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...more
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...more
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...more
We had Moules et Frites in the square in Le Crotoy, laid on by the local Pompiers, proceeds to their funds. As ever, very tasty! We ate from trays on wooden tables and benches laid out under the trees.My friend Malcolm is pictured enjoying the seafood, a treat we never miss when in France.more
August 15th is often the occasion for some festivities. The firemen of Le Crotoy had organized a giant open-air event, where we could eat mussels and fries, or grilled sausages for a really small price !We all sat around huge wooden tables under the trees and facing the sea, eating our mussels that tasted soooo good, drinking wine and enjoying...more
There's an historical train line called the chemin de fer de la baie de la somme that travels to Le Crotoy from Noyelles or St Valery which are further around the bay. Its not particularly cheap either...works out about 40 euros for a family of four. However if money is no object its a nice day out.
Note that the ticket office in St Valery is not at the actual station (where you park your car), its on a wagon parked down the line closer to the town centre...also that's also where you get on the train...well it was on the day we went.
The web site is in French but the timetable is quite easy to understand.
Ficelles picardes are a culinary specialty of Picardy... but does this really look like a Picardian specialty to you ? Well, our friend Anik thought that Sarah and I looked pretty much like Ficelles Picardes in our sleeping bags :-)
For real tips on the Ficelle Picarde, see my tips on Saint Valéry sur Somme.
As I said in my restaurant tip, we went to an open-air event organized by the firemen of Le Crotoy. After the eating was over, the DJ started to raise the music...and no one danced because of the rain. But we were drenched already, so we decided to have fun and dance under the rain for a while :-) Well, believe it or not, this was a really funny...more
Well, the presence of seals in the bay is something I wouldn't have imagined... They are usually visible at low tide, when they rest on the sand banks after they went fishing. However it is better to observe them from a distance to avoid perturbing them.But even though we went through the bay at low tide, the only seals we saw were those two on the...more
A funny phenomenon to observe... when the tide goes in, water seems to push forward a bundle of foam, that totters its way through the bay :-) The picture unfortunately doesn't completely reflect the "ploup ploup" of the foam :-)You must be careful though, because the sea is faster than you may think... it often happens that people are suddenly...more
The grasswort, or salicorne in French, is a typical plant of salt marshes or beaches which is very common in the Baie de Somme. They have the time to develop when the bay is emptying and are then totally recovered by the sea at high tide. At the end of the summer, the plant dries and looks like a little squeletton... the young sprouts will only...more