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Old 06-21-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
Bryn OP
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A short trip to the D Day beaches

First proper trip on the new Triumph Explorer.....Left on Sunday 10th June... we had to use 2 roll bags on the bike as still waiting for Givi to get their finger out and make the frames , so I can fit the Givi Trekker boxes

The plan was to visit the D Day beaches in Normandy.

First stop was the Ace Cafe on London's North Circular... It was Triumph day and it was a little busy when we arrived around midday.

www.ace-cafe-london.com





Spot the Explorer with the roll bags across the road



Anyway, by around 2pm we headed east on the North Circular , and made surprisingly good progress, jumping onto the M25 at the Dartford Crossing.... and that is when the rain started....

It continued on and off until we got to Dover. A night's accomodation was booked in a guest house we'd used before, and once we'd settled in we headed down into the town to get some food... I'd forgotten what a dump Dover actually was ... Wetherspoons was ok for food and drink, but the rest of the town seemed to be closed, and the pouring rain didn't help .

10am Monday, and onto the Ferry... got into France and it was raining... with 240 miles to get down to our acomodation at Maison Laudiere in Normandy ( La Ferte Mace , south of Flers)

www.maisonlaudiere.com

Found out how useful the cruise control is on empty french motorways Only problem I found with it is the switch off is a bit abrupt, throwing the passenger forward if she wasn't prepared.

Had a route sent to me by Wapping over on UKGSer

It was going great until I got the message on the zumo. "Turn left and board ferry " Sure enough it was a free ferry over the Seine Not sure whether he'd planned that or it was accidental



Not sure what the message board said, but only had a 5 minute wait for the ferry



Couldn't find the restaurant... but it was only a 5 minute crossing so we did without refreshments





Some fantastic roads and views... with virtually NO traffic... Makes you realise how congested the UK actually is

Came across a nice lake

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...Pgiw-ZTs5IYbsA



Info board at the lake



Sign post opposite so I can remember where it was



We got to Maison Laudiere and were welcomed by Nige and Carole, at their B&B, and found ourselves in a converted barn with a view of the bike in the courtyard... there was some sort of harley thing that nearly obstructed the view




Next day ( Tuesday) we woke and it was drizzling... this quickly turned to 'bucketing it down'

Off we went to see the beaches... got as far as Carentan and headed for a Mc Donalds just to warm up a bit ( about 50 miles north of where we were staying)

It was still bucketing down... and we headed for Omaha beach.. Stopped in Grandcamp Maisy.. just along from Pointe Du Hoc and took a couple of pictures.






Then on to Omaha Beach, and the American Cemetery... We couldn't believe how many white crosses were there... stretching off in all directions , all immaculately looked after....

( If you're unfamiliar its the cemetery in the opening shots in 'Saving Private Ryan') Very moving that so many gave their lives

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...rxzJ_H9D2I3Y5w





Hopped on the bike again and found this just down the road at Colleville Sur Mer



The large picture shows the scene back in 1944 when the church tower was in ruins.. probably hit by the Naval bombardment that accompanied the landings


We then made our way back towards our B&B as we were cold and wet... but the bike performed without fault ....very pleased with it

Stopped for a coffee in Villers Bocage

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...L5Ujc2krA6Hefg

Then off we went again, still in the pouring rain.

Got back to the B&B and the hosts had kindly lit the log burner to help dry our stuff... which was dripping wet.... Nigel then dropped us off in Bagnoles de l'orne

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=bagnoles%20de%20l'orne&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CHwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FBagnole s-de-l'Orne&ei=pXnjT7z6AuSR0QXj3uHVDQ&usg=AFQjCNG69lZP9d1llJ_vhblEAdG8ZVgZ6Q

Where we had dinner and found out that 2 large 500ml Stella's cost 11 Euro

We decided to cut the trip and get a ferry home, as the weather promised more of the same....so Wednesday ( Yesterday) we headed out to St.Malo and got a ferry to Portsmouth. The run of around 140km from our B&B was straight and fast... these N roads in France are great

Nice place St. Malo, and the sun came out for us on the way..

Waiting at the docks to board.. The couple in the photo had ridden a tandem all over Normandy



Only two other bikes on the crossing, and the ferry was 75% empty

Nice harbour there too... the sun had come out by then... typical






9 hours later Portsmouth, and 3 hours after that home... The Explorer handled it well, the roads were great , but would have been better if they were drier

If you're heading out to Normandy to visit the D Day beaches, or indeed heading south, Nige and Carole have a great place in Maison Laudiere... Well worth a visit


www.maisonlaudiere.com

We covered just under 1000 miles in 4 days.... not iron butt stuff but enough to learn that the bike was capable enough
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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Well done.

That would be a great trip someday. Most memorable to be sure.

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #3
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Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
Gooner
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
Gunner45
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I enjoyed your report. Normandy is on my bucketl list for sure.

Gunner45
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:17 AM   #6
Bryn OP
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Thanks for the comments folks

Only wish the weather was on our side... would have lingered longer and took more shots
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:06 AM   #7
Piaf
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Great bike, photos and report, sorry the weather was not better (just like a British summer). I know the area well but did not know of the ferry at Yainville, must get down there soon and have a look. Rather ironic that the sun made an appearance as you sailed back home.

Thanks for posting.

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryn View Post
Then on to Omaha Beach, and the American Cemetery... We couldn't believe how many white crosses were there... stretching off in all directions , all immaculately looked after....

( If you're unfamiliar its the cemetery in the opening shots in 'Saving Private Ryan') Very moving that so many gave their lives



John 15:13 always comes to my mind when thinking of their sacrifice.




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Old 06-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
Bryn OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just GO! View Post
John 15:13 always comes to my mind when thinking of their sacrifice.

.
'Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.'

Got to agree with that one
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