This is the very difficult to find Bruay la Bussiere hotel where we enjoyed a delightful dinner, bed and breakfast last night. We arrived bedraggled and tired but left this morning clean, well fed and in high spirits ready to ride the ‘Iron Horse’ from Bethune to Arras on our ‘rest day’.
The hotel’s traditional French breakfast menu wasn’t a diabetics delight! When we walk this rarely matters but on rest days, without hours of exercise, it can be difficult as Peter cannot resist indulging in these wonderful breakfast baguettes and pastries.
This morning we sighted the first of the Commonwealth War Graves cemetries along our Via Francigena route. No doubt many more are there but as we don’t venture far from our path, the Via Francigena, we miss them. Today in Arras we’ll see some of the cemeteries. It was such a waste of young lives, so many young men from all over the Commonwealth and Australia were lost there in the First World War between 1914-1918. In fact, 1,700,000 died in that war.
Our TGV arriving at the Gare at Bethune nearby Bruay before our short trip to Arras this morning.
Reubens painting The Descent of the Cross, formerly hung in the Arras Cathedral now hangs nearby in a church; St. John the Baptist. As the Cathedral was bombed in both WW1 and WW2 we assume this valuable painting was relocated to a lesser known church for safekeeping at that time.
Today we had our Pilgrims Credential stamped in Arras at the Cathedral Office.
Here written in French is the history of the Cathedral. It’s spire has never been finished – after hundreds of years the Cathedral still remains a work in progress!!!!
The rebuilt Cathedral (post WW2).looks magnificent but feels more than a bit chilly!
The Hotel de Ville in Arras is magnificent!!! All this was rebuilt after the 2nd World War when much of the old city of Arras was bombed
The grand square in front of the Hotel de Ville in Arras. In a few months, in the heart of summer, it will be full of people sitting out in the sun in the outdoor cafes tanning themselves while socializing.
Pre-dinner drinks at our hotel in Arras – looks like Peter got a 2 for 1 special of Kir!!!
Good French company was enjoyed with this threesome at the adjoining table. Here tables are placed so close together it’s difficult to do a private dinner. Privacy is a very Anglo British concept, not always shared with the rest of the world — or the two of us tonight!!!!
The Giants of Arras! Compare these to Peter’s size!!! And he’s rather tall!
Here is the centuries old story about the Giants’ of Arras.