P1080264It's clear from the tourist booklet that the area around St Omer has much more to it than we expected. We've always raced through the area on our way somewhere else so today we decided to remain in Les Frangins and take a look around the area.

First stop (after an excellent breakfast at L'Sainto salon du the next door) is the canal and Les Fontinettes ship lift, a magnificent structure but closed. (hours are until 12 but M. says closed at 11 so closed it is). The structure is in a state of disrepair but what an amazing piece of engineering.

Onward to Cassel to see their windmill with a lengthy stop in the (rather fine) town centre for lunch. Sadly the windmill is also closed and has obviously been for some time. We think it may be considered too dangerous. Back to the ship lift we take the rather brief tour. Frankly you see all you need to from the outside, which is pretty impressive, and the inside is simply explanations and the repair shop.

 

P1080309Finally back in St Omer we walked to the Maison du Marais - an information centre about the Audomarois Marshes. The centre was closing but there was a boat trip around the marsh, one hour and quite fascinating. Well worth the visit and not at all what we expected, lots of wild life including a rat that Mary nearly stood on outside. Ugh!

Dinner back at the Le Restaurant le Cygne was just as good as last night and we just left full!