Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo June 14th 2010

Southern France: It took just four hours to travel from Le Mans to Aix-en-Provence. I was not used to this type of train service. It was a double decker and the seating was comfy the ride gracefully smooth. On arrival the Lady was there to meet me. I had not seen her for a while. We talked for hours. She showed me around Aix. It is a beautiful town. The grandeur of the past is clear in every building. It is a spa town, dating back to the Roman era. Loved throughout the centuries it has withstood time. There are fountains strewn across the town. All unique and intricate. The weather and landscape both notably different to the rest of France. The town is surrounded by jagged rocky hills and mountains. The plan would be to ... read more
2 Harbour
3 Casino
4 Grand Hotel 3

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Le Mans June 8th 2010

Le Mans: After a few hours of driving the world famous Dunlop Bridge came into view on the horizon, I beamed with excitement. When talking to the American about motor sport, he could only picture NASCAR. I explained how racing circuits in Europe were a little more exciting than the oval circuits of NASCAR. I had told him all about the Circuit de la Sarthe used for the endurance race and how most of the thirteen and a bit kilometre lap was on actual roads that we could drive on. When we got there, that is exactly what we did. In my mind I was tearing up the asphalt doing a reverse lap of the circuit, my gear changes, perfect, throttle control, smooth. In reality I was in a 1l Daewoo rip off that squealed in ... read more
1 Peugeot 2009 LMP1
2 Start Finish
3 Porsche

Europe » France » Brittany » Rennes June 7th 2010

Rennes: Rennes was an interesting place. It was a reasonably sized settlement where, it seemed, the students had a grasp of the streets. Graffiti everywhere, but not the usual commonly found French graffiti, here it was street art. That and the dirty, stone, medieval buildings gave it a slight Gothic but definitely grungy feel. I had not heard from Mr 'T' since I had contacted him a few days before leaving home. The arrangements were vague and general, “not sure which day but I’ll call before I arrive”. I had tried to call but I hadn’t received an answer. We were nearing the outskirts of Rennes, when he finally got in touch. We arranged to meet in the town square. The square was alight with atmosphere. There was a collective of bars and restaurants many with ... read more

Europe » France » Upper Normandy June 4th 2010

Normandy: We disembarked at Le Harve, another gorgeous day. We picked up the keys to a Chevrolet Matiz from the rental agency. We joked about its ugliness then got in. the American turned to me from the driver's seat and said, “ I have a confession to make. I haven't driven 'Stick' in years and don't remember how to..”. I gave him a refresher of clutch control. After about five minutes of grinding, revving and inevitably stalling, I offered to drive, in a flash he was outside the passenger door, so I took the wheel. The decision was to head to Arromanches to view a part of Gold Beach and what remains of the Mulberry Harbour there. The giant concrete 'breeze blocks' littering the beach and shoreline were an interesting sight. There was also a lot ... read more
4 Beach Obstacle 11
5 Omaha Beach
7 American Cemetery and War Memorial 2

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Hampshire » Portsmouth June 3rd 2010

Portsmouth and English Channel: It was a bright sunny evening when I arrived at Portsmouth to board the ferry. It was not due to dock in Le Harve until the following morning. I was to travel across the channel to land in Normandy on the 4th of June, following the journey taken almost sixty-six years earlier by the allied forces of Operation Overlord. Only my journey was on a modern ferry with a bar. As I looked out towards the channel from the deck, my contemplation of what to do on landing was more of, 'I have no accommodation or transport, a loose plan of touring Normandy for a few days and terrible French.' Rather than 'Will I survive to see my family again?' or 'What will be the fate of the man next to me?' ... read more
2 Sunrise 2

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Newport June 1st 2010

In the summer of 2010 I went on an adventure. With no available companions and very little funding I made a decision to set off alone from South Wales in order to, wander Normandy during the annual D-Day memorial services, spectate the awe of the world famous Le Mans 24hr endurance race and then to Southern France where I would bask in the glitz and glamour that is Monaco. Preparations began around May time, in my home town of Newport, South Wales. As a student at Coventry University on summer break, that would not conclude until early October, I had a lot of free time ahead. The idea of working for the entirety of the following three months was not an option. I had to think of things to do. I had landed a job for ... read more

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