Polly and Micks Grand  Vacances

                              Page One


On 31st May 2012, and after doing a couple of final jobs we fired up Archie and headed out on our next foray to France.We had a lunch break at Fleet services on the M3 and arrived just outside Dover, at the Battle of Britain memorial, mid afternoon.

   Click on the maps to make them


                        A very moving and quiet spot which everybody should visit.

 After spending an hour there we went to a pub in Paddlesworth, out in the sticks, (which was where fighter pilots used to drink  at during the war)  for an evening meal which was very enjoyable I might add. as we were not booked onto the ferry till 2-00 A.M. in the morning.


Paddlesworth is located just outside the village of Hawkinge, near Folkestone, Kent.

Travelling from Canterbury:

Take the A2 and turn off at the junction signposted Channel Tunnel and Folkestone, the A260. Travel along this road until you enter the village of Hawkinge. Take the second junction on the right just past the speed camera (you have been warned) and opposite the garage into Aerodrome Road. At the roundabout go straight on, follow the road and take the sharp right hand bend into Paddlesworth Lane. Remain on this road for three quarters of a mile and the pub is situated on the left hand side at a crossroads.

We then drove down to Dover in the hope of parking up till ferry time but on arrival they said we could get on the twelve oclock one which got us to Dunkirk sooner. Being a bit tired upon arrival at Dunkirk we decided to park in the lorry park in the port just on the way out. It's a huge park so not too noisy but a bit dusty due to the dry weather.

                                                                                                                           Distance 374 kms.

                       Friday 1st June

After breakfast we started the first leg of our journey. We like to get into France a bit on the first day as it is still a bit English at the top. Out of town onto theN225 for a short distance. Don't really do motorways. on to D916 to Cassel then D993 & D947 to Lens  Bye-passing and on to Arras on N17 Stopping for coffee and lunch breaks on the way of course. Bye-passing Arras onto D919 towards Albert. At Pussieux turned to Bapaume, don't know why, onto D7 then down D929 to almost Albert and stopped the night on top of hill overlooking the town.   

                                                                                                                                            207 kms


                           Sat.2nd June

Most mornings we follow the same routine, have early morning cuppa then get up for breakfast Polly does her stuff in the bathroom, I brush up and then put pics onto computer and if lucky enough to find an Internet connection  like today put something onto my website. As we stay mainly on free aires there aren't many internet connections about, Mc Donalds have them but don't fancy staying in their carparks overnight.

                                        So onward today, cloudy last night but wall to wall sunshine today. Drove down to Albert. It is Northeast of Amiens and is part of the Poppy country where thousands of soldiers were killed on the Somme.In the heart of town is The Basilica Notre-Dame de Brebieres  an impressive church even by French standards. During this tour you will get to see a lot of churches, not through any religious beliefs on my part but because of the architecture and picturesque qualities of the buildings and the colours in the stain glass windows.


                                                   The Basilica Notre-Dame de Brebieres

During the first world war the Basilica was shelled to destruction and had to be totally rebuilt.

After wandering around Albert for a while and having found the tourist info and acquired a Carte Touristique for the surrounding areas (These give a lot of info as to what is around the Dept. you are in, France being Departments, instead of Counties as in England.) We drove out of town for a few Kms back along the road we came in on and went to Thiepval to see the Anglo-French monument for the 72,000 first world war  soldiers that were killed in this particular battle.

                              A picture of a picture

Another place everybody should  visit.  While driving around parts of France, seeing all the military cemetries everywhere it makes you realize just how many people died in the wars. Think on.

After spending time visiting Thiepval we drove just a few Kms  to cross the Somme and stayed at Cappy, West of Peronne. Couldn't find an aire but a nice parking area in front of the lake was ok and after chatting with one of the locals he offered us a connection to his water main, which I gladly accepted. Can't find pics for this at moment. In England the French don't have a very good reputation but have not had any probs with them and find them very agreeable.                          

                                                                                                                    Distance today 48 Kms.  

                         Sun. 3rd June

Just west of Cappy on the above map is the Petit Train at le Neuville les Bray that takes you along the Somme. At the station is a museum of 37 engines, which we wandered around before going on the train itself.

 Just a few of the exhibits here. Many more and am sure a train enthusiast would find it very interesting.

  A very nice trip with a couple of changes of engines for negotiating the climb.

                           Not quite British Rail seats but not uncomfortable. 

                  At the top, putting the engine on the other end for the return. 

                          What shall I photograph next? 

               Back at the station. What Sundays are made for. Very enjoyable. 

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