Blogs from Nord-Pas de Calais, France, Europe - page 2

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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
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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais June 4th 2018

Right now we are on the Eurostar from London to Brussels, somewhere in northern France, so have some time to catch up. The highlight of Sunday was the Rock & Roll Tour of London! Before the tour, Alex and I slept in, then headed over to Abbey Road Studios for the famous crossing. Unfortunately for us, there was a GIANT tour group there, and we could hardly see the studio. Kind of a bummer. We picked up a few souvenirs at the gift shop and got a picture of Alex in the famous crossing, then traveled to Trafalgar Square to pick up our tour. It was a blast from the start! Our tour guide, Lee, was incredible - funny, knowledgeable, and engaging. He saw Alex as we boarded the van and said "Oh, we have a ... read more
Brian Epstein's Apartment
Freddie Mercury's house
Jimi Hendrix's last hotel room

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Saint-Omer June 1st 2018

Today went like clockwork. Up at 6.30, showered, last oddments into Tandy, birds given a last meal of suet pellets and insructed to go find their own food for the next few weeks and we were on the road at 7.30am. Brilliant drive down, not a holdup in sight. It is school holidays so that could account for less traffic than normal. A bit foggy but no sign of the weather advertised as "risk to life" (Ryanair had cancelled all their Stanstead flights just in case !) In fact, such a good drive down that we arrived at the Chunnel terminal 2 hours before our booked train time of 2.20. Thought maybe we would be put on an earlier train but there were warning signs of 'disruption" and the terminal car park was chocker. Had our ... read more
Dartford Crossing easy as we've prepaid
St Omer to Calais canal
Lush greenery. Obviously had plenty of rain


So again, here I am with a long time off to enjoy the sunny weather of any country but the UK, as the UK seems to have not paid its sunshine or heating bill this year! First trip this year is the Paris Roubaix cycle race, and from the start everything went well. Last year I had the little camper, this year I’m joined by Steve, who has a converted VW van. So while he slept in his van, I chucked the roof tent on the top of it with the room underneath for me to sleep in. This worked fine, till one of us woke up, then the other would be woken up by the swaying of the van moving around. Next time we use this setup, I’ll grab a couple of bottle jacks to ... read more
Wallers marching brass band
cyclists
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Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Valenciennes October 10th 2017

We must be in the Irish region of France as Murphy has been everywhere today. We awoke to find that French public servants had pulled a lightening strike and the lock operators had not turned up for work. Uncertain as to when the strike would be lifted Henry decided that we should head off for our bike ride and check in with Chiel later in the day to see whether we should return to Valenciennes or continue on to Tournai. We were berthed right in the middle of Valenciennes but were just resting against three pillars so poor old Chiel had to manoeuvre the boat to align the offload point with the jetty. This was an exacting task which involved much friendly banter (in Dutch) between Chiel and Jantien (forward deck hand aka chef). After completing ... read more
Gare du Valenciennes
Valenciennes Town Hall facade
Miner's cottages

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Valenciennes October 9th 2017

Chiel made a terrible mistake today - he said the weather was going to be perfect but cold. He was wrong - it was perfect and warm!! The ride was also extremely enjoyable. 50km of tracks alongside the Canal de St Quentin and across very gently undulating countryside. You will note from my pictures that the land usage has swung from crops to livestock. Henry did superbly today when he took us into Cambrai for morning tea. Some of our group (who should remain nameless, shouldn't they Jenny and Kerrie?) had what the French describe as cappuccinos with lashings of whipped cream on top. Divine!! (so I'm told :-) ) After Cambrai, we continued on the canal tow paths for some time before stopping for lunch near a lock. By this time, the sun was out ... read more
Maureen and the ever-vigilant Jonathan
Swans and Cygnets on the canal
Jenny and her 'small' coffee

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Saint-Omer September 23rd 2017

Woke to another misty river view. Very autumnal now. Set off north along some quiet country roads and it was fortunate they were quiet as several were not very wide and visibility could at best be called heavily misted. Bob had identified an Intermarche at Bapaume so we headed there and stocked up on wine for the winter and then all the nice things I like to put in my store cupboards. On the way again, bottles rattling away under the table where we store them in two collapsible crates. It stayed very misty until midday but then the sky cleared to blue again. Nice of it as we leave tomorrow ! We had to detour round Bapaume as the road through town was closed but managed to find another, country road, to get us up ... read more
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La Targette French British and Canadian Cemetery – Neuville-Saint-Vaast
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