Via Francigena

Day 6 – Tournehem-sur-la-Hem to Wisques: After the rain… Doesn’t come sunshine!

The stage


👣 20 km on foot – Monday 21 June

Sometimes it’s just one of those days… One of those days when it just doesn’t want to stop raining.

Departure from Tournehem this morning was energetic, with a double breakfast offered both by our lovely host as well as by the municipality. With our bellies more than filled, and our feet ready for the road, we set off on our journey to Wisques.

With its 20 km and no considerable climbs down the road, on paper today’s stage could be considered of relatively low difficulty. The rolling green hills that we have been seeing in the past few days accompanied us as well, with their endless fields of barley and beautiful wild flowers.

It seems that our Road to Rome communication efforts are paying off, because today we were joined by the lovely Pouille family from Saint-Omer. They learned about our initiative on Facebook and decided to walk with us. They are planning to walk a couple of days along the French GR120 coastal road this summer so today was a good training opportunity. Unfortunately for them (and for us!), it became a very wet training session along the Via Francigena!

Because today it rained. It rained hard. All the time! And there was not a single possibility to hide from the rain, because all the eye could see were those endless fields of barley. No house in sight, no tree to hide under, we continued our muddy, wet journey, hoping it would stop raining soon. Which it didn’t. After several hours being completely soaked, we were offered solace in the small church of Saint-Folquin in Cormettes-lès-Zudausques, where the Tourist Office of Saint-Omer had organized a short musical intermezzo for us.

After lunch only a few kilometers remained before our arrival in Wisques, a tiny town with 200 inhabitants. Fun fact of this tiny town: there are two huge abbeys situated here, which doesn’t seem to make any sense considering the tiny size of the town. In fact, the existence of the town is a direct result of the presence of the two abbeys. The houses of the town were built because of the two abbeys, and the town itself doesn’t have any church. The only two churches are the ones inside the abbeys.

We topped off today’s long and rainy stage with a visit to the impressive Maison du Marais museum in Saint-Omer. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will have a bit more mercy on us walkers, fingers crossed!


Great company from the Pouille family

Warming up after the rain in the house of Jacques Bocquet and his lovely wife who provided hot drinks and warmth from their fireplace

Notre-Dame abbey in Wisques

Museum “Maison du Marais” in Saint-Omer

Not giving up and finishing this stage regardless of the strong rain the entire day

Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)

Luca Bruschi, Director (EAVF)

Didier Morel (FFVF)

Clair Waïss (FFR)

Massimo Tedeschi, President (EAVF)

The Pouille family from Saint-Omer

Jacques Bocquet