Germany - France
June 2o24

Reims - Amiens   27 June 2024

I’ve had a day on the French trains SNCF, from Reims to Amiens.  The trains look very modern, even the local ones, which mostly I have to get because the TGV won’t take bicycles.  So, my first leg was from Reims to Laon, with a 6 minute connection to another train on to Amiens.  But, the Reims to Laon train was 40 minutes late, just stopping in the middle of nowhere, and various announcements made in rapid fire French that my schoolboy French couldn’t decipher, and a wait of about 20 minutes, before we trundled along slowly for another 20 minutes before picking up normal speed.  Anyhow, I was able to find a bench in the shade in a park in Laon and have a little snooze as I waited the two hours for the next train to Amiens.  

I’m in a little AirBandB in Amiens, which is lovely inside, on a small street with shuttered houses, all like little mini-me chateaux.  There’s a sushi and noodles place up the road, so I have had some very acceptable take away from there and some nice red wine, and am quite content.  I’ve done some laundry and am sitting outside on the street as it dries in the warm evening, having a glass of vin, and nobody seems to be paying the slightest bit of notice.  I guess it’s what they do themselves when they have laundry to dry.  My joy of the day was seeing a nun with her bicycle and backpack at the station, in proper nun’s gear.  What's more usual these days where I come from is the hijab or burkha, which for the life of me remind me of the nuns of old.  The sort of thing you don’t see at home these days.  I will have an early start tomorrow, and will be on my bike to cycle to Arras from Amiens through land that just over 100 years ago was the battlefield of the Somme and associated slaughter.  Along the way I’ll make a small detour to visit the grave of my Dad’s uncle, my great-uncle, who died in 1916 at the Somme.  I will pass by many a war cemetery, and all those monuments to the dead such as Thiepval, all that Lutyens Imperial British architecture of memorial.  In this part of the world they are mostly British graves, further down in Verdun mostly French.  You don’t see  many German WW1 graves, but they must be somewhere.  Maybe they were taken back to Germany ?  Or just bulldozed by the Anglo-French-American victors ?

Berlin-Lutherstadt  :   Lutherstadt - Bernberg. :   Bernberg - Blankenberg  :  Blankenberg - Einbeck  :  Einbeck - Kassel  : 

Kassel - Kirchheim  :  Kirchheim - Marburg  :  Kirchheim - Limberg/Diez  :  Limberg/Diez - Mainz  :  Mainz - Koblenz  :

Koblenz - Krov  :  Krov - Remich  :  Remich - Verdun  Verdun : Verdun - Reims  :  Reims - Amiens  :  Amiens - Arras



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