Digger Mike and the Golden Madonna

Europe » France » Picardy October 6th 2017

Today reminds me of that Beatle's song "Long and Winding Road". 55km of long slow inclines and short whizzes down hill, all into a 20km/h head wind. Those with battery power were certainly at an advantage today. Not a great deal to see today other than the gothic cathedral at Noyon. Built in 1140 to 13th Century with various additions over the centuries including France's oldest religious library built in the 1400's. Noyon had its first Bishop in the mid 6th Century and a Pope came from Noyon in the 14th Century. The other significant feature of the ride today was our first Commonwealth War Cemetery near Brie. A small but very moving tribute to those that gave their lives for our French colleagues in the Great War. When you read the ages on the tomb ... read more
First coffee of the day
It looks a very tight squeeze from the Wheelhouse, as we approach a lock
The Pipe organ in the Noyon Cathedral

Europe » France » Picardy » Noyon October 5th 2017

Jenny's Birthday and what a day!! The day started with Jenny getting tea in bed. At breakfast, she was smothered with kisses (2 if you're French, 3 if you're Dutch) and presented with a cute little 'rum baba' cake complete with candle. The cake had cream and a raspberry on top and a small vial of rum which you inject into the cake. We had it for afternoon tea - Yum!! Today's ride was almost completely within the Cempiegne forest. We left Elodie and were subject to a rugged start with a few hundred yards of rough cobblestones across the front of the Palace. This is where the Paris to Roubaix bike race starts. This race is largely on cobblestones and the riders cover approximately 260km in one day of bone jarring, teeth shattering riding. After ... read more
Birthday Girl at Breakfast
Birthday Girl and hr best friend
Lonely bikes outside the cafe

Europe » France » Picardy » Compiegne October 4th 2017

Can this be possible??!! Yet another great day. 45km ride of pure bliss, mostly along the banks of L'Oise, mostly flat and mostly on quiet bike paths through farmland and forest. And the weather - perfect!! Life doesn't get much better than this!! Along the way we witnessed the Thalys high speed train from Brussels to Paris whizzing past on an elevated track at around 300km/h. We saw farm animals (horses, cows, chickens), plenty of swans on the river and ponds, ploughed fields and vegetable patches. We even had time for a coffee break (tea for Warwick) and we still got back to Elodie in time for a stroll through the beautiful town of Compiegne (how many times have I used the term 'beautiful' in these travelblogs? I'm sorry if my use of this superlative is ... read more
Coffee (& tea) break
A view from astern

Europe » France » Picardy » Creil October 3rd 2017

Is it possible to keep having this much fun day after day?? Today, we had an early start when Elodie slipped and proceeded into the L'Oise River and headed upstream to the village of Auvers sur Oise. On arrival, Henry took us on a very interesting walking tour of the village, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last 70 days of his life. He showed us scenes within the village that van Gogh painted, where he lived and where he is buried. Van Gogh painted around 80 pictures in these last 70 days of his life. Unknown to me was the fact that van Gogh shot himself and, although he didn't die straight away, succumbed to his injuries three days later. His considerable industry before he died made me wonder whether he planned his final days. ... read more
Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo's resting place
Cathedral at Auvers
Jenny and the light coming through the stained glass windows

Europe » France » Picardy » Peronne September 22nd 2017

A good drive up from the Loire today on a route we’ve never used before. Pretty directly North avoiding motorways and going through some nice towns and villages along the way and round the ring roads of others where the town centres looked a bit inaccessible to Tandy. Some towns looked worth a visit but those were generally the ones we had to drive round rather than through. Through the extensive forest of Fontainebleu then due north until we picked up the N104, the 3rd outer ringroad of Paris. That one was a challenge, manic but the traffic did keep moving. We did try to stop twice at services and followed the caravan signs for parking but oddly there was nowhere to park and we found ourselves back out on the road again. Quite a relief ... read more
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170922 Feuillliieres (43)

Europe » France » Picardy » Le Crotoy September 4th 2017

Off we go to France in search of lots of late summery sun to charge us up ready for the winter months. The 2 months since our last Tandy trip seem to have flown. Goodness knows where but there’s been gardening, visits to Gloucestershire, glass making, Bob’s birthday, family visits, days out with the younger grandchildren (mine) and the wedding of Matt, one of Bob’s. 9 weeks gone in a flash with lots of lovely sunshine mixed in with some not very summery grey. The wedding was only last Friday so after that we had 2 days to shop, pack Tandy and get everything tidied up and ready. Garden watered (as still have some lovely dahlias in full bloom, a glut of tomatoes in the greenhouse, sunflowers just waiting for a bit more sun and generally ... read more
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170904 le Crotoy (7)
170904 le Crotoy (32)

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