On our third trip to St Omer, we had company.

We decided to introduce Louie and Nellie to 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 large historical looking building, “That must be it” we both muttered, hoping it was.  Then comes the fun part trying to find a carpark, this has become a rather challenging exercise in our life over in France.  Why were we concerned, of course, the squire found one, after a few minutes of playing “around and around the carpark we go.”  Only to come back to say that it is all boarded up and the train station is now a little prefab by the carpark.  Well, that was a surprise!

Train Station that isnt

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 was unable to study in England due to being a Catholic.

More information can be read in this article.

France is usually very dog-friendly though not that friendly as to let two large dogs enter their library.  Not that we were contemplating doing such an act.  While the squire 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.

After a while, we all set off to see the magnificent Abbey of Saint Bertin ruins.  WOW, imposing structure and if you use your imagination, the ruins come alive.

From town to back out to the countryside to view the Audomarois Marshes as everyone was ready for a stroll, then the weather decided to turn 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 is the only one in France and recognised by UNESCO.  Started by monks in the year 638 who diverted the River Aa, divided into plots, and today more than 50 farmers grow crops on the land.  It was such a peaceful place to be and 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 here is a video clip of these amazing 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 think I could’ve stayed in 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 the squire 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.