7:10AM, May 29.     The rules say...      
     
  ...that treks start at the top of the driveway, Mina Ave.      
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
The bike shuttle. 
A free service that takes bikes through the Massey Tunnel on the way from the ferry to Vancouver airport
     
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

       
   

The famous Green Lane Overpass,
"Gateway to Europe" crosses over the M23 two kilometres north of Gatwick Airport, London.

If you make it to here, you're on your way.

       
       

 

 

 

My first night was at Royal Tunbridge Wells, where I "took the waters".  No I didn't; what a liar.  I "took the waters" at Bath two years ago, and it tasted like bathwater.

Royal Tunbridge Wells is about 50 km east of Gatwick.  My first night.  In the late 1700's - early 1800's it was, like Bath, a resort/spa for the aristocrats.
 
       
 

An example of riding conditions on English roads.

At least nobody tells you to pull over.
 
       

You're probably wondering "wot this lot is about". This is my Folkstone pit crew. 

Ramorgue got a flat ( her second one in less than 24 hrs, so I didn't have a spare...  thorns!!!)  Rode carefully along, hoping to get to a bike store soon.  The flat tire hopped out and wrapped itself around the axle: what a mess.

What, luck though!  You get some bad, then you get some good!  I just happened to be stranded in front of Tai and Adam's place, and they were eager to help.

Parked the trailer in their yard. They gave me directions to Halford's ( the bike store) and wanted to come along with me but they had to have lunch. 

Jimmy Farris I met at McD's while I cooled off after Halford's. He's a veloist himself, so he pitched in too.

Before It was over and Ramorgue was roadworthy again, Jake, Luke and Robbie also signed up.

Caught the Dover P&O ferry at 5:00


They signed
my book

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheep at Vimy Ridge, grazing amid the unexploded bombs.
 
     
A view of the memorial. It was very moving... I've been to the D-Day beaches and to Dieppe, but here it's different.

The whole countryside is spotted with graveyards.. English, French. German, Canadian, Australian. What a waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

André, whom I met in Arras. He works at the Vimy memorial doing landscaping.

He's french but worked for several years in Canada. As you can see, he's a Canada fan.
   
       
  "For my canadian friends whom our city loves, and France as well, I wish a fine journey and beautiful memories of France.

André, a friend of Canada who loves it from the bottom of his heart."
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
       
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of many military cemeteries in eastern France.  This one is British. 
The French ones are called 'necropoles'; cities of the dead.
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
     
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    LRT in Valenciennes

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Jean Marc Perot, who flagged me down in Berlaimont, south of Valenciennes.  Had a good long talk in french. He says he's related to Ross Perot.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from the cemetery above Gernelle. 

This was on the long route I took through the Ardenne hills between Charleville and Sedan

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you can read this. It might be a bit squinty. Maybe you need new glasses. My daily entry for Thursday June 7. Charleville to Sedan.

I did my journal every day while I waited for my dinner. Also wrote postcards. Tonnes of them.

 

 

  This looks like the laziest possible holiday. Three kph through the fields in the Meuse.

 

 

 

  Dux in the Meuse at Dun-sur-Meuse  

 

 

 

I took some time to watch a dutch canal yacht going through one of the Meuse locks, north of Verdun
  It took about 25 minutes.  

 

 

 

 

Scenery at Fort de Vaux,
above Verdun.


Verdun was one of the focal points of WWI.  After loosing the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, the french fortified Verdun as their new bulwark against Germany.

The town is encircled by hilltop fortifications. This is where Marshall Petain said
" On ne passe pas"...
"They shall not pass"

They almost did pass, but both sides lost about 100,000 soldiers each over a period of 8 months.

Fort de Vaux is now in the quiet woods on a hilltop above the town. The woods are out of bounds because of unexploded shells.
   
       

 

 

 

 

 

  Verdun
Big brother and his two little sisters.



 



Fishing from the second storey balcony

Verdun is a 'little Venice', a network of small
canals that adjoin the Meuse.

In the past they were important for commerce.
The fancy gentrified houses that line the canals
were once all warehouses and factories.





In Merogignian times (AD 600 to 800), Verdun is said to
have been the slave trade hub of Europe.
There was a big demand around the Mediterranean world for
Nordic (blond) house slaves.
   

 

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