Way of build houses
Throughout the Picardy coast, there are many large houses built in a style paticulier. (See the photograph) the majority of them were built in the years 1920. Some are employed like hotel, others for various uses. One of these beautiful houses is the barracks of the gendarmerie located in the principal street (unfortunately I do not have photographs of this last one.)
Located in France, the territory known as “of Bay of Somme” extends on 70 km ² between the point from Hourdel in the south and the point from Saint-Quentin-in-Tourmont in north. The Sum, river coastal which gave its name to the department, is thrown in the English Channel at this place.
The bay is mainly made up of two mediums: the slikke, covered by the sea twice a day, the salt meadow or“mollières” who is covered by the sea only at the time of the spring tides. The bay of Somme is recognized today on the international level for its ecological richness; it is in particular regarded as a high ornithological place. Its various zones offer conditions of reception favorable to the sedentary and migrating birds. Lastly, the bay of Somme is also considered by the presence of several seals. Since 1999, the bay belongs to the club of most beautiful bays of the world, as well as bay of Halong or bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
There are about 160 seals (that's the number our host at the B&B gave us) in the area, and you have the most chance to see them about 2 hours after high tide, on the beaches outside of the town. We saw a couple of them, but I don't know if we were standing at the best place to see them.
The old part of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme is quite nice to have a short walk in. It has a church that was originally built in the 12th century, but was later destroyed and rebuilt in different phases. And it has a nice gate, and of course a splendid view on the bay.
Since the late 19e century, a little train takes the tourists coming from Paris at the Noyelle Station and brings them to the beaches of the Baie de Somme.
This train old train has been transformed into an attraction and makes the route between St Valery and Le Crotoy. The trip lasts 1 hour (20 min by car) with a stop at Noyelle and you can have a look on the fields and prairies of the Bay.
It is rather pleasant to climb in the old wagons, some have been made at the end of the 19e century.
But I must confess the view is not marvellous because we do not see the Bay it self but only the surrounding country.
Price : 11 euros for a round trip.
In April where were only 3 departures per day.
3 tracks with signs :
- red : 2 Km (1 hour)
- blue : 4 km (2 hours)
- green : 6 km (3 hours)
There are 14 watching points from which you can see the birds without disturbing them (see the photo). Some guides can answer your questions (in English too I guess) and lend their telescope to see the birds closer.
At the end, you find a shop and a restaurant to rest.
The natural reserve of the Baie de Somme covers 3000 hectars. Here you have an appointment with Nature and several thousands of birds, living there or passing there during there migration.
Price : 9.90 euros per adult
Open the year round from 10 AM to 5 PM in Winter, 6 PM in Spring and Fall and 7:30 PM from April to September.
The Bay de Somme
“The natural universe size, changing and driving of a single area.”
But which is thus this country where lose the sky and the ground in infinite interlacings? A country where the pastures are based in meanders and where salt collects the memory of the men. Unless inevitable moving sands absorb for better doing them to re-appear the legends deposited in heritage by sailors of open sea.
ll is necessary to traverse it with foot, to look for its way discovered by the ebb between channels and canyons for a transitory route when the Bay is made fertile field but provisional play-ground of the hooded crows, seagull and other linnet with yellow nozzle come from the polar regions
In 1066, the important fleet of Guillaume, duke of Normandy awaits winds favorable to Saint-Valery. A great procession with the relics of the saint crosses the city. Finally, Guillaume embarks on “Mora” and puts the course on England where it beats Harold with Hasting. In Christmas, Guillaume is crowned king d' Angleterre.
End of the 11th century. Bernard II, lord of Saint-Valery takes part in the first crusade at the sides of Godefroy de Bouillon. On his return, Bernard creates a maladrery apart from the walls of the city for his companions of crusade reached of leprosy.
The very first foundation of the club goes back to 1846.
The first let us bridge are arranged in the years 1970.
Today, approximately 250 rings are counted. The private club is equipped with a house of the yachtmen, a bar and a restaurant.
Another characteristic which one finds in Picardy architecture is the colouring of the frontages of house.
It is true that the tradition is lost.
One finds other examples a little everywhere. A very homogeneous model is the district Saint Leu in Amiens
View on Le Crotoy
When you walking against the vault Valery saint to the sea, you have a nice view on Le Crotoy: village on the other side of the bay.
And statement that it is from here left William the Conqueror for the battle Hastings!
The abbey is one of oldest of all Picardy.
It was born from the presence of the relics of Valery saint at the 7th century. Saint Blimont is the first abbot.
The Benedictine abbey goes from the radiation to the desolation.
The dependences, the orchards, the gardens, the farm, the cloister, the éclise Notre Dame are known for us thanks to Dom Ruppert de Burnonville, monk historian of the abbey at the 17th century. The abbey church of Gothic style had seven vaults and a square tower was drawn up on the frontage.
The Revolution will sweep this prestigious past. The sale of the abbey takes place on January 22, 1791. The cloisters, the church are destroyed and are useful like building materials.
Today, the enclosing walls of the abbey delimit a vast private property. Abbey Notre Dame, it remains practically nothing; some stones, at most.
The Bay of the River Somme
By leaving the medieval city in direction of the vault, don't to hesitate to stroll a little in the neighbourhoods.
Die die you will discover superb panoramas.
With the wire of the hours, you will see the landscape changing with the liking of the tides.
On the other side of the river and bay, is situated the village of Le Crotoy.
This collapsed jelley, once has been a tower. The history tells that Harold, an English lord was shipcrecked on this beach around 1055. St-Valéry kept him as prisoner in this tower. No more info about this ambiguous fact.