Making our way slowly back to Calais across Northern France, we stopped in a small village called Boiry Notre Dame. The area around here is loaded with War cemetaries and references to both wars where the Germans absolutely hammered the place and often for no reason apart from to destroy the culture.
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The camp we were staying at was on the edge of the village with a Maize growing area which went for miles on the other side. From there we could also see about 40 odd giant Wind Turbines grinding away and they were earning their keep as it was blowing. They had really bright LED lights at the centre and at night these change red and they all blinked at the same time. Quite a sight!
In the morning, we caught a cab into Arras which was about 17 odd k’s (30 euros in the cab) and headed for the main square where there was a huge market on. Arras has three big squares all linked together and there are stalls everywhere you looked.
We sat down and enjoyed a Crepe lunch which the area is famous for in the main square. The square is dominated by an amazing old building which is the town hall, which has been rebuilt after the Germans dealt to it during the war.
The main square is called Place de Heros which gives you an idea of where the locals stand with the history.
After checking out more shoe and dress shops, we worked our way towards an old Cathedral around the back of the old square.
There are photographs and the story behind the cathedral is posted to the railings of the Cathedral which the Germans destroyed during the war. The Cathedral like many others has been rebuilt and looks fantastic.
We were going to check out the Wellington Tunnels but the people who run would only let us go in at a time that was too late for us so unfortunately we couldn’t do it. The Wellington Caves are a series of Tunnels dug by Kiwi Soldiers during the war under the town to surprise the Germans. Now part of the towns history and named after the soldiers who dug it out who came from Wellington, NZ.
We caught a cab back to the camp and sat outside for a while before tea.
A great day out in Provincial France.
4 thoughts on “The Market Town”
Sorry to hear you were not able to visit The Wellington Tunnels, they are amazing.
We were there 18months ago and did the tour that is so far underground.
Miners were bought over from New Zealand to dig these tunnels, 29kms of them, an incredible task.
The different tunnels were named after cities in NZ, so much history and so beautifully maintained.
I didn’t realise that there was 29ks of them. Fascinating. We saw lots of pictures of them.
We’re planning to go again so maybe next time.
Like Miriam we found the underground stuff fascinating and well worth visiting. We also mingled with a large wedding party just outside the town hall while we were there and enjoyed the celebrations, which were complete with vintage cars, furious horn blowing and 3 trips around the square before leaving (probably off to the church ceremony next).
We forgot to ask where the miners put all the excavated material from the tunnels.
That’s neat when you can join in with the locals and join in the fun.
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