This monument to Prehistoric Stone Megaliths (of which France has quite a few) was in the middle of a roundabout in the middle of the country near Amiers.
Day 14 - Underground in Normandy
Today was our first real day out as tourists in France. Since we like to visit caves we started by looking for caves sites in France. Funny thing is, most caves are found in mountains. Not a lot of those in Northern France. We did find some man-made caves that had been turned into a hide away for local villagers during WWI. The caves started out as a quarry for chalk and were expanded to house over 2000 people and their animals. It was over 33 meters below ground and very extensive (300 chambers). They even managed to find ways to heat it without the smoke giving away the existence of the caves. They piped the underground chimneys to fake (and/or real) tradesmen locations, like a mill house. After the underground city, we headed to Amiens, a large city in the north of France. Before we got too far, we saw a sign for Citadel something or other in the opposite direction. Like lemmings, we followed, and found what looked to be a very awesome citadel with a nice park around it. However, it turns out that, while Sundays are a day
The entrance to the Underground city... seems more like a New York Subway entry.
for people to rest in France, apparently, Monday is a day for most museums and monuments to rest... so it was closed. After initially heading the wrong direction again, we finally made our way to Amiens. Amiens traffic was a bit insane and the tiny, one-way streets were confusing. We found a parking garage with a teeny-tiny entrance, teeny-tiny lanes, and teeny-tiny parking spots filled with teeny-tiny (and some not-so-tiny) cars. We squeezed into one, found a park, stopped to pet a dog, and then placed some orders at a corner cafe for lunch. Since no one else in the cafe spoke English, we took a long time to figure out what we wanted, which involved the use of hand waving, a translation dictionary and a lot of guessing. The food was lovely, and we left a generous tip. We walked around the downtown area, saw a very large, very ornate cathedral with thousands of gargoyles. The guidebooks claim this is the most ornate cathedral in Europe, and was the location for centuries of coronations of French Royalty. I believe it. We walked through the streets a bit, until it started to rain. We picked up some fresh Croissants from
Used as a Chapel and also as a refuge from WWI bombings.
a bakery (no English again, but we could point and croissant is already french), and visited the home of Jules Verne (very cool, btw). After squeezing out of the car park, and a stop by a pharmacy to pick up some Lactaid pills (difficult to find in France), we headed directly to the resort. OK, we did stop by the grocery store quickly, but this time the trip was uneventful.. I think we are getting the hang of being foreigners in France. At the hotel, Tony and Michelle went swimming again with the girls from England, and we settled down to french toast dinner and the World Cup (go Germany).
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