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Uploaded on Aug 5, 2009
An easy day-trip by train north of Paris will bring you to the cathedral towns of Amiens and Rouen, the gem of Normandy. Amiens has an attractive pedestrian zone running through the modern downtown, and an interesting, if small, Old Town, but it is the cathedral we have come to see the largest gothic cathedral in France, the land that invented this enduring form. Not only large, but perfect in form with all the standard gothic design you could hope for. From here we continue by train to nearby Rouen, which has the largest collection of half-timbered medieval buildings in France. Easy to explore on foot, start out from the train station and keep on going through one historic lane after another. Here too you will find a famous cathedral but in this case the town itself is the main attraction, its narrow streets lined with thriving shops and historic monument, including the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Photographed during the Christmas season when tykes are skating in the main square and colorful lights line the shop fronts, this is a special time and place to enjoy.