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Of food, shopping and inverted pentagrams... - Random thoughts [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Hilde

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Of food, shopping and inverted pentagrams... [Jul. 14th, 2016|12:03 pm]
Hilde
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[feeling |tiredtired]

and one for my instagram (@kittensandsteam)

... yes you read that right. No, Bert and I didn't get involved into devil worshipping. There's a huge leaded glass window in the cathedral with an inverted pentagram. That's what the title refers to :)
We did visit a church, like normal tourists do :)
What is possibly the weirdest cathedral in Europe: La Notre Dame d'Amiens.



Anyway, last week Monday, July 4th, we traditionally got up very early. It’s not that we were aiming at being in Amiens early, it’s that we were aiming beating the traffic jams. Which means either get up early and leave at 5.30am at the very latest and arrive around 9 or leave at 10 and arrive past midday, which is a bit ridiculous for a day trip. So early rising it was. Stupid morning traffic jams!

We stopped along the way once to use the toilets, and got to Amiens around 8.45 am; Miraculously, I had remembered which parking Charlotte and I had parked at last year (Les Trois Cailloux) and Bert marveled at how cheap an underground parking right in the middle of the city center was (right in between the cathedral and the shopping street, in Belgium that would cost you upwards of € 20 for a day, here it was less than € 8).

Because we had arrived shortly before the shops would open, we figured we’d go to the cathedral first, because that tends to open a little sooner anyway. So we spend a good hour wandering around there, looking around and taking photos (well I did, Bert didn’t even take his camera). I also discovered the stained glass window with the inverted pentagram, which is so bizarre for a catholic church. Because it was quite dark still, we decided to come back later and see if we could see it in better light. Also, we wanted to visit the treasury but whilst the cathedral was open, no staff was actually around, so we had to return in any case. I did buy a candle for Bert’s nan, because buying a candle basically means you put the right amount of money in the collection tins and take a candle. No one cares whether you take it home or light it there. I did relight some candles some stupid kids blew out. You’d think parents would at least try their hand at parenting in a church, but no.

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Before we went shopping, we went to check whether the place Charlotte and I ate last year was open, and lo and behold it was. The kitchen wasn’t open yet, so we enquired as to when it would be (noon) and wandered off to go shopping. Along the way we saw some street signs for Maison de Jules Verne (which we wanted to visit in the afternoon) and the zoo (which we at that point considered visiting because a half an hour walk is nothing to Bert and I).

Amiens city bikes

Bert checking the real estate prices

Amiens

Photo of the day: 4.7.2016 (day 186)

Amiens

In Belgium we don’t have Sephora, but in France they do. And because Sephora always puts on a pretty massive sale, I definitely wanted to have a look. I also needed an extra bottle of base coat, because mine is half way gone. So we rummaged through the sales pile and I found two eye shadows for €3,58 each (70% off): one split between beige and white (it’ll come in handy eventually I’m sure) and one a dark pink for Jfashion type blush. I wasn’t going to pay €11,95 on a blush when the eye shadow was 98% the exact same shade. Especially considering how little I’ll use it. Less than € 4 is a fair amount to spend in this case :D.
One of the friendly shop girls got a bottle of base coat out of the stock for me, and because when you shop there, you get to have a sample of perfume, she was happy to help Bert pick out a sample for him (if they don’t have actual samples they just fill a tiny vile from the sample perfumes for you). That was super nice of her.

Amiens

We had a look in Les Galleries Lafayette because they also had a massive sale on, and I ended up buying Bert a bottle of speciality Belgian beer which is hard to get in Belgium and, thanks to being half price, was actually CHEAPER to get in France. Go figure.

We did consider popping into FNAC to have a look, but it was nearly noon by then, and we were hungry, so we went back for lunch. Tasty, tasty lunch.

lunch

Bert's lunch

No longer hungry, it was time to follow the signs

Maison de Jules Verne

to Rue Charles Dubois, for Jules Verne’s house, a street that wasn’t actually on the maps spread throughout the city. And the signs were a bit, well not very well placed. Bert was convinced it was on Boulevard Jules Verne (which was on the map) and I said it really wasn’t, because I had looked up the address, but agreed it was likely near. So we set off in that direction. Past le Cirque Jules Verne

Cirque de Jules Verne

and a railway

Amiens railroad

onto Boulevard Jules Verne.

Maison de Jules Verne

Turns out his house sort of is on the Boulevard,

Maison de Jules Verne

but the entrance is around the corner on Rue Charles Dubois.

Maison de Jules Verne

We were half an hour early but the weather was gorgeous so we flopped down on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine. I also wandered and took some photos with both my DSLR and analog camera, but I’ve not used up the film yet.

Flowers in Amiens

Our spot also gave us an excellent view of the strange tower construction in Jules Verne’s house. It wasn’t actually explained in the house either.

Maison de Jules Verne

Very weird. Amiens is a weird city full stop. Weird, but awesome.

I’m not going to go into the house much, other than that it was pretty neat, because I already wrote a full review here on The Gatehouse.
Have some pictures instead.

Obviously I just had to have my outfit shot taken inside the house of Jules Verne. OBVIOUSLY (photo by Bert).

outfit: 4.7.2016

Hat: Disney Store
Pin on hat: Disney Store
Glasses: Theo
Cardigan: Primark
Dress: asos
Skirt: Cora Kemperman
Socks: ebay seller
Boots: Kickers
Umbrella: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Bag: vintage
Backpack: Fjällräven Kanken Big
Accessories: handmade, Han Cholo, Fossil, asos, Poorman's Gold Label, Veritas

Maison de Jules Verne

Maison de Jules Verne

Maison de Jules Verne

Maison de Jules Verne

Maison de Jules Verne

Somewhere at my parent's house, there's a copy of this game. I haven't played it in AGES, and to be honest I had forgotten about it 'till I saw it again on display. Now I kinda want to invade their attic and search 'till I find it.

Maison de Jules Verne

After our visit I bought a really amazing copy of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, a special boxed set containing reproductions of notes, sketches, a poster, a map of the Nautilus and more goodness like that. It’s in French, but I don’t care. I have plenty of copies I can read. I collect copies of that book, and I also have an antique Czech one, which I really can’t read. At least with French I’d understand all bar the technical and scientific terminology. Jules Verne is probably the only author I will willingly read translations of, just because there’s too many words I just don’t understand in the original. Luckily there are some _really_ good Dutch and English translations of his books around so I’m set for life!

Amiens haul :)

Newest addition to my collection of copies of 20000 Leagues under the Sea

Anyway, wandering back we encountered one of these, they are place throughout the city. I think they are an AMAZING initiative. This one seemed a bit abandoned but I saw one in the inner city being actively used by people, so they do work. I wish we’d have them in our town!

Amiens

We took a different way back, a much shorter one and walked by this art nouveau architectural beauty. It was a bit hard to photograph because it was fenced off practically all over and it was clear you weren't supposed to just wander through the open main gate. The fence didn’t really allow for my lens to be positioned in its openings very well. Didn’t stop me from trying though :D.

Amiens

Amiens

Amiens

We decided to walk to Monop, to see if they had some local specialities for Bert to take home for his family. They didn’t really, but I made him get more Monster (we didn’t bring any for the ride back, and they had a France exclusive so we got that) and a bag of Haribo Croco Pik, which is my favorite candy and I thought they had stopped making it but no, it’s now exclusive to France. THE INJUSTICE!!!!!

We also decided to walk to Petit Venise, the area across the water, to find the antique shops.
I took a bunch of photos along the way.

flowers in Amiens

Amiens

Amiens

Amiens

Amiens

Manneken Pis is everywhere!

Amiens

That dude in the water is Amiens' version of Brussels' Manneken Pis I think.

Turns out that the shops were closed on Monday, bar one which was RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. Seriously, it was insane. Obviously we didn’t buy anything there.

We did notice that the weird inverted pentragram is actually the main stained glass window on that side of the cathedral, which just makes it weirder. I love that church, just because it is pretty, and weird and supposedly houses the skull of John the Baptist and it is just all round bizarre.

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Because we still didn’t see anyone around that might get us into the treasury, we decided to go ask in the tourism office. Turns out that you have to book a tour but it only went twice a day and we had missed it. Sadness! We did see the skull when it was still on general display back in 2010, but we would have liked to see the other church treasures too. Oh well, next time!

They did give us a map of town, which probably had been practical to have before we went out in search for Jules Verne’s house and the zoo (turns out there were 2 signs towards the zoo, and then no more, so we gave up on trying to find it quite quickly, as I know from last year the drive there is a special kind of hell).
For those wondering about the zoo of Amiens, have some photos I took last year. It’s a small zoo, but the ticket price is really low, and they really are amazing. The cages are all amazing, and when we were there, they had the happiest looking elephants I’ve ever seen. So if you like zoos, definitely check it out if you’re in Amiens and have the time (and patience to walk there via the map).

We did go back in because the light was better, but we didn’t stay nearly as long.

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Notre Dame d'Amiens

Because it was getting quite late, we called it a day after our second visit. Well pretty much, I went and got Bert a souvenir coin (he collects them, I also got him one at Maison de Jules Verne) and took a photo of the cathedral (next time I'm taking another lens so I can fit all of it in the photo!)

Notre Dame d'Amiens

and one of Bert looking at the cathedral.

Amiens

One the way home, Bert stopped at the road stop which has the bakery PAUL, because he knows where it is (it is part sweet of him and mean, because he knew where it was all along and we’ve never stopped there after we came back from Disneyland Paris!) and I was disappointed there was no PAUL in Amiens (seriously Amiens, wtf?!)
I got a giant macaron, and Bert got a giant cookie I knew he wouldn’t like (he keeps on falling for these things but he never likes them). He ate it anyway. I couldn’t finish my macaron so I took the rest home.

giant macaron

Because the European championship was still on, there was a fussball table set up, courtesy of Monsanto (finally, they do something good) that was free to use. So we played fussball, like the dorks that we are. Bert won.

fussball game

We took some more funny photos

Fun with cut-outs in doors

Fun with mirrors

and went back on our way home. And we even made it back at a decent hour without traffic jams, bonus! I was super tired to the next day!

All my photos ever taken in Amiens are here, they go from new to old :)
If you just want to see photos of the cathedral, click here.
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