Arras to Amiens via Villers Bretonneux

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Day 21. Today was a day many of the Aussies on the tour had been looking forward to as we were visiting Villers Bretonneux and the day didn’t disappoint. The riding was a lot of gentle rolling hills through the French countryside. The “heatwave” continues with the days temperature reaching around 35 degrees although the Garmins were reading quite a bit higher than that. Some stopped for a morning coffee in Albert, a town around 20kms from Villers Bretonneux and the signs of remembrance of the Allied Forces were already obvious with statues and flags in abundance.

Before riding into Villers Bretonneux we visited the newly opened memorial 2kms out of town which was a truly moving experience. A lot of the imagery was quite confronting and certainly serves as a reminder of why we don’t want to repeat history. When we arrived in the town the Mayor was there to greet us which was really lovely. It is quite amazing to be so far from home but see so many reminders of Australia from the flags to the kangaroos above the town hall. I think our American friends found it moving too and many have done some reading in recent days on this area of history.

It was an 87km day in total before arriving in Amiens and we had time to admire the quite stunning Notre Dame Cathedral which was well worth a visit. We didn’t realise that the Australian troops were also so instrumental in protecting the cathedral here in Amiens. The day was rounded out with a beautiful dinner in a restaurant on the canal. An amazing day.

 

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