Vicarious Books Road Trip Europe

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Clive, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    Well I spent out my £5.99 on this little booklet because my granddad was in WW1 and my dad in WW2 and felt I should do something in their memory.
    Got out of the tunnel at 13:50, first time of use in the MH, certainly won't be the last, and headed for the first cemetery. Got there just in time for the first drops of rain. I've seen pictures of these places before but they don't prepare you for the sight. This was the French one, worth the walk in the rain. I then left for Cabaret-Rouge for the British, got there just as the thunderstorm hit. Talk about spooky seeing row after row of stones gleaming in the flashes. I couldn't walk round which was a shame but I'd left my water wings at home. I then left for the German cemetery, raining so hard I couldn't see the road markings. At this point I decided to give up and head for the aire in Arras. This is a busy aire but you can park on the road outside.
    Lesson learned today. The co-ordinance are spot on, as are the descriptions but don't mix two sets together. I'm now qualified to do a 20 point turn in a hospital car park :Doh:
     
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  2. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    We bought the book too as we plan to do this later in the year. Keep us posted. :thumb:

    Edit: We did a 20 point turn once in a football ground car park near Carlisle when taking the boat to the Faroes.
    :Doh:
     
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  3. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    OK, twice in one day of me is a bit much but I've paid my 3 Euros for my hotspot so I'm going to get my money's worth.
    Arras. You get 4 types of aire, beautiful, beautiful and convenient, convenient and the rest. Arras falls into number 3, 200mtrs from the centre, 100 mtrs from the supermarket and that about it, you'll need a chock. Saturday & Wednesday are market days, love French markets, even better today watching some woman try a bra on, not pretty but only in France. Did the Belfry & Boves, great views, not difficult to do with my bad knee. The Boves, 10 minutes of history followed by lots of underground gardens, there is a link but with block paving at the front and P shingle at the rear of my house probably not for me. :Blush:
    I then walked to the Citadel, closed for renovation, couldn't understand when it would be open so check at TO. Thought ok I'll walk to Wellington Quarry it opens at 13:30. Yes it might open at 13:30 but the first tour didn't start until 14:30, E'Leclerc for lunch then, only across the road. Did the tour, definitely worth it. :thumb:

    Lesson for today. Just because the waitress is on the wow factor don't have the extra beer assuming that you can use the toilet at the citadel.
     
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  4. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    We'll see your 20 point turn and raise you with a reversing out of Montpellier Accident and Emergency Hospital onto a dual carriageway in the rush hour, after taking the wrong turn trying to find the Aires following the satnav, and the security man telling us we definitely couldn't drive into the hospital to turn around! We have done many scary manouevers since but that still ranks as the worse!

    Jokes apart though, the 'All the Aires' is a brilliant book - we have just driven up the whole of the eastern part of France, on some wonderful aires, all free!
     
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  5. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    Oh don't start me off. Not as scary as yours but, narrowly avoiding two low bridges in Rouen, taking a bus only way out of the second one for half a mile then getting stuck in Oppenheim, quaint little town with very narrow streets and the wife having to lead me between cars parked both sides and a queue of locals behind me only to find ourselves in the town square and four equally narrow roads leading off each corner. Oh the joys of motorhoming and satnavs. We'll see how the new Chinese lorry
    one does any better. :Doh:
     
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  6. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    OK so found a bit of FON, so here's another update.
    So left Arras this morning after the aire ritual, empty everything you can. Pleasant drive to Parc et Memorial Canadien, well until the last 1.9k. Kept telling me the road was closed in 2k, barriers and everything, played stupid English and ignored them all. The road was closed just after the entrance. I was the only person on the 10am tour, had 2 Canadianne girls to myself, meant I got to see things other people didn't because they had time. These students come over from Canada for 4 months to do this and boy do they know there stuff. A definite must do for anyone who likes their history. Then went on to Ploegsteer and beyond. Ploegsteer is ok but not that interesting, just really had lunch. I then move to Hyde Park Corner, don't worry about parking, there's a load on the right just before it. I did the Christmas Truce walk, well worth it, would have gone into the woods to see the other cemeteries but the heavens opened again. Finished up in Mesen, lovely little place, a few of their beers and even the church bells playing their old tunes couldn't keep me awake. Tomorrow I move again!
     
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  7. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    Left Mesen this morning, did the pool of peace, parking not good and tried to do Hill 60 but they have close the road off completely, not even a goer on foot. Did Leper to death last year so headed off to Bastogne. The Belgium roads are hell, don't think I have a filling left now and that was mainly motorway. The aire at Bastogne, not great but the water is free and very close to the centre, luckily there is a Carrefour Express so topped up on some food. Plenty of places to eat which is another bonus. I'm probably going to move somewhere quiet tomorrow and have a day of rest before hitting the Moselle.
     
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  8. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    Well bottom line I like Bastogne, lots of places to see, even more places to eat and drink. If the aire was nicer would have stayed another night. By the way the water was off at the aire, another reason I had to move on. If you are hungry there's a big Carrefour on the way to Mardasson memorial, a place definitely worth a stop. Also stopped at Rescogne German Cemetery, really for my dad as he always said they were the best sort of Germans!
    Went via the Luxemburg American Military Cemetery. Would have been a wonderful place if it wasn't for the building work going on and it's proximity to the airport. Still worth an hour of your time though.
    I'm now in Trier on the Campingplatz Treviris campsite. It's basically a high tec municipal site. Get the right pitch and you can watch the boats, of course I didn't. I'm going to spend 3 nights here looking around before deciding on my next place.
     
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  9. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    Last night in Trier. Well if you want a reason to take a bike this place is it, would have saved some aching feet. Pavements are two colours, light for feet, dark for bikes, get this wrong and you learn some local German, I felt it only fair to share some colloquial English, even though she looked like Chuckles in lycra. The place is full of history, unfortunately this time of year full of German school children on day trips, no better than English kids, unfortunately. Brings me to my first problem with my first holiday in Germany, they are just like us Brits and I do my best to avoid them as well. Tomorrow off to Bernkastel-Kues but only because you can taste 130 wines for 15 euros. Then it's lets leave this place and go somewhere less British.
     
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  10. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    Gone off piste now. Looking at the weather decided to head for the French / German border. I'm now overnighting in the aire at Bitche Citadel, the town of Bitche in the area of Bitcherland. Why do so many of my execs call this home? Really can't complain about the quality of this aire, also the citadel is worth a look as is the spectacular which would never pass health and safety in the UK.
     
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  11. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    I'm back home now so thought I'd better finish this off.
    Was this book worth it's money. Hell yes, very much enjoyed the half I did. I will go back later in the year to finish the rest of the trip off. I can't comment on the restaurants recommended as everyone I went to try had closed for their holidays!
    All the sights recommended were well worth the effort, I did carry a couple of other guide books courtesy of my local library, these added an extra layer of depth to the information.
    Highlight of the trip have to be Trier, really interesting just too many tourists and you really do need a bike with you. Lowlight has to be the river trip at Trier, don't bother as it's not the pretty bit of the river.
    I now hope they bring out some more of these as it made life so easy following the instructions. The Wine Road as a suggestion!
     
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