Back on the continent
Well here we are in France. Glad to be back on the right hand side of the road. Before we move on I must relate the story of the ferry ride from Ireland to France on Irish Ferries. The trip takes about 17 hours but there is lots to do on board (if you would like to pay for it) and you do have a closet/cabin to sleep in. We enjoyed the Stena ferries a lot more.
Getting the bike onboard was interesting. You are guided alongside a wall on the inside of the ferry. There is a rail running along the wall at about the 5 foot level that has lots of grotty ropes and crappy tie downs all over it. As you survey the scene the cars are being directed right next to you so keep your wits about you!!!
Onto the centre stand goes the bike. I decide to ask for some assistance from the crew as my boy scout knot tieing badge is woefully out of date. The response is a curt " Do it yourself I don't want to be responsible" This from the head guy. After a somewhat heated exchange a crew member came along to help us out. Irish Ferries the name means service......
Finally off the boat after an easy crossing.
Gotta love french roads, even the smaller roads are smoothly paved and well signposted. So far so good. We are heading to the Normandy invasion beaches to get a little history that is not related to any incestous nobility.
We stay in Cabourg for two nights. It is the end of the summer season here in France and this part of it seems to be like a beach resort. Nice town with a casino and lovely promenade along the beach.
We day trip to Juno beach and the newly constructed Juno Beach Centre that tells the story of the Canadian effort on D-Day. It also is a vehicle to tell people a little about where and what Canadians are. Hope they can educate these folks quickly as being mistaken for an American is getting old. A great centre that is well put together and hits the mark. After this we motored down the various beaches and towns that make up the landing beaches. It is hard to get the scale of the invasion unless you see it. We see the Mulberry floating harbours that were integral to the success of the day and that lasted well beyond what they were designed for. Massive chunks of it out in the ocean, very compelling.
After Cabourg it is off to St Lo to get the bike serviced. Evasion is the name of the BMW dealership. They seem very competent although we are both struggling linguistically. A ton of pointing and sign language gets the message across. We are booked in for the following week so it's off to Granville for a little off the bike time. We were going to go to Paris but have decided against due to the hole in the budget. Paris can be done on a future trip when we are old and feeble.
talk to you soon.
Posted by Patrick Harkness at September 23, 2003 10:43 AM GMT