Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Picardie, France

Feb 17, 2020 - Versailles Palace

Day 37 - Mon 17th Feb We had our first taste of daytime rain for a longtime as we drove up through France to Versailles. We thought we’d have a look at the palace & gardens as we have plenty of time available. The car parks close to the palace are horribly expensive so we went for some roadside parking about a mile down the big boulevard that leads up to the palace. Not sure if it is a palace, a chateau or a castle. We eventually managed to find a spot big enough to park in, had coffee & then set off down the road. We called in at an...

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Jun 12, 2018 - Treport

After leaving Bruge, we drove A10 to Oosttende. It was a sobering thought driving along the English Channel towards Dunkirk. We saw bunkers and cannons pointed out to sea stillin place from World War II...after all these years. A grim reminder of what took place. We saw the poppies of Flanders fields...now this. We went back to A18. We were surprised by how big a place Dunkirk is. It seemed to stretch for miles....Calais too. At a little place called Iverville we left the highway to go see a Cimitaire Canadiens. We had to stop to ask...

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May 12, 2018 - Thiepval & Beaumont Hamel

Day 6 - Saturday 12th May Another fine start to the day but heavy rain & wind forecast for tonight & tomorrow. Plan for today was to bike out to the sites not far from Albert including the big Thiepval Monument, the Ulster Tower, Beaumont Hamel etc. Hopefully get round them before it rains. We didn’t get away very early & it did rain a bit as we made our way out of Albert & up to Thiepval first. Lots of uphill riding to get up there but fortunately the rain wasn’t too bad. The Thiepval Monument is, I believe, the largest British War...

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May 11, 2018 - Across To The Somme

Day 5 - Friday 11th May Left our night stop & headed East about 180miles to the town of Albert on the Somme. A proper camp site this time for a couple of nights while we visit some of the WW1 sites in the area. Fortunately these still shines & it is a lovely day. After arriving about 1pm &setting up & unwinding we went off to visit the Somme museum set in the underground tunnel by the famous church. On the top of the spire there is a gold statue of the Madonna holding out a baby Jesus. This church was bombed incessantly during the war & the...

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Oct 3, 2016 - The Somme - Albèrt, France

Day 23 – Monday 3rd October Bastogne, Belgium – Albert, France - 202miles, total to date =2,774miles Miserable start to the day with rain again. Fortunately we were on our way across to visit the WW1 battlefields of the Somme. To ease the driving we took the motorways westward into France, heading for a town called Albèrt. The rain eventually eased off late morning as we left Belgium & entered France, the sun came out at the right time just as we started to see road signs pointing to war grave cemeteries along the way. There were cemeteries...

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Jul 28, 2016 - Rouen - To Somme Battlefields WW1

Today was a very big bus ride to our next excursion. We left the ship at 8am and returned at 6.30pm. There are approx. 127 people on the ship and there were almost 100 people visiting these old battlefield sites. The ship has a majority of Australians on it, but this trip there are about 20 Americans, Canadians on it as well. I feel they are on the ship because of this leg of the tour. The landscape of the Somme is very flat, and everywhere you look is just paddock after paddock with crops on them and small pockets of trees here and there....

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May 21, 2016 - Compiegne and the Clairiere de L'Armistice

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...

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May 18, 2016 - Amiens

The weather was dull and overcast. We drove through the rolling countryside overlooking the Somme River to Amiens. The outstanding feature of Amiens is its cathedral. It is the biggest Gothic building in France. It was begun in 1220 and was completed in 1269. The west front of the cathedral was original coloured and in July and August the cathedral is lit up with an evening sound and light show which would have been interesting to see but wrong time of year! However, without the show the west front was highly decorated and impressive....

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May 17, 2016 - The Remembrance Trail or Le Circuit du Souvenir

The Somme has been deeply marked by the battles of the First World War: The August invasion by Germany and the ‘Race to the Sea’ of September 1914, the Battle of the Somme from July to November 1916, the German Spring Offensive in March 1918 and the subsequent Allied armies’ counter-offensives of Picardie from August to September 1918. This area became a meeting point for over twenty nationalities where three million soldiers would fight on a front of forty-five kilometres. The Remembrance Trail took us to most of the key sites which act as...

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May 16, 2016 - Peronne

Our first morning in the area saw us finding the local bakery and the main supermarket as we needed a stock up on supplies. In the afternoon we returned to Peronne and visited the Museum of the Great War which gave an insight into the experiences of the three main European nations at war (France, Germany and the United Kingdom). We couldn’t say it was a sparkling museum. Peronne town was occupied by the Germans for almost the entire length of the war. Between 1914 and 1918 almost 30% of the town inhabitants became civilian victims of the...

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May 15, 2016 - Heading south into France

Today we left Belgium and headed south and east into France. Our destination a campground near Peronne in the Picardie region and close to the Somme River. We arrived safely at the lovely little campground and was greeted by the very helpful campground owner who quickly got us settled on a huge pitch. We intend to spend a week here exploring the area particular the WWI battlefield area of the Battle of the Somme which happened in 1916. Daisy and Heather enjoyed their first walk along the Somme River just by the campground.

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Oct 5, 2015 - Italy and France

After some fairly hectic tours we have spent the past ten days relaxing on our own and driving through Italy and France. We flew from London into Venice and drove via the fast road up past Trento into the Trentino region and the Dolomite mountain range area. It snowed on the tops while we were there. As we drove up the adjoining valley on our left contained Lake Garda and we were later to cross the mountains and drive down the lake. The area has a fascinating political history. Yes it was also part of the old Austro Hungarian Empire and...

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Trip Journal

Averill and James

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