June 02, 2011 GMT
Hull Portsmouth 3O May

Well, I did say I had no plan; decided at last minute to have a stay in Portsmouth before getting ferry. Had 2 nights B and B so had full day out in Portsmouth and Gosport. Well worth the visit to HMS Victory, sub museum, Explosion. Ride down was awful...rain all the way, and SatNav made it 300 miles rqther than 270...loves villages and 30mph limits.
Ferry to LeHavre on 1st June.

This is where embarkation for D-Day was...so a good point for the start of my Euro travels.

Something old...
something new...

Posted by Mike Matthews at 11:45 AM GMT
Le Havre to Bayeux 1 June

Good, fast crossing. Dry and warm in France...quiet backroads to Bayeux...camping at municipal site on edge of town.
Now sat in bar with second lqrge Guiness...it is lunchtime...trying to work out why French keyboards arn,t QWERTY...not easy, and I havent got me glasses.
Sight seeing, on foot all day. No photos yet...no chance to upload them on this thing.
D Day beaches 2moro.

Photos at last...This is Bateux Cathedral...not far from the pub I was sat in.

around here, somewhere...


Posted by Mike Matthews at 11:56 AM GMT
June 08, 2011 GMT
8th June

Out of touch for a while...but still going strong. Mobile phone Kerrputt! Torrential rain between Bayeux and Reims put an end to that, and internet access limited at campsites. Done 6 nights camping, 2 near to Reims.
Normandy visit to all DDay beaches was interesting, especially the Pegasus bridge site, Gold and Sword landings. Also visited the American Utah and Omaha beaches. Lots of wannaba GI's...mostly French dressed up and driving Jeeps. The tapestry at Bayeux is the longest scarf you've ever seen...Sue would like it.
Moved on Sunday to Reims...long ride in pouring rain. Reims very historic site...found it expensive to eat out there, Euro15 for noodles that was just a snack. Tuesday arrived at Verdun...lots of WW1 sites nearby. Staying in hotel to dry out, and searching for unlocked mobile phone without luck. Verdun is nice town, staying right in centre. Chatting with Aussie guy touring on borrowed UK bike...he's fed up of the rain too. Wednesday...intend to visit the battlefield sites as it's dry today, then do the pubs here after evening meal.
Tomorrow...Luxumbourg or Germany, not decided yet.


Pegasus Bridge, where the Brits used gliders to land within 50 yards...

near Gold Beach. Tank is a Churchill?

Point Du Hoc, taken by US Rangers...lots of shell holes.

And wannabe GI's...mainly French guys.

Loads of vintage stuff...


Fort Du Pompelle, part of the protective ring around Reims, took a bit of hammer.




Chapel came under fire...

Heavy rain during evening meal...ducks took a chance...

Verdun is surrounded by Citadels...as well as the one right in the town. Verdun was under siege for 2-4 years, the city was awarded lots of medals of honour.
This is Fort De Douaumont a few km from town. It is huge, with kms of underground passages and rooms, with lift up gun turrets poking out the top. 600000 French and German soldiers died in the hillsides around here, and this is where the Americans staged 2 big offensives to regain ground around the city.


Posted by Mike Matthews at 09:53 AM GMT
June 10, 2011 GMT

Over the last few days I have endured severe pins and needles in my left arm. It's now got to the point whereby the whole of my arm is totally numb. I cant use the clutch or switchgear, so the last few hundred km have been a bit hard on the bike's gearbox. So, thought it wise not to go futher into europe, instead headed for Zeebrugge to get the overnight ferry to Hull...only a few miles to ride home then. At Doctors this lunch...awaiting referral to specialist. Doc thinks that years of biking have given me severe white finger syndrome!
Anyway, as soon as it improves I will resume.
So, done Belgium in 3 hours. Say something nice about Belgium. Mmm. Erm. Oh, I know. It improved as the ferry left it behind!

Posted by Mike Matthews at 09:51 PM GMT

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