We decided to make Abbeville our base for a few days and not take the boat down the long straight canal section to St Valery. Adrian has been cycling back and forth to ‘frog’ the car along with us, so we have it to take excursions around and about.
We took a day trip to St Valery where we saw that the moorings this side of the lock were full and we would not have wanted to moor on the sea side, so good decision to stay at Abbeville.
Firstly we walked through the Rue des Moulins which was where the fishermen had their simple houses. Quaint and twisty but now very pretty with lots of flowers!
Then we strolled along the river / sea front looking across the tidal mouth of the river & Baie de Somme towards Crotoy. This expanse of fluvial moorland is home to many migratory birds and to sheep which provide a local speciality.
The old medieval part of town sits above the coastline and is lovely. Narrow twisting roads and interesting houses and little squares. The gate which remains is dedicated to Jeanne d’Arc. Around the old rampart walls gardens were created – a medicinal herb garden and a small orchard / garden which was tended by patients from the hospital just outside – a very early form of occupational therapy?
After lunch at a local creperie we took a return trip on the little steam train to Crotoy. The smell of the steam took us both back to our childhood and reminded me of more recent trips with Lisa and Freddie (when he was little) on the Thomas the Tank steam train at Peterborough. Amazing how smells can take you back in time!
We’d learnt that not only does the Baie de Somme provide home to the sheep but also duck hunting! Hides are built into the side of water covered areas, decoys put in place to attract the ducks so that the hunters can do their worst! Not easy to get a good shot (no pun intended) of the hides from a cranky steam train third class carriage!