Blogs from Nord-Pas de Calais, France, Europe

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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Calais August 2nd 2019

25 years ago Doug was chosen by the Department of Veteran affairs to officially represent Canada at D-Day ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary Of D-Day. Doug was interviewed by two local newspapers - The Ottawa Citizen and the Aylmer Bulletin - what follows is want Private Kelley had to say about the D-Day invasion June 6, 1944: Aylmer Bulletin On June 2nd we were given a dagger, assault boots, a gun, a piece of paper and 50 French francs. On June 3rd I and 31 others were on a landing craft heading to Normandy. We were supposed to land on June 5th but the landing was delayed by poor weather forcing us to spend an extra night in cramped quarters on the English Channel. We had to eat our emergency rations. We arrived about 4 am ... read more
Ottawa Citizen article
Juno Beach Centre
Juno Beach Centre

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Gravelines July 25th 2019

Woo hoo! Back on the road after the luxury of last year's cruise. The plan was to pack up yesterday and leave today by 7, just as the concrete men were supposed to arrive to lay the new path at our house. All was going surprisingly well until they arrived early and got, well, a bit in the way. Not helped by Seth's desire not to wee (asking Seth if he needs a wee, taking him for a wee, persuading him to wee, bribing him to wee etc etc ad infinitum is my actual life) as he'd rather watch the 'huge concrete mixer'. By some miracle, after one final wee check (no mummy, i don't need one) we left just 20 minutes late, yay, go us! Exactly 6 minutes later, barely on the M1, after a ... read more

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Calais May 28th 2019

Who would have thought it? A decent nights sleep on the equivalent of Cheshire Oaks. Gabby the motorhome had her last day in Germany and after breakfast was heading home. We wondered if we would be able to get home easily due to the roadworks but the sat nag proved it worth and negotiated us back to the autobahn. We could see the reason for our delay yesterday. The German government had invested heavily in renewing the roads and this one was a case in point. Not only had they scraped the surface off for retarmacing. They had taken every layer down to the subsoil and were starting again. Even the bridge had been demolished and was in the process of being replaced. All went well as we sailed past Frankfurt airport. In the short distance ... read more
The pancake starter
Third time lucky -

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Lille April 30th 2019

Off to France First step, sort the car up which we duly did - then found out the air conditioning didn’t work even though we had just had it regassed. Having spoken to the garage it seems working out the problem and fixing it was likely to cost more than the car was worth, so we decided to take the Astra instead. Shame as I wanted to get to 250,000 miles in the Touran! We caught the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk before heading to Lille where we met an old friend of Sue’s who I cleverly call Anne from France! The following day we went into Lille itself - me hobbling with my knee strapped from playing too much squash too quickly-Doh! Lille is bigger than I thought with a lovely old town. The Cathedral, ... read more
cathedral door from the outside
front of the cathedral from the inside
Anne ( from France) with Sue

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Calais September 22nd 2018

Gabby the motorhome is sitting on a large plot in the town of Calais in the campsite La Bien Assise. We come here often. It is close enough to drop into on our way down France and handy for the tunnel coming home. It is late and the office is shut for the night so there is nowhere to pay. We will have to do that in the morning. As Glenn wires us up to electricity I head off for the restaurant hopefully to book a table for two. When I get there I am told we can have a table but outside . It is raining, it is cold and windy - why would I want to sit outside? Inwardly seething I sidled off cursing our luck. Why couldn't we book you probably wonder? It ... read more
Le Shuttle - we have arrived
Waiting to load up on the train - France next

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Lille September 4th 2018

We have been in France before and for an extended period. On that trip we had a vehicle and spent most of our time in the smaller towns, villages and rural areas. A week or so in Paris is our only real experience of a French city. This time we decided to use the trains as our primary means of transport and check out some of the cities. Not too many, though. We prefer to move along slowly and take our time to have a look around. Lille is relatively close to the Netherlands and Belgium and is, therefore, the first French city we would come to. We had a bit to do at our first French railway station. We needed to collect rail tickets bought on-line, and organise and pay for our French Seniors Card. ... read more
A leaf to be proud of
Bollards mark the road
Chamber of Commerce and the Opera House

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Arras July 18th 2018

The next day started off really well. It was nice and cool and traffic was light, but then after covering 80 plus miles, we stoped to fill up. It was here that I realised I didn’t have my phone, nor the cards that are in its case. Dad then tried to call the B&B but got no answer, so I used his phone to track my phone with the finder app. This confirmed it was back at the area we had stayed, and when we got through to the owners they confirmed they had it. They were going into a city that was on our route, so agreed to meet us there. Though this saved us 40 odd miles, it did mean we wouldn’t catch the race that day, so we headed straight for the last ... read more
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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Calais July 11th 2018

The next day we headed from the campsite back towards Carcassonne to try out a track and test out the Wikiloc app, which shows you all the off road tracks that are around. The first track failed as the entrance was now too overgrown to drive down, so we headed off to find another. This one went well, and had some amazing views as well as not being very taxing on the trucks. By 6pm we started looking for a campsite. The first one was nothing but a field, but the next three were all closed down. This was tiring me out, but it did have the benefit of taking us through a bunch of local tunnels, until we finally found an open site next to a river. As we carried on towards Andorra on day ... read more
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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Calais July 11th 2018

The next day we took a leisurely morning packing up, then headed to Velha again for a few supplies and a look around town. By the time we were done it was super hot again, so found a campsite early, preferably with a pool and a bar. The original plan from here, the next day, was to attempt a really long track which would take us almost to the end of the Pyrenees, but then Mark noticed an abandoned village he had wanted to see was just south of us. So we booked one more night and left my truck all set up, and jumped into Marks and went to find the village. It was an impressive place to see and gave me a chance to play with the drone. Though on the first flight, it ... read more
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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Saint-Omer June 26th 2018

This is a two day blog as these have been mainly uneventful travelling days. We catch the chunnel tomorrow just before 10am so have had two days driving north to get to our favourite campsite in the area, Chateau Gandspette at Eperlecques, near to St Omer. Decided to do the biggest part of the drive yesterday which took us to Laon. A 6 hour drive which is quite long enough especially for Bob who bruised himself when he slid off the step of Tandy a couple of days ago. This makes sitting a big painful even after his bruise has been anointed with my magic arnica gel. We were sorry to say goodbye to our Stork friends who entertained us so very well on our Turcqheim campsite but have motorhome must travel and it's time to ... read more
180625 Laon (19)
180625 Laon (21)
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