Today we headed south through the rolling countryside of Picardy Our first stop was a visit to the Forest of Compiegne and a green clearing called Clairiere de l’Armistice. Here in what once was a rail siding for rail mounted artillery, World War I was brought to an end on 11 November 1918. It was also the site where Hitler had the French sign their capitulation on 22 June 1940, on the same spot and same railway carriage. The railway car no longer exists but a replica is housed in the small museum attached to the site.
From there we drove a short distance into the pleasant town of Compiegne. Dominating the town is the Chateau de Compiegne. This former royal palace was renovated by Napoleon between 1807-10. The palace had extensive gardens (however they needed the National Trust touch) and extensive parkland into the Forest of Compiegne.
The Hotel de Ville was also impressive and there was a number of half-timbered houses and cobbled streets to explore.