These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016, returning to Roanne for a second winter.


Friday, 22 July 2016

11th - 17th July. Upstream to Abbeville, where Martin and Jenny joined us, then up the canal de la Somme to the Chateau de Long, Samara, Amiens, Corbie, Chipilly, Cappy and back to Peronne. A busy week!


The station at Abbeville is an impressive building. Martin and Jenny joined us here.
We visited the Chateau de Long, where we had a guided tour of the ground floor. Our guide was the current owner, who has lived there for 15 years, and she was most enthusiastic, having done much of the renovation herself. It was all very impressive.


This deer and fawn was my favourite statue in the extensive gardens.


Inside one greenhouse there was a tropical collection of exotic plants, but it was rather too warm for comfort!
We moved on to Samara, where this Bronze age village is a part of the prehistoric park in the Somme valley. Here archaeology was brought to life, with fire lighting shown, using a flint to strike marcasite to make a spark. Hunting and the many uses of the hides obtained are all demonstrated at this fascinating place, which celebrates 600,000 years of prehistory in the Somme region.


Shannon decided that if she were not allowed to go on outings with us, then she would impress us by being a living statue!


Carrying on into Amiens this view, as we approach on the river, gives the best view of the cathedral.


The Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens is enormous, being twice the size of Notre-Dame de Paris, and is the largest Gothic edifice ever built. It is interesting that the two main towers are different to each other. We really enjoyed our visit here. 


The detail on the front facade is amazing, having been carved originally in 1475.
At that time all the figures were in colour, and this fantastic evening light show brought it back to the way it was then, with high-definition digital images. Sorry about the dark, but it is after 11pm!


For part of the show, a cloud effect covered the top part of the facade, making us all feel giddy!


Never mind posing for a photo, Shannon is watching the show!


As a real contrast, this skyscraper was built after 1945 and is said to be the first one built in France.

Andy and I saw this concert in front of the Town Hall, while Martin and Jenny enjoyed visiting the Jules Verne house. This is a lovely city.


Next morning we went up Amiens lock, with Martin crewing for the deepest lock on the Somme. Well, he is a sailor after all!
We were allowed to see inside the command centre for the whole of the River Somme, which was fascinating. Every boat on the system has its own named marker, which is moved as the boat moves.
Stopping on the top town mooring, we eventually found the base for the punt-like boats known as barque à cornet, for a trip round The Hortillonnages. Do not make the error which we nearly did, and think that it is the small trip boat operating on the main canal, which is just a water bus.
 
The punt takes us on a magical tour through the small canals of this large area of market gardens, as well as decorative gardens, all aiming to win the July competition for the best waterfront.


Our last visit in Amiens was across the river to see the medieval waterside district of St Leu.



Moving on to Corbie, Jenny had a burst of energy and leapt up the climbing frame in the park!

In Corbie, once again there is a splendid town hall, with the flags by the war memorial. We enjoyed a good meal at the restaurant, La Table d'Agathe.
On Saturday morning we visited this statue at Chipilly. It represents an English soldier supporting his wounded horse, and is a very moving memorial.

The weather continues to improve and Jenny too proves her nautical skills, showing great concentration.


At Cappy we played boules again, with Martin throwing the winning boule.


Back to Peronne, where the mooring was busier than when we were here last.
On the way into town this flower bed represents the memorial flowers of both England and France, poppies and cornflowers. No doubt this is to commemorate the centenary of The Battle of the Somme.

The Historial de la Grande Guerre is to be found in Peronne castle, and made an interesting finish to a memorable week. Jenny and Martin leave us tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. A very good week, with several places of interest along this stretch of the Somme, which is narrower and prettier than we had expected. Thank you both. Martin and Jenny

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