Oh my god, Amiens is gorgeous. (Let’s be honest, I’ll probably say that about every city in France and mean every word of it.) My train for Laon was at 4:27, so I carried my backpack everywhere like the ultimate tourist. S and I started off the morning by wandering into an organic store, where I had to stop looking at everything before I bought things like almond butter and coconut oil.
We then met F at the cathedral, which is so massive that it doesn’t even fit in the camera frame. Its intricate architecture, both the exterior and interior, is incredible—I will never understand how people managed to build such imposing buildings centuries ago, without modern technology.
After craning out necks to look at all the sculptures and stained glass, the three of us walked to Saint Leu (I envy how walkable Amiens is, how it’s not situated on a hill), where I finally got to see the famed canals—and they did not disappoint. At the outdoor food market, I caved and bought a 500g of fresh honey for 6€ and felt really bad about paying for it with a 50€ bill.
On the way to Park Saint Pierre, which was so lush and aquatic, we thoroughly confused a postman—“Oui, je me pose des questions”—by stopping in the middle of a picturesque street to take pictures. Before the most incredible part of the day, we stopped by a poutine place for lunch and finally set off for les hortillonages. (I’m dedicating a separate blog post to Amiens’s famed “floating gardens.”) I’ll just say that S, F, and I had our minds completely blown by the beauty of the verdant waterways.
We then sat down at a café, where S and F got to witness my most memorable French fail ever: I ordered a hot chocolate but got a Chardonnay, and then proceeded to drink my glass of shame because the wine was cheaper than the hot chocolate and I didn’t want to tell the waiter that he’d misheard “un chocolat.” And then, like real adults, F and I sat there and played Pokémon GO as F remarked, “This is what they’re paying us to do.”
I think that, by this time, Amiens was telling me to get out of the city, because when I stopped to take a picture of the back of the cathedral, a chestnut fell from a tree, bounced off my phone case, and then hit me smack on the chest—my surprised shriek of “Ow!” was probably the loudest sound I’ve ever made. My terrible luck prompted S to say, “All right, we’re walking you all the way to the train tracks.” She and F did exactly that, and when I hugged them goodbye, a part of me honestly didn’t want to leave because I had such a great time in Amiens.
(The photo a chestnut tried to kill me for)