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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Nord Pas de Calais, France

Jul 9, 2019 - Home is where you park it……….living the dream!

After escaping the heatwave in Provence, we spent last week on the Alabaster Coast between Le Havre and Fecamp and found some fascinating coastal walks. There is a coastal path which takes you right along the tops of high chalk cliffs. It’s called the Alabaster Coast for a good reason; there are miles and miles of white chalk cliffs with sea stacks and interesting formations formed by wind and sea. Our first walk ended in the seaside town of Etretat on a hot Saturday. People, people everywhere on the beach, on the high cliffs and cramming...

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Oct 10, 2018 - Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

There were many WWI celebrations occurring at the time we were in the Somme which was unexpected. We visited Peronne, Corbie and Amiens where a number of memorials and museums featured Australian accomplishments during that terrible time. We paid our respects at the Mont Saint-Quentin Monument overlooking Peronne, the site where the Australians performed so brilliantly and then took a final drive through the countryside which had suffered so much destruction. Guns remain a part of everyday life as we noticed during the drive to our...

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Aug 24, 2018 - Labuissiere

One of the first things we noticed when we joined the motorway traffic was the relative calm. There was no erratic driving and very little speeding. Apart from us that is. After moving onto country roads for a more scenic drive we managed to score one 'camera flash' each while passing through villages. Not good. Passing through the Somme was always going to be a little sad but seeing dozens of Aussie flags fluttering in town centres and so many other places along the way was uplifting. We took the opportunity to visit the beach at Dunkirk...

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Jun 29, 2018 - Living The Dream!

We are sitting in our camper close to Calais awaiting the ferry to England tomorrow and it is time to reflect on this wonderful trip. Our 9th trip in our camper and likely the best yet, but we always say that! Slovenia has been a revelation in virtually every way. Four years ago we loved the place and were a bit skeptical on returning as often places disappoint the second time. Not the case at all; the opposite in fact. The overriding memory is that of a comfortable and easy country to travel and camp in with friendly, helpful people. There...

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May 15, 2018 - Passchendale

Day 9 - Tuesday 15th May Early morning walk along the wall around part of the old town. It is a massive brick built wall with a wide moat outside it. It used to go all around the old town but now only part of the East & South walls remain. It is wide on the top with bike & pedestrian paths. The Menin Gate is to the North of the East wall & the main road from the East goes through at that point. After the walk we upped & drove out to Zonnebeke to visit the Passchendale Museum there. The most expensive museum so far at €9 each but it was one...

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May 13, 2018 - North To Arras

Day 7 - Sunday 13th May With the threat of rain still about we decided to visit the other sites on our way up North to Arras. We are basically now going to be following the line of the Front between the two forces all the way up to Ypres in Belgium. We stopped first at the British Cemetery at Pozieres where Claude Castleton is buried. Claude came from Lowestoft but had made his way to Australia as a young man. When the war started he joined the Australian army & was sent back to France via Egypt. By the time he got here he was a sergeant...

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May 7, 2018 - Off To Calais

Day 1. Said goodbye to the girls at 2.30pm & headed down to Dover. Traffic a bit iffy between Ipswich & Brentwood but plain sailing after that & got to the ferry terminal at 6.30pm. Roger got to demonstrate his culinary skills & knocked up a couple of cheese & onion sandwiches. No time for anything more elaborate as boarding started about 7.20pm ready for the scheduled departure at 7.55pm. Ship very quiet & it was a very smooth crossing to Calais. We arrived at our free night stop at the nearby Carrefour car park 10.30pm. Quite a few other...

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Jan 14, 2018 - Off To Morocco

Day 1 - Sunday 14th January 2018 Left home about 3pm after saying goodbye to our family & drove down to Dover. We were booked on the midnight ferry across the channel to Dunkirk. I gambled that we would get tacked onto the 8pm ferry if we got to Dover by 7pm & as luck would have it we were, at no extra charge. This meant that we got to Dunkirk by 11.30pm(French time) instead of 3.30am so a lot better. When we disembarked all we had to do was drive round to the ticket office car park & settle down there for the night. A free overnight stop &...

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Oct 29, 2017 - The end of the line………………for this year!

We are camped just south of Calais, ready for our trip through the Chunnel back to the UK in the morning. Provence seems so far away and yet what wonderful memories. We stayed on for a few extra days and crammed in another hike, long bike ride and a wander around the town filled with the Tuesday morning market of Vaison la Romaine (continuous since the 16th c.) We ate more desserts in the main square in the village and vowed to return. Two days in Paris on the way north was perfect. We walked, ate and visited galleries in Ian’s favourite...

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Oct 1, 2017 - Lille

The only reason I'm including Lille is so it shows on the map. Nothing off note happened in this grey northern French city which seemed shut for the Sunday. Oh, except the Eurostar terminus was EuroDisney so the train was filled with very excited kids, irritated parents and Disney representatives. However, we were a couple of very few people to get off the train 50 minutes after leaving Ashford International at Lille. Then I kept saying 'gracias' to people rather than 'merci'. But that was it. Then TGV. Dave

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Sep 28, 2017 - The Fields of August, 1914

Welcome - Rather than read my reflections on France Nord Pas-de-Calais, your time would be better spent reading Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August, her Pulitzer Prize winning account of the first month of WW I. I particularly enjoy her sarcasm. Evidently the politicians of that period were no less uninformed, reckless, and venal than our current president. The results of their "leadership" were horrendous. The Great War began August 3, 1914. By the end August the war was basically at a stalemate. The lines wavered back and forth, often...

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Oct 4, 2016 - Somme Battlefields

Day 24 – Tuesday 4th October Albert, France – Arras, France - 25miles, total to date =2,799miles This morning I went into the centre of Albėrt to visit The Somme 1916 Museum. It is laid out along a 250mtr tunnel some 10mtrs below ground & tries to give an insight into what it was like for a soldier in the trenches during the war. It was particularly realistic along the final low & narrow tunnel where the lights were dim & the noise of explosions were mixed with flashes to give a sense of what it was like. After I escaped & made my way back...

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