As glorious as April in Paris has been the last few weeks with sunny days and comfortable temps in the 60s, it’s nice to travel outside the city and breathe some country air.
I had a rare day off in between blogging and my tours last week and took a daytrip to Amiens with my friends Laurie and Blair.
Amiens, about 90 minutes from Paris by car in the Picardy region, is best known for the largest Gothic cathedral in France, built in 1220.
Another attraction of Amiens is the Hortillonnages, which are floating gardens surrounded by the Avres and Sommes rivers and have been cultivated since the Middle Ages. At one time there were over a thousand of these islands with working gardens and now there are only about a dozen left that are still cultivated.
There is a designated 1.6 mile pathway and we walked along to see the still standing Hortillonnages. It was very green with lots of flowers blooming thanks to the early spring coming because of our mild winter. We learned there were boat rides around the islands but we couldn’t locate them.
What I loved most were the quirky entrance doors and bridges to each one. Some were rustic wooden doors and others had intricate iron work.
Along the river were rowers and there looked to be a high school rowing team as I kept on seeing teenage boys in red uniforms gliding by in white rowboats.
We also appreciated the unusual architecture of brick row houses along the canals, which more resembled Amsterdam than France.
Last but not least was the cathedral, which is on the same scale as Notre Dame but has much more light streaming in because of most of the dark stained glass windows were replaced with clear glass. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour