Well worth the drive inland to the City of Amiens is the largest gothic cathedral in France. This magnificent edifice was finished in 1269, and was declared a World Heritage site in 1981. The cathedral is illuminated by a powerful light show which displays the frontal facade with it's display of impressive sculpture to it's best advantage.
The interior floor is tiled in a labyrinth pattern, which is easily missed, as the eye tends to be drawn to the glories of the vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows.
It is also possible, for a small fee, to climb the narrow winding stairs which lead to a balcony high above the central entrance, giving a view over the city. (Not for the faint-hearted or short of breath, - be warned!)
One rather grisly relic to watch out for is, alledgedly, the head of St. John the Baptist.
We had lunch at a pavement cafe in the main street. This part of Amiens is very modern and chic. Sadly there were quite a number of beggars operating in some places.
However this did not marr a very enjoyable day out.
We couldn't resist a trip on the narrow gauge railway which travels around the bay to St. Valery several times a day. The train leaves the station at Le Crotoy and wends it's way through farmland and marshes, over level crossings and bridges, to arrive at St. Valery an hour later.
Try to book in advance if possible, and catch a train which allows you to spend some time in St. Valery, to return by a later train.
A very enjoyable trip!
We spent quite some time on the beach, just outside the town of Le Crotoy. When the tide goes out, the whole bay virtually empties of water, leaving a small channel running through the middle of what is to all intents and purposes a desert.
If like me you tire of sitting getting burnt in the summer sun, a walk out into the middle of the bay will be of interest. There are a wide variety of birds to be seen, gulls, dippers and waders. You may even be lucky and see a seal in the narrow stream in the middle.
A definite plus is the cooler temperature out there.
We spent a very satisfying hour or so digging for cockles, which we took back to the caravan and cooked.
When in Le Crotoy you should try the "pré-salé" lamb. It tastes delicious. (They feed on the herbs in de valley and those are flooded by the sea a few times per year).
The seafood is great too.
And last but not least, the prices are democratic.
We parked the car somewhere near a beach and decided to reach Le Crotoy by walking through the bay.
The late afternoon was quite windy but we enjoyed the walk and marveled at the strange vegetation that grows there ! Actually, the sea withdraws for a certain amount of time and a special kind of flora develops on the salty soil that appears.
It took us an hour and a half to reach Le Crotoy.
There is also a possibility to visit the bay on horse-back, which must be really interesting !