Thursday, 12 March 2015

2013/07/22-25 Normandy.

We have an annual tradition of making a trip to Normandy in the summer. We visit friends who own a house there. Instead of using the highway we use the so called “D roads”, U get more France and less traffic. In the summer of 2013 the shark is trustworthy enough to make the trip. On the way up we choose the highway from Antwerp to Arras and the D roads from Arras to our destination Ingouville.
Not the shortest route btw. but a “route touristique” that takes us to Baupame, Amiens, Poix de Picardie and Dieppe. 
Unfortunately I can’t plan routes with my GPS so the whole thing is planned with google maps. We learn quickly that Google maps isn’t to be trusted lightly. Leaving the town of Arras is quite a hassle but we get a nice shark picture on the town’s square. 

The roads we’ve chosen aren’t really traffic free. We share them with trucks and Dutch drivers with mobile food stands (caravans). Even on the highway a large amount of these hamburger flippers were in everybody’s way!
U don’t see these “vendors” on the military cemeteries. It’s strange that these are places of peace and tranquility while the reason they’re here is not. I’m quite sure that the occupants of the cemetery would have liked to see the era of trucks and movable food stands.

The right window gave up again and the sweat on my back was the sign to “ google maps” and let the GPS do the talking. Pretty soon we find ourselves on smaller D roads with some nice twists and turns. At high speed we pass several villages.
Aaaight, this is the fun!!!
After 7 hours and about 320 miles we make it to Ingouville.
The days there are spend doing nothing, driving the “patron” (a nice kit car) , trying to fix the window and doing nothing again. 

After a few days we’ve regained our energy and are ready to drive back home via a different route. 
This time we drive along the coast of Normandy with a first stop in Saint Vallery sur Somme, a picturesque town near , u’ll never guess, the Somme. At the mouth of the Somme in fact. 

From here we move inland in the direction of Saint Omer via the D928  which, for obvious reasons, we had to drive. 

Next stop is Cassel a well-known place among tourist. Undiscovered by mobile food vendors because the roads leading up to the village are to steep.

At first we had planned to go home after Cassel but we decide to take a roundtrip to West-Vleteren. 

West-Vleteren is world famous for it’s beer. The West-Vleteren 12 has won the best beer of the world award several times. It’s very hard to get. U can order and pick it up at the Abbey only but they also have a bar were u can buy 6 bottles.
A drama would take place here. Arriving at the bar we’re greeted by a sign that says there’s no beer for sale! Despite this setback we are able to drink one at the bar and after this divine intervention we head home. 
The home route took us 7 hours in total and 250 miles. After dinner the shark would have the final say. We can’t get it in reverse and after a push it’s stationed in the garage.

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