Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Day in Boulogne

1904 Art Nouveau building, Boulogne Sur MerOK, apart from the ferry thing, Boulogne Sur Mer is an easy day out. Plenty of lovely architecture as usual in France, alongside some modern nasties, a combination of well-preserved ancient walled city and a modern town with old buildings scattered throughout. This house on the left was from 1904, a classic Art Nouveau style, although the chimney is clearly trying to make a break for freedom.

Nice shopping of course - there are a couple of depot ventes, full of junk and treasures; an antique shop or two (great deco cheese dish, groovy 60s kettle), and finally a couple of hours in LeClerc enjoying the French approach to hypermarkets (you know, quality, variety and great prices and everything so French...).

Funny how they even manage to make the butter, yoghurt and biscuits seem more stylish.

We took a quick look inside the cathedral - very weird visual effect. As you walk up inside the old walled part of the city, the cathedral looks like a lovely, large old church, but not especially huge. Houses are built right up to the sides, so that to get from the frotn door to the side door, you walk round a house on the corner. But from the other side of the river it is absolutely massive, standing - almost hanging - high above the town.

Funny thing, perspective.

And their festival floats could teach our carnival people a thing or two about substance and seriousness. The French certainly manage a combination of religious devotion and civic pride that we seem to have lost somewhere along the way.

religious festival float, Boulogne Sur Mer

Still, it was a very pleasant feeling to get our feet (well, wheels) back on to dry (and still) land. And very pleased we only had the short drive back to Thanet rather than a struggle up a motorway like most of the other passengers. Good day out. Yup.

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