Covering almost 800 acres of small islands and holding 65 kilometers of little canals, the Hortillonages are ancient marshes that were “mined” for their peat (along with textiles, a source of Amiens early wealth) and later turned into market gardens. Now they has been turned into a nature preserve with small houses and gardens surrounded by water.
Central Amiens is to the lower left of this Google Earth shot.
We took a boat trip though the gardens in an electrified version of the small craft that used to ferry the vegetables grown in the gardens to the market in Amiens. The “Friends of the Hortillonages” have a thriving tour operation.
One of the small “chalets”.
Walking back to the boat we were able to see some of the art works that have been scattered around the few islands that are accessible by foot. Others can only be reached by boat but we didn’t have the time for that.
We did see Amiens summer Plage, however.
The summer “beach” in Amiens.
Thursday morning a little before 9 we set off down the river for our next stop, the village of Long.