Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Diary of the Northern France trip with road names - Routes

The trip to France in June 2010
Despite a traumatic start for me the group leader – Eurotunnel running 3 hours late due to technical problems, we got to the bed and breakfast just one hour later than planned. Evening meal had already been booked.
Day 1 – First day in France and I decided to take the group onto the edges of the Somme, just to let then sample what was available to see. I had been in touch via the UKGSER forum with a fellow rider from Spain and he suggested the following. Well he came up with the right format. We headed to Thiepval to see the memorial and also the newly opened museum. A great place to start if you know little or nothing about the world war one.
I took Sue, our host’s advice, ignored my sat nav plans and went to look for a road called the D8. What a find, bend after bend, with great cross views.........
We spent a couple of hours at Theipval before heading north for lunch at Avril Williams tea rooms 10, Rue Delattre, Auchonvillers, 80560, Somme. We had a leisurely lunch and toured the place and Avril suggested some other places to visit. Well time was getting on and we were so chilled, time was running out to see many more sites. I had wanted to see the Lochnagar crater at La Boiselle, but on route stopped at the Newfoundland Memorial Park. This park, located near Beaumont Hamel, is one of only a few sites on the Western Front where the ground remains largely untouched from when the First World War ended. The main entrance to the Newfoundland Memorial Park can be found on the D73 road between Hamel and Auchonvillers.
The distances between all these sites are not great so I was able to show the group the Park, before heading to the crater.
Site seeing done, I had to plan a ride back to the bed and breakfast, via an Aldi as we were having a cheese and wine night.
The route back, after filling up with fuel at Albert was along the D938 to Doullens, where we stopped for refreshments. Then like before, time was against us so a run up the D916 to St-Pol- sur-Ternoise, saw us getting fuel and all the food for our cheese and wine. Then back to the bed and breakfast in Gauchin – Verloingt. A great night, after a great day.
Day 2 – A look at the Western Front and run into Belgium saw us heading towards Vimy Ridge, the Canadian memorial. Another good site to visit as you can have guided tours of the ground and under ground tunnel. Time again was against us so we made our next stop the Hooge Crater, just outside Ypres.
We made our way into Ypres for the last post at 8pm, then a run back to the b and b, for a light snack of the remaining cheese supplemented by some chips we managed to get enroute. Another great day, only isuse was we weer due to go home the next day. Ah well I had planned a run back via a world war two museum, before heading to Calais for the Eurotunnel
Day 3 – The run home.
Plans never go right as I found some more fantastic roads and did a detour towards the coast, leaving St Pol along the D343 to Anvin then on the D94 towards Auchy-les-Hesdin. Here we turned north to pick up the D108, and D343 stopping in Hucqueliers for a drink. We then went onto Desvres, where Bob fueled up and I got a bit lost. I finally managed to find this roller coaster of a road through the Forest of Boulogne, the D341, before we got to Boulogne. Where we saw a first traffic, mainly British idiot drivers coming from Le Mans 24 hour. Never mind we went into Wimereux, a coastal town and had a leisurely dinner. You guessed ti, time was against us, so we made straight for Calais.

We will be back......
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