Stop over in Amiens, France

Last year on the way back from Nantes, we stopped by a small town called Amiens  in the north of France to see it’s world famous gothic cathedral. It was already dusk and drizzling a bit and on a Sunday evening, the town was almost empty.

It has charming alleys on the way up to the cathedral and a beautiful canal view in Quai Belu. It was so pretty during the night with the lights of the restaurants reflecting on the water.

When the rain started to fall, we went straight to Amiens Cathedral because we didn’t want to waste time. It was a sight to behold – very detailed design especially the facade and it’s towers. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in France and known as the “Parthenon of Gothic architecture” because of its pure gothic design.

The view from the back. Too bad we were not able to go inside. I have read that it’s as beautiful inside.

It has several sculptures on it’s pillars.

Because there is really not much to see and you have to stretch and twist your neck looking up the cathedral’s intricate design, we decided to finally look for a place to eat. In the Quai Belu alone, there are plenty of choices.

It’s really amazing that no matter where you are in France, even in a small town like Amiens, there are always a lot of restaurants to choose from. You try that in the Netherlands and you would get a handful which probably  at the end of the night, you’ll regret entering it.

I choose the one which looks the most appealing, colorful squares, comfy al fresco area with heaters and an inviting ambiance inside. It’s called Restaurant Le Quai Amiens and here I had my first taste of the the world-famous French’ “hospitality”. Probably because I am a foreigner (I am not sure if they get plenty of foreigners in this area) and I’m dressed in my usual drab ensemble of jeans, raincoat and wind jacket and they thought I am dressed too casual for the restaurant but they shouldn’t be so rude. Everybody refused to speak in English and it took at least 20 minutes before somebody came to our table to take our orders.

Thankfully the food and drinks were good. I don’t usually drink orange juice except for breakfast so this should be one of their cocktails.

Salad with different kinds of fillet fishes. This wasn’t mine.

My dinner – filet de boeuf with mustard/whiskey sauce and vegetables. It was delicious but very heavy, 220 grm. I wasn’t able to finish it yet the next morning, I still felt very full. I must say, despite the rudeness, the restaurant was very French in terms of food quality. You can never go wrong with the food. I guess in little French towns like Amiens, the restaurants have to be better cooks than the locals to attracht customers.

I wish we stayed a bit longer in Amiens, at least see the inside of the Amiens Cathedral. It looks so intriguing from the outside. I could have climbed up to the tower and the belfry, which I usually do whenever I enter churches. It is such a challenge to climb those narrow staircases. But it was a very long ride back to Holland and it was getting really late.

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