Thursday 4th September2014 was a bright sunny morning as we set off through the Channel Tunnel for our day in France. The autoroute was as quiet as usual in France and we had the opportunity of seeing that most of the summer crops were harvested and the autumn ploughing was well nigh completed.
Our first destination was to the ‘Location de Barques’ at ‘ Au Bon Accueil’ at Salperwick. This is the area of marshland near St.Omer which is a UNESCO designation site of 3,400 hectares furrowed by 160 kilometers of waterways. Here we rested in the sunshine on the Bateaux Promenade with our coffee whilst waiting for our boat.
Our boat accommodated all our party. As it was an electrically driven boat we glided silently through the marshland able to appreciate the tranquillity of the scene and wonder at the lives of the inhabitants of these water-locked areas. We saw the postman delivering the mail by boat! We sighted coots, moorhens, ducks, cormorants, the flashing by of a kingfisher and a swimming grass snake on our hour on the marsh.
It was then time for lunch which we had at the Relais d’Artois at Houlle – a kir, three courses, wine and coffee – a typical French way to pass the early afternoon!
After lunch we made a short call at the Glass factory shop at Arques before taking the evening Tunnel shuttle to Folkestone and home.
(text contributed by Eddie Oldfield)