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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Arctic Circle Return-2015


    A longer trip was decided on this morning to visit Arnhem and see what the place was like…..

    So after finding out from the campsite that we needed to take 2 buses we set off to the bus stop by using the bikes…..
    When we arrived at the bus stop we find that we could go direct into Arnhem Centre by using just one bus, and after a 15 minute wait we are on it!



    As we go along the Dyke at the side of the Rhein we pass under the railway bridge just after one of the Express Trains rattles its way over…..



    Then very shortly we are at Arnhem Railway & Bus Station which looks very modern but it still being built……



    After a quick trip into the Tourist Information Office which was just across the road from the Station we get a City Map and a couple of pointers for places of interest, so off we go to the first one which is the old Arnhem Kellers, (Cellers) which should have been through the ‘Ingang’ door in the bottom left hand corner of the following picture, but they were closed!…...



    While the Cellars are under the buildings in a small triangular section some of the buildings had been renovated….





    As we then came down the street on the right between the Cellars and the ‘yellow’ building which is the Bibleotek…..



    We see….



    This magnificent ‘Aardvarken’!…..





    Then moving further into the city centre…..



    We come to the church of St Eusebius which is undergoing major restoration, hence the scaffolding and covering…..



    While you can see through a few windows, the ongoing work on the carvings that have been removed and need replacing....



    As we then start to see information boards about the church….



    While it is not a large church in terms of the amount of land it covers…..



    It has had a chequered history……





    As we decide to take the lift to the top of the tower for a view of the city….



    As we go up through the hole in the roof like a rocket, but a bit slower…..



    At the 7th Stop we get out and find that we have to go through this door…..



    Then up these steps…..



    Not many left now and we are at the top…..



    As we can then take in the view over the city…..





    While there was a small section in the tower that referred to ‘A Bridge To Far’ with additional information to what we had previously read, that proved to be quite shocking in what happened……







    As we looked down the Rhein I spotted a barge making its way upriver, and the sight took me back to 1964 when I came over to spend 3 weeks on an exchange visit with a German boy’s family in Köln, and was amazed to see the massive barges going up and down the river mainly with coal as their cargo…..



    While inside the church tower the lift mechanism was in the middle….





    While in 1964 the barges I saw had 2 cars on the aft deck, that part hasn’t changed while the cargo might have……



    Time to make our way down and as we do we pass the different levels with the church bells on, while the smaller ones are at the top, the lift was too fast to be able to get the bigger bells in a picture…..



    We also managed to get one of the picture windows from a side chapel …..



    As we then made our way across to the river we see this rather interesting mural on the wall of some flats…..



    The down on the quayside is another slice of the Berlin Wall….



    Along with a rather interesting Tug that would pull a couple of plain barges up or down the river…..





    With the quayside crane still ready for work…..



    As we moved back to the road further along the quayside we came to another of the memorials to the ‘Battle of Arnhem’…..



    Which had some pictures and paintings of that time when the battle raged.....











    As we then found a museum close by with a number of personal and very moving stories from military and civilians who were in Arnhem……



    As we then walked a short way back along the riverfront we then came to an old but preserved one of the 4 gates into the city from the Middle Ages…..







    Having passed through the portal we continued into the main shopping area with all the Sales being held in the shops while a few of the shops had closed down and like back home were empty…..



    As we stopped in a small café for some lunch we spotted this very clever Electric Bike that has a baby carrier on the front that the lady standing by the bike had a small baby and a little girl of 2 in the ‘Pod’!
    The bike will cover on electric around 30Kms which is ideal for coming into the city that has significant car parking ‘problems’ one of which is the cost!
    While on the safety side, the city has an excellent network of ‘cycle lanes’ and motorists here are more tolerant of cyclists…..



    With a couple more of the older buildings as we went around…..





    And this statue of a Dear on a traffic island…..



    It was time to head back to the Bus Station……



    For the Number 36 back to our bikes and the short pedal back to the campsite….



    On the road again tomorrow to Ypres……

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Arctic Circle Return-2015


    Hey Ho another day on boring congested motorways, and then we get off for some interesting side road travel …..

    As we leave the campsite and get back on the motorway the volume of traffic at 10:00 is wall to wall and proceeding slowly, governed by the Speed Indicator lights on the overhead gantries…..





    Thankfully after a few unscheduled ‘Halts’ caused by the volume of traffic on the Motorways as we travelled over a few, we come off and start to travel on a side road which was less congested and moving freely, but heavily populated with Radar Cameras and a limit of 70Kph which was actually faster than some of the stretches on the Motorways!……

    As we see that we are in a Fruit growing region of the Netherlands….





    While the side road was soon completed we find ourselves back on the Motorway with even more traffic, passing the rear of this block of flats that looks quite ugly with the small windows….



    Still managing to keep ‘up’ or ‘down’ with the Trans West Truck…..



    As we then pass this Network Rail Truck which was a surprise as I thought they only worked in the UK, as we follow the Trans West Truck into the 3rd Lane to go off on a Motorway Junction to a different road!…..



    Belgium Border….



    And the Poppies continue to decorate the banks along the Motorway, which gives a bit of colour, until the grass cutters roll along!…..



    As the volume of traffic kept moving, we kept coming to places where we ground to a halt and then after a few minutes when those up front had sorted themselves out we were off again, bit like being on a rubber band and being stretched out and then dropped by to normal size while the temperature climbed to 28C!!!



    Antwerp up ahead which was even worse while the Speed Limit Overhead signs were assisting in keeping the traffic moving but changing lanes to move into the correct one was sometimes difficult to say the least…..



    Skyline view of a little bit of Antwerp…..



    As we pass this High Speed Train Station on our right we see this BIG Ferris Wheel and wondered if delayed passengers are offered a free ride while waiting for their train?....



    Oh Boy! Red, Green & Blue Tower Flats….



    Next up is, the Kennedy Tunnel with the Radar Camera just to the left of the sign for the name of the tunnel…..



    Speed limit in force again……





    OK, so it’s a HOT day! We did wonder why there were no accidents as this guy was around 20ft tall, so he did stand out at the side of the Motorway….



    Spotted one!…..



    As the roadsign comes up for the off ramp to leper (Ypres)…..



    Traffic island just before the outskirts to the town…..



    Last main road of the trip, before we turn left and then right into the campsite…..





    Interestingly I received an email from the campsite advising me that the price had been increased by 28% while the facilities have remained in the same semi broken down state, from our visit here 2 years ago and an Internet ‘Service’ that is now inaccessible, even though they present you with the password.

    Still tomorrow is a special day here for us, but more of that later…..

  3. #103
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
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    595

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    The bus into Arnhem looks like it is running on a dedicated road with a bike or pedestrian path, interesting. Can you go back and ship the Aardvark to me?

    Nice views from the Church tower.
    Sounds like you will be home soon.

  4. #104
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    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    The bus into Arnhem looks like it is running on a dedicated road with a bike or pedestrian path, interesting. Can you go back and ship the Aardvark to me?

    Nice views from the Church tower.
    Sounds like you will be home soon.
    The road along the Dyke at the side of the river is also used by other traffic which is quite interesting when you get a Truck coming towards you and the Bus is on the edge!

    Unfortunately the Aardvark was bolted in place just to stop that happening as a few large things have 'gone missing' so sorry it stays there.

    The views from the Church tower were good but it was helped by being a clear day.

    Yep you are correct, we now have around 36 hours to go before we hit the shores of the UK!

    But still a couple more updates to do if I can get a decent Internet connection!

  5. #105
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    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Arctic Circle Return-2015


    A special day in Ypres …..

    For us it was a special day in Ypres as my good lady’s Grandfather had been a soldier who survived WWI at a place called Pashendale even after a gas attack, and learning that a group of people in Wales had go together and made the effort to have a Welsh Memorial erected to the military personnel who had lost their lives over in Flanders we had to go and see it, while on the way there we found out that an even called the Ypres Rally was also taking place…..

    The ‘Launch Ramp’ for Rally competitors…..



    A couple of the competitors cars…..





    After which we made our way on the short trip out of town to the Welsh Memorial.



    Behind the trees in the previous picture you will find the Dragon who sits on three pieces of stone quarried in Wales and transported to here where they were erected on land donated by the Flemish people….



    While the recent wreath at the base of the Dragon says “ Warriors of the present thanking Warrior of the past 22-05-2015” that’s how precious our freedom is remembered …..



    While just down the road and very close to the Welsh Memorial is a tribute to a famous Welsh Poet, Hedd Wyn…..



    With a picture of Hedd Wyn alongside…..





    Must admit that it was really very nice to be able to park even for a short time at the memorial, but having said that, the Memorial itself is a credit to all the people who took part in its creation and erection.……



    While I think the little plaque alongside Hedd Wyn summed it up really!…..



    Our next visit was later in the day when we volunteered to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate during the Last Post Remembrance Service which happens every night come Mother Natures worst or best weather conditions…..

    As we arrived early we had a look around the people who had been on previous evenings and found a wreath from New Zealand which was very interesting as even though a significant number of Māori Military Personal had taken part and lost their lives, the New Zealand Government initially refused to acknowledge their involvement, which was unbelievable!



    As then a choir of 40 Schoolchildren arrived who had arranged to singa t the service which was a surprise to a number of the people organising the evening. .....



    The wreath and us….(The 'modified' picture is for security reasons, as the web is sadly lacking in security of individuals!)



    Laying the wreath, then step back and pay homage, with a MASSIVE ‘Thank You for our Freedom’ ……



    As we then turn left and make our way back to the other side, while the singing from the choir gets to your emotions and you make a dive into your pocket for your hankerchief….



    The wreaths that were laid that evening…..



    Then as we made our way back to the campsite we see this hot air ballon overhead..….



    A very emotional but excellent day, while tomorrow we are off to a campsite near the Tunnel for our last day over this side of the Channel before the run home starts …..
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 06-27-2015 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #106
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    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Arctic Circle Return-2015


    Final day in Flanders and France…..

    So after we pack up in Ypres it’s off on the road again, but this time as we are going across country we can stay off the Motorway and see a bit of the countryside!…..

    As we first pass a Restaurant, Café, Tea Room called…..



    Making our way down a few side roads….



    We pass this rather narrow house which looks like a 1 Up, 1 Down sort of place….



    Rolling through sleepy villages…..







    It wasn’t long before we pass over the French Border (But we missed the sign and only got the road requirements a few meters later on!)…..



    Fancied a go on this but it was ‘locked down’……



    As we come into our first big French town…..











    Then back out in the countryside we spot this building and wondered if it was used for ‘Rocket Testing’ with the Funnel on the top!….



    First French Windmill…..



    As the road starts to get like a ‘Roller Coaster’……









    As it then levels out as we come into another village…..



    Turning off the main road we are then not very far from the campsite…..



    Turn right at the statue…..



    Then after few hundred yards there is the entrance…..



    While the site is really very nice, with excellent facilities….







    ‘Home run’ tomorrow and if anyone wants to come and join us for breakfast at 05:00 Hrs then assist us off the campsite at 06:00Hrs you are welcome!…..

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
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    For some reason I like the Restaurant, or at least the name. The country road with the trees and the farm land is a nice shot. Breakfast may be hard to make it to. Lunch?

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    For some reason I like the Restaurant, or at least the name. The country road with the trees and the farm land is a nice shot. Breakfast may be hard to make it to. Lunch?
    It was the 'name' given to British Soldiers during the war, but I am not sure where it came from, while I think it had something to do with the 'Tommy Gun'

    Looked for you for Lunch but I guess you are still getting there as we didn't see you!

  9. #109
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    Arctic Circle Return-2015


    Home run…..

    OK so we didn’t get any takers for the 05:00Hrs Breaklfast, but as it’s Sunday, it wasn’t that surprising…..

    06:00 and we are at the campsite barrier as it rises to let us out and on our way to ‘Le Manche’ (The Tunnel)…..

    Left out of the campsite and down a couple of small roads as we come to a main road junction with this little windmill on the corner….



    While 14 miles later we have 400meters to go for….



    Not sure if the display is meant for us or the people who try to ‘stow away’ to get into the UK illegally in the hope of putting them off, as it doesn’t also tell you that you need a ‘Ticket’?….



    Then 50 minutes after the train sets off we are in the UK and heading down the Motorway on a nice clear day with light traffic on the road which was surprising after all the ‘fun and games’ of the last few days and the ‘problems’ in Calais caused by strikes …..



    As we get close to Bristol the rain moves in and we pass this ‘WIDE LOAD’ which takes up 2 of the 3 lanes on the motorway, so I have no choice but to go in the outside lane to get passed which is supposed to be illegal, but I ain’t stopping or slowing up…..



    Now we know we are getting close to ‘Home’ when we see this sign on the overhead gantry….



    Then there is the Bridge!…..



    That’s it we can hear the Choir Music coming off the hills in the distance!……



    While I will end this tour with a plaque that I saw at the Airborne Memorial in Arnhem which I think both summed our trip up and made me very grateful for our freedom, which if we didn’t have this tour would not have happened…..



    We covered 6328 Miles on the trip, while the weather was not as good as our first time in 2010.
    Of the ‘problems’ encountered during the trip I was glad that when we ‘lost’ the use of the Fridge on a 230Volt supply, the Propane Gas bottles kept us going and there is still a bit left in both bottles!

    While the most annoying & aggravating ‘problem’ was the ‘faulty’ 13 Pin Socket on ‘Flamenco Red’ which was claimed to be ‘Working OK’ by 3 Volvo Garages, and also an Auto Electrical Workshop!

    Yet when finally after a bit more ‘Logical thinking’ and the socket was changed the ‘problem’ disappeared!!!

    That’s all for now folks!!!…...

  10. #110
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCovlov70 View Post
    It was the 'name' given to British Soldiers during the war, but I am not sure where it came from, while I think it had something to do with the 'Tommy Gun'

    Looked for you for Lunch but I guess you are still getting there as we didn't see you!
    So you are trying to say that it is not all about me? Disappointing.


    Tried to make lunch but there were flight delays.


    Thank you very much for dragging us along yet again. Even with the weather it was an interesting trip. Good for the rest of us that you two got to bear the brunt of it rather than us.

    Hopefully your next outing the weather co-operates a lot more.
    Last edited by ssicarman; 06-28-2015 at 12:08 PM.

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