Thursday, July 30, 2009


On Monday we had a very calm 90 minute Dover to Calais crossing – we left a wet, cold England and arrived in a damp, cool France. Lionel did a great job navigating us to our camp site about an hour south of Calais without using toll roads. I managed to drive us there safely while staying on the RIGHT side of the road. We got the tents set up in the dry and the sun came out...Yay, summer holidays!
Tuesday we were greeted by the bread lady as she drove her van around the camp site – what better breakfast could you ask for than fresh bread and croissants delivered to your tent....
We decided to drive to Ypres today and have a look at some of the World War 1 sites and memorials – it was supposed to be an hours drive but with road works and detours it took us a lot longer. Josh kept reminding me which way to turn around corners by saying ‘tight right and loose left’ he was also intrigued by all the fields of wheat and maize, and no fences along the road side.
Our first stop was in Messines (sp?) where we saw a memorial to New Zealand soldiers who advanced 2000 yards to take the ridge. Quite amazing to be standing in the spot where this battle took place.
Just outside Ypres we stopped again at a large memorial and cemetery for Commonwealth soldiers who fought and died here.Many of the head stones here didn’t have names on them just ‘The Unknown Soldier – Known Only to God’. There are about 1000 different cemeteries for soldiers who are buried in places they died during the battles and it was amazing driving along the road to see signposts all over the place for different cemeteries. It was very sobering walking along the rows of head stones and imagining the battles taking place here during World War 1 and 2.

We left our camp site in the North of France on Wednesday and headed off on a route planned by Lionel & Josh which took us around to the north of Paris and then south heading towards Orleans. It was a long day driving but we are now in the Loire region at a municipal camp site. Municipal camp sites are set up by the local towns and have basic facilities, however we are close to the town and Lionel & I walked into the town this morning to get some supplies and have a cup of coffee (however my ordering wasn’t very good and we ended up with tea instead of a latte – Lionel tells me we need to order caffe crè time!)
We are having a lazy day today and will head away from here Thursday or Friday. (just realised today is Friday or Saturday)

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