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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just back from this years Normandy Invasion to Jacqueslemac's place in Northern France - great place and a great time. We were joined by Jacqueslemac, Meesh, BobA, Mr & Mrs Whealie, Cabby and Steve G. We hit lucky with the weather and with Jame's local knowledge, some great roads. I'll let one of the others describe some of the finer points, but here's a few pictures.
PS - guys, if anybody wants these pictures in all there glory, PM me and I email them over (and I can't work out how to rotate the images....?)
 

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Wing Commander
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Just home too. Blooming marvellous weekend. Saturday was hotter and muggier than we might have liked but we saw loads.

Sunday looked the same, with sun and blue skies, but there was less humidity and it was the perfect biking weather.

My Sat Nav gave us an adventure - off-roading on rutted downhill tracks two-up was an arm-aching experience (but nobody came off).

We all now know loads more about the war and William the Conqueror.

Wish we could have stayed longer. Spent the journey home talking about when we can go back again
 

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Yes, rub it in, why don't you? :( :D
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Nice pics... Envy!!

Very sad that I was not able to be at Cormolain for the 3rd year running on the 6th June.
 

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Just home, wet and tired. I'll post more tomorrow. Suffice to say, it was a great weekend. It felt like I'd been there at least a week and, in truth, wish I had been there for a week.
 

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Back safe and sound here too! Fantastic weekend - loved the dare devil 2 up offroading and getting the peg down 3 times over the weekend (if that's the right expression?!!!) Thanks to everyone for making it a fab weekend. :D:D:D :sunny:
 

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Right a few pics. But first a big thanks again to James for having the foresight to buy the place in the first place as it is a great venue for sightseeing the area.

The Mulberry harbour at Aromanche - there were Jeeps driving the beach too. And a Triathlon going on.



The original Pegasus Bridge - an amazing story and daring-do with paras gliding in and landing right next to the bridge and taking it from the Germans at midnight on 5 June before the Krauts could blow it up. They then held the bridge to stop German reinforcements crossing to meet the Allied invasion.



Pipers at the museum - they were actually Dutch - to commemorate the fact that the regiment there had a piper playing virtually the whole time. There was a Belgian bagpipe band in Arromaches too. Not a Sweaty Sock in sight (don't start:hitler:).



Cabby in Hunter's bunker (taken from the Germans by one private Hunter). Fascinating to look round. Bob alos had a look with our (dutch again) guide.







The group at another monument I have forgotten - we did a bit of off-roading to get and leave here.

From left to right - Jeff, James, Meesh, Cabby, Kate and Steve, with Bob at the front.



William the Conqueror (or William the *******, as he was known before). Apparently three are only three statues of William in France, all at Falaise, his birthplace.



The Cathedral at Falaise - one of the most well-lit churches I have been into. You walk expecting to have to adjust your eyes to the usual darkness and find it superbly lit by huge windows.



William's family home - the castle at Falaise. There is lots of renovation work going on. Probably worth a visit in a couple of years' time.



And the Whealies managed to go and return without falling off. Hurrah!

And the local roads once again proved how much fin you can have sticking to the speed limit. Just rolling, winding perfectly smooth tarmac for miles and miles.

A great weekend.
 

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Turns out the six photos I took don't show anything not already shown better by others. Ho hum.

Anyway, the rough itinerary was:

Friday

Meesh and I had crossed on the overnight ferry to Le Havre so we had all day to do the shopping. I had to go to the police station to apply for a new registration document for the van I keep in France. When one of the gendarmes heard where we'd come from he told us he'd just returned from a crash just outside the village involving a British rider on a Honda. The rider (on a Pan, although we did suffer a moment of dread in case he said Africa Twin) was in hospital because he'd forgotten to ride on the right. On the way back we saw all the marks on the road, not half a mile from my place. Hope he's okay.

I spent half of the afternoon going round in circles. On my mower, so my visitors wouldn't get lost in the savannah trying to find the place. BobA, Jeff Kirby, Steve KTM and Cabby arrived about 6pm. After almost all the beer had been driunk we lit the barbecue. After that we embarked on a cider comparison test. Turns out the cheapest one in the plastic litre bottle was the preferred one!

Saturday

Woken up far too early by the Whealies arriving. Scorching hot day. Sweltering, in fact. Rode to the coast at Arromanches. Had a look at the beach (as Whealie says, jeeps driving up and down and a triathlon). Wound our way eastwards spotting a few jeeps and sundry WWII lorries. Quick visit to Le Grand Bunker at Ouistreham and then to Pegasus Bridge. Even though the pipers were Dutch, I had to manfully blink back a tear as they marched across the (new) Pegasus Bridge thinking about Lord Lovatt's piper doing the same thing under enemy fire in 1944.

Then we turned back for home, stopping off at Fort Hillman (it's only open each year for a few days around D-Day) where we saw one of the bunkers kitted out with bunks, telecomms equipment etc that would have been there in 1944. (One bunker in Fort Hillman was captured by Private Hunter...)

We stopped off at a supermarket on the way home and then had another barbecue. By 11pm it was beginning to get a bit cooler outside.

Sohoeasy had sent over (with Cabby) a rather strange vodka for us to try. It tasted mainly of liquorice. Most, err, interesting!


Sunday 6th June

The day started off a bit cloudier but soon the clouds cleared. It wasn't quite so humid either. In fact, it was perfect biking weather.

We headed through Aunay-sur-Odon where I took a spur of the moment decision to head to the top of Mont Pinçon. A gentle offroad track took us to the monument with a superb view of the valley below.

I asked Whealie to lead us along the shortest route (via his satnav) to Clécy. He tapped the details in and immediately started off down a track that I know from earlier Landrover-based experience is a bit rocky and a bit more downhill. All the Africa Twins were on knobblies. Steve's KTM wasn't but, hell, it's a KTM. I brought up the rear on my Tiger. With Meesh as pillion. And panniers. And on road tyres. Only one minor rear wheel skid later we were at the bottom and - thankfully - back on Tarmac. My arms were like jelly, though!

Once on Tarmac Whealie's satnav took us on a sweep round the hill and back up to the top, right past the end of the track we'd started from at the top. Why it didn't just take us the few hundred yards along the track is something only the satnav programmers will know.

We did the customary stop at the Pain du Sucre above Clécy and then stopped at St Omer (no, not that one) for a lovely lunch outside in the sun.

From there it wasn't far to Falaise. Jeff Kirby left us there and we went back to Cormolain via Thury-Harcourt.

Sunday saw some of the very best biking roads this part of Calvados has to offer. Smooth, fast and traffic free. I even managed to get the peg down on one left-hander with Meesh asleep on the back!

The evening was rounded off by a fantastic curry cooked by Whealie, our in-house chef. And cider and beer and wine.

Monday
We headed off our separate ways. Mine took me via Boulogne (230 miles from Cormolain) and then Meesh's brother's house in Essex before the heavens opened on me. The last 100 miles solo in the gathering gloom and torrential rain were hardly a fitting end of a brilliant weekend.

Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a special weekend.

P.S. Can I please have the photos everyone else took, as I failed so miserably, please.
 

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SOTGATT
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Just got back via a night at my mum's (chuffed to have her first night on her own since her stroke a year ago.:)) and via a shift in the 'Rattler'.

My first trip to France and I can't wait to go back....far safer and more considerate drivers than here on this experience.

Thanks to James for everything and all the info he has..I can't remember all of it.

Paid our respects at a road side memorial we came across on the way back by another bridge...They paid the full price fighting for this one.

Educational trip....a new appreciation of what actually happened there.

Saw a WWII Harley there with foot clutch and gear change on the tank....must be picture somewhere.

Great weekend with pleasant company.....oh yeah....and me....:hitler:
 

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What more can I add?

A brilliant weekend, surrounded by great company, great food and drink, wonderful weather, outstanding countryside and fantastic roads.

It just didn't last long enough, and I want to go back already.

Thanks to everyone for making it another memorable XRV trip.



Bob :thumbup:
 
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