AMIENS

Today, 30/4, we had no particular excursion aim in mind so decided to go to Amiens, the nearest large town. It is the town in my novel where the Germans were headed at the beginning of 1918. it would have given them access to Paris and to the sea and therefore transport and eventually England.The Australian halting them at Villers-Bretonneux put paid to that.

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It’s most famous for its cathedral – one we knew nothing about, never having been in the town before, except for our arrival a couple of weeks ago.

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We discovered that it is the largest church in France – more so than Notre Dame in Paris and the Reims Cathedral. Begun in 1220 it took about 50 years to build and has been added to and repaired over the centuries.

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The stone work sculptures on the outside portals are amazing.

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Inside the sculptured ‘stories’ of the lives of St Firmin, of John the Baptist and others were both beautiful and rich in their storytelling. Each told a narrative in a world where literacy was not the main preoccupation.

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We lingered around this vast space for what seemed ages. I’m confident I can include something of it in the novel. Apparently the soldiers visited the sandbagged cathedral

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and sent cards home of a sculpture:The Weeping Angel. That’s too good to not use.

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Then it was a quick trip to Avis to check on where we drop the car next week and then to the restaurante of Tante Jeanne.  I tried a galette: a buckwheat crepe filled with pasta, ham, pears and goat’s cheese. And an aperitif of something made from pears. Very good!

We’d also been to the market in the morning. The biggest we’d seen and not filled with cheap clothing. It was the real McKoy and filled with so much vegetable, cheese, ham, beef, and poulets and canard. I think we have duck sausages for tea.

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Euan managed to buy 3 different local cheeses that are all goat ones.

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It is truly a land of food!

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