Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Encore France: Day 7 - Corbie to Amiens

From the journal:

We were up fairly early (well, early for us – everything, as they say, is relative) and went for a good long walk around Corbie. I had bought a few postcards in Paris and so we visited the post office and I sent them off to Australia, making myself perfectly understood in my struggling French and having a brief chat to the woman who served me.
Accidentally, by taking an unplanned journey back to the port, we discovered a large supermarket, ATAC, where we were able to stock up on more bread, cheese, vino (of course) yummy Normandy butter, eggs and fresh greens, plus of course some of our favourite ham and terrine.  Then on the way back to the boat we called in at the patisserie and picked up – yes, of course – some Paris Brest and Éclairs, the perfect holiday food.
L'Abbatiale Saint Pierre, Benedictine abbey in Corbie
founded in - wait for it - 657 AD.

We set off from Corbie at about 2 o’clock and travelled on to Amiens, arriving there probably somewhere around 5 pm. 

Love this little box which the cakes came in
at the patisserie in Corbie. Charming.
Bertrand at Locaboat had warned us not to tie up in the main mooring site in the middle of town as it can get quite noisy and the youth there can become, in his words, rather “lively”. He advised us instead to moor by a restaurant, le Vert Galant, which is owned by a friend of his. At first we cruised straight past the restaurant because, while we could see some mooring bollards, the bank looked very steep and seemed to be covered in long reeds. However, after cruising on to check out for ourselves the main tie-up area in the centre of the town we decided that Bertrand was indeed correct as it didn’t look particularly desirable. There was a bunch of drunken guys arguing by the dock, and throwing bottles into the river. We turned the boat and headed back to le Vert Galant to tie up there for the night. 

Riverside homes in Amiens
Just as we were pulling in and I was getting ready to try my best to throw a line over a bollard, a lovely man who was strolling along the canal path at that time offered to catch the mooring line for me, which was a great help. My man was then able to jump off the boat and secure the stern line and then put the little gangplank across from the deck to the pathway. It was indeed a nice spot. 

Our first impression of Amiens had been so negative that I wasn’t interested in walking around town and wondered whether I had made a bad decision in arranging for us to spend some time there post-cruise. Of course, the man wanted to be off and stretching his legs and so I stayed on board reading and catching up with the journal while he went for an hour’s walk. 
And a few more.

We probably should have taken Bertrand’s advice and eaten a meal at his friend’s restaurant, but we really enjoy sitting up on the back deck of the boat of an evening, eating a really simple meal, sipping on some great French wine and letting the world turn dark around us, and so that is what we did. There was a little noise from people leaving the restaurant later in the evening, but nice happy noises, and so we were really glad that Bertrand recommended this spot.

See you tomorrow. 

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