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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Picardie, France

Aug 23, 2014 - Welcome to Amiens

So we decided we would spend a few days in the country just north of Paris in a place called Amiens, it is home to the tallest complete cathedral in France and is Twice the size of the Notre Dame in Paris and is the 19th largest Cathedral in the world, it sits on a slight ridge overlooking the River Somme. The Somme is the Western Front for WW1, which lead us to places such as, Villers - Bretonneux, Pozieres, Lochnagar Crater, Theipval, Somme and some more memorials along the way.

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Trip Journal


Europe Trip 2014

Aug 21, 2014 - Amiens

This morning we've made time to go visit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens, which I am reliably told by a work colleague - Gregoire - is the best of the Gothic cathedrals in France. It was a very short walk to the church, but we were planning on moving on straight afterwards to our next stop just outside the city itself. So we parked the car there to save some time. At least we would have,if the British couple who said they were leaving in "1 minute" didn't decide to take another 15 minutes taking photos from inside the car and by leaning...

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Aug 21, 2014 - Australian War Memorial - Somme Valley

Before I went away, someone was asking me or rather commenting on the fact that I seemed to go to a lot of war sites whilst I was away, particularly the memorials. I'd never realised that I'd put so much time into them, but there's something that draws me to try connect with whatever it was that the people went through. To try understand it. It's all rather ironic, as in High School, I used to complain about how so much of our education in English and History, was spent focussing on both the first and second world wars. If you ask me, too...

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Jun 3, 2014 - Pierrefond Castle

June 3 I got up Tuesday morning to read the Vancouver Sun on my iPad with my new SIM card…yea! Today’s planned ride would be 52 km through the Compiegne Forest, ultimately to the small town of Creil. We started with an uphill ride from the river on the streets of Compiegne and then onto the roughest cobblestones ever…the hill warmed up my legs and the cobblestones roughed up my whatsit. Meindert took us onto the narrow paved trails through the forest for a fun rollercoaster-type ride, all the while dodging wet, low-hanging branches. Our...

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Jun 2, 2014 - Noyon to Compiegne

June 2 We left Pont Leveque for the larger town of Compiegne, a ride of about 50 km back through picturesque towns and countryside with one segment of busy highway. Our lunch was at La Clariere de Armistice, the clearing and rail car where the WWI Armistice and the 1940 surrender of France to Germany were signed. Several monuments and a museum are on the site and we took the opportunity to visit the museum to see the replica railcar as the original had been moved to Germany and burned near the end of WWII. 2:30 p.m.saw us back at the Elodie...

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Jun 1, 2014 - Peronne to Noyons

June 1 The month of June started with us back on our bikes after a brief run of the Elodie through a couple of locks. Leaving Peronne, we were on our way to Pont Leveque near the town of Noyons on a planned 50 km ride. Our first stop of the day was planned for a trout farm that provided opportunity for our coffee/bathroom break. We had a tough time finding it as Meindert’s instructions were very brief on direction and were based on being dropped at a different lock from the one we were actually dropped at. We made several directional false...

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Apr 24, 2014 - Valenciennes to Compiegne

Solo ride Day 2 I woke at about 3 am to the sound of soft rainfall so started to mentally prepare myself for a ride. By morning the rain had stopped but the roads were wet and the air was very misty. I set off without wet weather gear but I had it ready in case. Getting out of Valenciennes was straightforward except that the route led me to a non-existent bike track alongside a canal. I must say that the French idea of a canal path is nowhere as good as the Dutch or Belgian. In many cases even good quality paths disappear into rutted grassy...

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Apr 19, 2014 - Paris to Compiegne

Day 17 Blake and Clarissa left us yesterday because they are flying to Italy for Blake to meet Clarissa's family. He has been learning a few words of Italian but I reckon he is in for a bit of a shock. They had two quite sturdy semi-foldable bike bags which have wheels on the bottom and internal struts. Much more secure than mine and easier to move about but heavier. So now we are left with 12 riders and 4 staff; cosy! The ride out of Paris turned out to be really simple; we had feared narrow roads with lots of traffic lights and traffic....

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Feb 26, 2014 - St -Valery-sur-Somme

After a wet morning the weather improved so we headed out to the Somme estuary and the lovely town of St-Valery-sur-Somme. It was from here that William, Duke of Normandy set sail to conquer England in 1066. The town was interesting in that it was on two levels. On the hill above the Somme estuary was the old town with its original medieval walls and an interesting church with a double nave. Down the hill was the very long promenade lined with old Victorian houses and great views of the estuary’s marshlands. A great place to explore on our...

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Feb 24, 2014 - Le Treport and Mers-les Bains

We had arrived at the aire in Le Treport early Sunday afternoon. To our surprise the aire was very busy and we wondered whether we would find a space. We suddenly realised that a number of the motorhomes were starting to leave so we were able to get a space watched as usual by a small crowd as we manoeuvred into place. When we had visited this aire in November there was hardly any other motorhomes. Asking in the local tourist office the next day we discovered we had hit the start of the French schools three week holidays. The next day the...

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Jan 7, 2014 - Dunkirk

We had an uneventful drive down to Dover. A bit of a tailback at the Dartford bridge across the Thames but that was all. We got to Dover about 6.30pm and parked up along the promenade. There were a couple of other motor homes there as this is apparently a good place to wait if you're early for your ferry. We abandoned Ethel and walked into town to get a meal. Found a Wetherspoons where we got a couple of Steak & kidney pudding meals for £6.50, just the ticket. Rather than wait on the seafront we decided to go into the ferry terminal & check...

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Aug 17, 2013 - Day Tour to the Somme Battlefields 16 Aug 13

Today we joined a small group tour (8 people & all Aussies) to visit the Somme battlefields. Although my interest was primarily the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux, the tour included visits to The Lochnagar Crater at Boisselle, Poziere; the Welsh Memorial at Mametz Wood, Thiepval; The Ulster Tower, Beaumont-Hamel site; the Newfoundland memorial; and the Historial in Peronne. During the tour, we saw the South African national memorial at Longueval (3,000 killed in 'Deville Wood' in five days)and we finished at the...

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