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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Basse Normandie, France

Aug 29, 2019 - August 29 Thursday. Juno Beach, Honfleur

Thursday, August 29 We enjoyed a fine continental breakfast at the hotel, where I met the man and daughter who were almost our bunk mates. He, in French asked if I had slept well and I, in my fractured French, asked if he had also slept well and did they have a room? He smiled and replied that they did. After breakfast we were off to Juno Beach, about an hour’s drive from Honfleur. We travelled through farmland that was green like the Fraser Valley but flat like the prairies. There were some “rolls” of dried hay, like you see in the valley,...

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Trip Journal


Belgium 2019

Aug 28, 2019 - August 28, Wednesday - Vimy Ridge, Honfleur

Wednesday, August 28 It rained in the night, but the clouds appeared to be dispersing in the morning. We welcomed the cooler temperature. By 9:30, we were packed up and on our way to Honfleur in France with a side trip to Vimy Ridge. Not long after 11:00, we arrived at the Vimy Ridge Memorial, a gleaming white monument on a ridge rising above the farmland. It dominates the countryside and we could see from kilometres away as we drove towards it. In April of 1917, Vimy Ridge was the site of the first battle in which all of Canada’s four...

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Trip Journal


Belgium 2019

Jul 2, 2019 - The Canicule is upon us

Western Europe has been experiencing a canicule (a heatwave) with stratospheric temperatures in the high 30s and into the 40s. At the end of last week we were based in Sisteron. Last year we drove by it and thought what a cool place it looked to visit………so we did this year! Very mountainous, perfect castle and interesting town made it a great stopover. Apart from the heat. After a couple of days of getting up at 5am to hike before the sun got too intense and sweating for hours in between dips in the swimming pool, we decided enough was...

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Oct 14, 2018 - Cherbourg

To complete our exploration of Normandy's WWII sites we stopped at the German batteries at Longues-sur-Mer, Maisy and d'Azeville while on the way to Cherbourg. All were fascinating but the expansive one at Longues was amazing. The visual remains of Germany's Atlantic Wall defence system is remarkable. Cherbourg was more memorable for blustering wind. By jutting out into the Atlantic it was vulnerable and we could only imagine the conditions during a winter storm. Sailors must love the situation because the harbour areas were full of their...

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Oct 13, 2018 - Equemauville

We generally followed the Atlantic coast to our next stop through great seaside towns including Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Fecamp, Fort-Mahon-Plage, Dieppe and Le Havre. Saint Valery was our favourite not only for its setting but also it was where we witnessed the tide coming in. We were amazed at the flow which was strong enough for people to surf-ski into the River Somme for quite a distance. The stopover in Equemauville placed us in a position to explore various sites involved in the WW2 Normandy Invasion. The all important Pegasus Bridge...

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Jul 7, 2018 - Mont St. Michel

Friday was all driving. I checked out of the hotel at 8 a.m. in Andorra. Then, I took the next 30 minutes to try. To get my car out of the parking garage. The ramp getting out of the garage was only about 6 inches wider than my little Lemon. It was at a huge uphill incline and, of course, the Lemon is a manual transmission. All of that is do-able, but to get onto the ramp, you have to make a sharp 90 degree turn, also going uphill, with almost no more space to turn. The guy at the desk kept opening the door for me. It would lower about 30...

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Trip Journal


PK to Europe 2018

May 10, 2018 - Omaha & Utah Beaches - The Americans

Day 4 - Thursday 10th May Decided to take it easy today after yesterday’s bike ride. We moved off site in Arromanche & headed West along the coast towards the American Cemetery about 12 miles away in the Omaha beach area. On the way we stopped off to have a look at a German gun battery a couple of miles away on the cliff top. There were four great big concrete gun emplacements which had guarded the coast. Only one of them looked as if it had been damaged by the Allied shelling from the sea. From there we went on to the cemetery. It is an...

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May 9, 2018 - Biking To Ouisterham

Day 3 - Wednesday 9th May Another fine start to the day so we had breakfast & got away on the bikes on the ride along the coast to Ouisterham at the East end of the invasion beaches. After struggling up the hill out of Arromanche we made our way past Gold & Juno landing sites to Sword beach at Omaha probably about 17 miles. We saw various sites & monuments along the way, the odd Pill Box, tank, gun etc. all remnants of the invasion. In Ouistrham we visited the Blockhouse Museum a five story reinforced concrete observation post. Lots of...

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May 8, 2018 - The Road To Normandy

Day 2 - Tuesday 8th May Found out in the morning that our car park is right next to the Eurotunnel train terminal. That probably explains the miles of high metal fences all around. There were no signs of immigrants trying to get past the fences so maybe the problem has been controlled. We did get a knock on the door just after 7am by an English guy who had seen me out having a look around. He was looking to borrow a set of jump leads as his Motorhome battery was flat & he couldn’t start his engine. As he was due to get the Eurotunnel train...

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Oct 25, 2017 - Memorial Peace Museum

We left our boat, MS Bizet, this morning. Very sad. The whole crew was out to say and wave good bye to us, as we drove off in our buses. The sun is out again. The weather is beautiful. Just a tinge of cool air; beautiful fall air. We drove through the wonderful French countryside again, on our way to Caen. We stopped here for the morning as we visited the Memorial Peace Museum. It has displays of D-Day and the whole of World War II, including the battles in the Pacific against the Japanese. The memorial is dedicated to the history of...

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Oct 24, 2017 - Bayeux

Today we are docked at the harbor city of Honfleur. We took a walking tour around this beautiful village. It was created in 1668 by Duquesne under orders from Colbert as a defensive measure and was mostly involved in exports to England during the Hundred Years War. The French king had this strategic spot fortified. Through the Ancient Regime, Honfleur's ship owners made fortunes from trade, notably with North America. Samuel de Champlain, one of the most famous explorers associated with the port, headed off to found the Canadian city of...

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Oct 23, 2017 - The Beaches of Normandy

Well today was what the whole trip was all about. Revisit the beaches of Normandy. We were here 30 years ago. The beaches, which are a living museum, have not changed. Buildings, churches and homes that were destroyed here during World War II have been rebuilt and/or restored. Also, museums and memorials have been built to celebrate the 40th and 50th Anniversaries of D-Day which weren't here when we last visited. The weather was cold and gray and only a little rainy; as it should be during this solemn visit. The D-Day landings, code-named...

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