Monday, February 23, 2015

12/16/2014 : Amiens, France

The day before my flight home for the holidays, I was scheduled to be 1.5 hours away in Amiens, France for boring reasons I can't remember now. Part of that whole "living legally in a foreign country" thing. Department of Labor? Insurance? It's all a blur of paperwork and administrative offices where everyone is perpetually on a coffee/cigarette break. Seriously. A lovely representative of the French bureaucratic system once told me that if things were going too quickly or smoothly, there was a problem- the longer any given process takes, the better for her job security. Right. Anyway, aside from having to strip down in a giant, freezing van for an x-ray of my chest and lungs, I spent most of the morning and afternoon waiting around in various offices being shuffled from one room to the next. Luckily, my friend Katia was scheduled on the same day and once we were finally done we were able to explore the town for a few hours.
Amiens is North of Senlis and boasts the tallest/largest cathedral (completed in 1270, just let that sink in for a second..) in France- which is land of the huge cathedrals so I guess that makes Amiens kind of a big deal. The rivers Somme and Avre plus lots of little canals run through the town so it was actually quite lovely. I had no idea of any of this before getting there so it was a great surprise! There are also several universities there, so lots of young people and plenty of stuff to do. It's only about an hour from Senlis, so definitely worth visiting again when I have more time.
So, like I said- Amiens took me by surprise, especially this mega cathedral and all of its incredibly intricate details. I've been in France long enough to have visited my fair share of cathedrals, and while I always enjoy and appreciate them- they all paled in comparison to this one. I'm not going to pretend that these photos will even begin to do it justice- Katia and I were literally speechless looking at it. And that was before we went inside!

I'm updating from Thailand, where it's nearly 3am. This morning when I was in Malaysia, I was 100% sure that today was yesterday. After more hours than I can remember spent traveling over the last few days my brain is so mixed up and all over the place- but so far it's all amazing and I can't wait to write about it and share pictures!


 of course we didn't notice those trashcans until after the photos...

 I have no explanation for these creepy babies. They were just hanging out in a candy shop.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that after Strasbourg, Colmar, Saverne, and Paris- Christmas markets were getting a little old at this point so while I have no photos of the actual market in Amiens- I DO have a photo with this Jazzy Santa.

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