Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

Special Western Front to Normandy Tour - 25 September 2017


Travel Day today from Ieper to Normandy. Against the background of a dull leaden sky, a looming general strike and possible road down and service station blockades, we set off with some trepidation.

After driving past an 8km stationary tailback of northbound traffic coming the other way on the A1, we hit our own 'slow-down' encountering the 'escargot' (snail) manoeuvre of the blockaders; three cars abreast doing a go slow restricting traffic to one lane. However disruption was temporary and only cost us about 10 minutes.

Two hours down and we called in to Peronne to grab some left-behind stuff at the St Claude Hotel, a quick coffee and then it was on the road again.

Another stop at an auto-route lay-by to consume our last packed lunch from the Best Western Ieper and we continued on our way.

We entered Normandy and noted the change in landscape. Far less built development than was evident on the Somme and particularly in Belgium, the appeal of Normandy was becoming increasingly apparent.

We continued on over the spectacular Normandy Bridges crossing the surprisingly broad Seine Estuary.

Then a stop in the very picturesque fishing port of Honfleur which made a very favourable impression on everyone, despite the heavy overcast and threatening rain. Some of our number just could not resist a ride on the carousel. A few soothing libations finished off a most satisfactory interlude, before we boarded our coach for the rest of the journey.

Skirting Caen we continued on to the periphery of Bayeux whee we checked in to the Ibis Hotel. Today was surely 'the Longest Day'?


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