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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Choo Choo

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

On the second day of our holiday, we tooka historical train ride around part of the Bay of the Somme. There are two main lines, from Saint-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (to the south at the coast) and back and the other one from Saint-Valéry (on the South side of the bay) to Le Crotoy (on the North side), with a stop at Noyelles-sur-Mer. We opted for that second tour, because it's with a real steam train whereas the trip to Cayeux is with an old Diesel locomotive.

However, when we'd bought our tickets we only found the Diesel train. So thinking that it replaced the normal steam train ride, we boarded. It was only when we left the train station that we say the steam train leave from another station, just 500 meters from where we hopped on our Diesel train.

I blame the French for being absolutely incapable of giving clear indications. They put one arrow in the general direction, then another and then you're left to your own devises, until you see an arrow pointing completely in the opposite direction (so at least you know you're too far).

My wife blames me, of course.

So it was with red cheeks that I handed over the tickets to the train conductor, who claimed again that their directions were perfectly clear. Luckily, he didn't kick us off the train. And besides, that old diesel locomotive was at least as charming as the steam train, wasn't it?

You can't take pictures like this on a steam train, you know

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Le Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme (Picardie, France)

Rolling through the fields around the Bay of the Somme

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Arrival at Cayeux-sur-Mer, 45 minutes later the train returns to St-Valéry-sur-Somme

Arrival at Cayeux. Forty-five minutes later the train returned to Saint-Valéry sur Somme.

At Cayeux, the locomotive is released and then hooked up to the other side of the train

A glimpse of the train driver's compartment

Wolf on the hard, wooden bench

And we're off again!

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

We smuggled Booh, Wolf's favourite cuddle, into the passenger compartment. She really didn't want to travel with the cargo because there were no windows.

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (Picardie, France)

Give your animals plenty to drink on hot summer days!

It was very hot that day (28°C!), so Wolf made sure that Booh drank regularly.

Shut up mum!

'That's what you get for trying to scare me and my cuddle cow!'

The steam train we should have taken

When we got back to Saint-Valéry, we heard a steam whistle. This is the train to Crotoy and Noyelles (where we were supposed to go). See, it's not half as nice as our little diesel train!

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Le Crotoy (Picardie, France)

Although admit that the cars do look more comfortable than the ones we had. But then again, we could see the tracks through the cracks between the floor boards.

Historic train ride from St-Valéry sur Somme to Le Crotoy (Picardie, France)

Ok, it IS a nice train.

Posted by Bart at 5:52 PM
Categories: Framed, The intrepid explorer


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