To Amiens - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

July 30, 2022

To Amiens

Today I channeled my inner Iowan, heading north to Amiens through expansive fields of grain along small lanes and quiet roads that were often not much wider than a rail-trail. Rows of windmills rose high, their blades propelled by my old friend, Crosswind, who showed up early in the afternoon. It’s not a landscape for everyone, but I took it all in and loved most every minute of it.

 The route took me through several small rural towns of the Oise and Somme Departments in the Picardy region of France. Almost every town had a church, a town hall and a school, but for the most part there was no central square or plaza. Rather, the towns were arranged in a single long line that stretched along the road. And it was not uncommon to see working farms or barns in the middle of town, almost as if the towns grew outward between existing farms. But while the towns were small and narrow, the fields reached across the horizon.

The terrain flattened as I made my way north from Beauvais, bringing back memories of cycling through Iowa farmlands
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A small rural electric tower, similar to those I'd seen in Slovenia
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Église Saint-Lucien in Fontaine-Saint-Lucien
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Église Saint-Lucien, in Maulers
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Blue doors in Maulers
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Harvest time
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A field of corn in dire need of rain
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The fields stretched across the horizon
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This definitely could be Iowa
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Église Saint-Louis in Le Crocq
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Nôtre Dame du Bon Secours, at a three-way intersection
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About twenty miles into the ride, not far beyond Le Crocq, I dropped down to the Le Selle River, which I followed most of the way into Amiens. The landscape was more wooded and though my views were limited, the shade and wind protection were welcome. A wedding was in progress at the church in the small town of Monsures, and I was tempted to crash the reception for a cold beverage. However, I carried on until reaching Conty where I mistakenly ordered a sugar-free coke – not only did it taste bad, it lacked the cold, carbonated sugar that  I seem to crave while touring. Nonetheless, I managed to drink it all. 

I must be close to a river
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Half-timbered dwellings in Croissy-sur-Celle
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Église Saint-Léger in Croissy-sur-Selle,
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A wedding was underway at the Church Saint-Léger of Monsures, in Monsures
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Paroisse Saint-Antoine des monts et vallées in Conty, undergoing renovations
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In Conty
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Before long, I was cycling through the streets of Amiens, getting the first glimpse of La Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens. Or at least the first glimpse of this Cathedral Tour – I had been to Amiens in June on a mission to return Scott Anderson’s Pendleton shirt. I made my way into the city center, past the Town Hall where I witnessed the second wedding of the day, and after checking into my hotel, I headed straight over to the Cathedral. As in Beauvais, the La Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens will get a separate post.

On the advice of the hotel clerk, I made a dinner reservation in the Quartier Saint Leu, an historic district located beneath the Cathedral on the canals and arms of the Somme River. The district dates back to the Middle Ages and is now a lively arts and cultural district with an abundance of bars of restaurants, and tourists. It was difficult to find an open reservation, so I opted for a crêperie – indulging in both a savory and sweet crêpe. It was a beautiful evening in a remarkable setting and I left full and happy.

The first spotting of La Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens on my Cathedral Tour
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I witnessed my second wedding of the day at the Amiens Marie, the town hall
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A row of recently built townhouses near the Cathedral in Amiens
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A bookstore in the Quartier Saint Leu
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There is quite a lively bar and restaurant scene along the Somme canals in the Quartier Saint Leu
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A closer look at older row houses in Quartier Saint Leu
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Crossing the Somme on the Pont de la Dodane on my way to dinner in the Quartier Saint Leu
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Heading back to my hotel next to the Cathedral with a full stomach and a smile
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Today's ride: 40 miles (64 km)
Total: 1,971 miles (3,172 km)

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Lucy MartinA lovely day. As you well know, in Iowa, all the churches would be Lutheran, maybe multiple flavors in each town. Really enjoying following along your tour!
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1 week ago
Gregory GarceauFrench cities and Iowa landscapes all in one day. Cycling doesn't get much better than that.
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1 week ago
Keith KleinHi,
In my never ending quest for the perfect andouillette, one of the best I’ve ever found was served to me in Amiens. So I imagine your dinner was of top quality, too.
Cheers,
Keith
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1 week ago
Keith KleinTo Gregory GarceauSpoken like a true Iwegian.
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1 week ago