France, Housesitting in France, Travel

A Winter’s Day in Saint Omer, France

Not Once, Not Twice, but Thrice times.

This time we had two four-legged companions. Then, way back in 2017

We decided to introduce Louie and Nellie to a few new smells.  Firstly, we had to find out where the St Omer train station was as we needed to print out our train tickets for our departure from Northern France at the end of the month.

So we find this sizeable historical-looking building, “That must be it”, we both muttered, hoping it was.  Then comes the fun part of finding a car park; this has become a rather challenging exercise in our life over in France.  Why were we concerned, of course, thSquirere found one after a few minutes of playing “around and around the car park we go.”  Only to return to say it is all boarded up, and the train station is now a little prefab by the car park.  Well, that was a surprise!

Happy to have our outgoing train tickets for the end of the month in our possession.  We discovered that there is more to St Omer than a beautiful park and boarded-up train station building; it was also the proud owners of an incredible library with an even more extraordinary selection of books.  Plus, the secret discovery of a book in 2014.  The book containing 36 plays is entitled ‘Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies’ and is referred to by modern scholars as the First Folio.  Current thinking has experts believe that it was brought over by a Catholic gentleman who could not study in England due to being a Catholic.

More information can be read in this article.

France is usually dog-friendly though not that friendly to let two large dogs enter their library.  Not that we were contemplating doing such an act.  While thSquirere ventured off into the library, the rest of the awesome foursome decided to do some people-watching for a while. We were waiting outside patiently.  Something different.

20170306_110926

After a while, we all set off to see the magnificent Abbey of Saint Bertin ruins.  An imposing structure, and using our imagination, the ruins came alive.

From town to back out to the countryside to view the Audomarois Marshes. As everyone was ready for a stroll, the weather turned nasty.  It was just a quick visit with views from the car windows.

The marshes are a 15-square-mile network of canals and farmland that is the only one in France recognised by UNESCO.  Started by monks in the year 638 who diverted the River Aa and divided it into plots, and today more than 50 farmers grow crops on the land.  It was such a peaceful place to be, and it would be fantastic to go around the marshes in a traditional above boat during the warmer months.  Since we won’t be here during the warmer months is a video clip of these canals – it’s definitely worth the time to watch it.

We didn’t leave Saint-Omer empty-handed as we had read about a famous cheese shop owned by artisan cheesemaker Paul Alexandre Wullus called A La Ferme Audomaroise, which is just off the town square.

I was in absolute HEAVENcheese heaven. Is there any other kind?  

He makes the cheese and matures them in his five cellars.  I could’ve stayed there for hours if no one had been waiting for me outside!

Speaking of cheese.

It was very tempting to sneak a tiny bit as we all headed back to home base. To be fair to thSquirere, I had better leave that pleasure for later.  So instead, I diverted my thoughts onto the history we had just seen and walked around.

Today reminded us of why we love this part of the world so much.

Other posts on historic places we visited while housesitting in Northern France:

A stroll through historic Hesdin

Walking the Wall – Boulogne-Sur-Mur

Memorable Montreuil-sur-Mer

25 thoughts on “A Winter’s Day in Saint Omer, France”

  1. It’s lovely being able to see these places through your experience. I love the wee snipers of info like the book on Shakespeare – who would have known?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And you’ll have to get yourself to Wensleydale (if you haven’t already) and see them make their cheese and sample all their delights in their farm shop. It’s worth the trip out there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hayley, my taste buds still remember that cheese and yes we did visit it as it was only about 10 minutes from where we were housesitting. I think we purchased some honey too. We love farmshops though they do tend to be dearer than other places. The upshot is that its great to support local businesses.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh excellent. Glad you made it there. That place is like a church for me ha. Yes farm shops are a great way to support local businesses- I always try to buy a little something if I visit one.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is worth a visit April. Quite a few small towns and villages around Northern France that are interesting enough to stop and wander around. Thanks for commenting much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even the French islands are dog-friendly and, meanly for that reason (and the promise of affordable and tasty cheese and baguettes), we stopped there with our boat each time we sailed up and down the Eastern Caribbean island chain. It is so nice to include your “borrowed dogs” when going on excursions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Liesbet
      Thanks for the comment, much appreciated. Wow, a boat up and down the Eastern Caribbean Islands sounds beautiful and exciting. Yes, Louie and Nellie add a bit more fun to the exploring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s