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Online Zipperhead

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A little ride with my brother
« on: Sep 15, 2020, 10:28 AM »
I've been trying to write this since we did the trip last year, but I've been a bit lazy on the photo editing. I hope I can remember where we went  :2:

I can't remember whether it was me or my brother who suggested the trip, the plan was to go away for a week and visit places in France and Belgium (and as it turned out Holland) where there had been some "disagreement" a century ago.

Planning was a serious business - he sent shared a list of places on google maps (too many to visit in a week, but it gave us choices) and I looked at them and tried to pick out an approximate route and work out where to stay. That being agreed I booked the accomodation and he booked the ferry and we were all set.

Day 1 - 29th July 2019
Dawned the day bright and sunny. Well, it might but when we set off it was still O dark thirty.



The metadata says 05:17. You will note that the Versys is packed and ready while the rider of the Italian Job is still repacking stuff and trying to get it to fit. Eventually he was ready though and off we set  down to the M25 & M20 and Dover.

Given the choice I would have taken the nice quick tunnel to France rather than spending two hours on the high seas just to go a few miles, but I had known that he would book the ferry to Dunkirk.

On the ferry there was a failed Versys



That wouldn't have happened on the train!

When we got off the ferry he complained about the heat (if we'd taken the train we could have been in Belgium before it warmed up, but I'm not going to moan about that), so we stopped beside a road so that he could take off his leathers and then take off the long johns underneath. Also a pee in the French fashion (right beside the road, don't bother with a tree, that's for the up tight Eeengleesh). As is traditional on these trips it's obligatory to take pictures of fellow travellers relieving themselves - just to capture all aspects of the journey. But you don't want to see a picture of a wrinkly old feller and his wrinkly old feller, so I shall spare you.

We stopped to have lunch in Poperinge, a small neat town in Belgium. Normally we would visit Talbot House a place that was set up during WW1 as a club for all soldiers - rank was left at the door, and somewhere that both our grandfathers talked about. With a long way still to go and some other places to visit we had to leave that for another trip.

The next stop was at the Pool of Peace, a mine crater, 129 meters in diameter and 19 meters deep. One of 19 mines that were detonated underneath German lines at the opening of that particular battle. Beautiful and peaceful now but at the time it must have been horrific.



There is also a very small cemeterery (79 graves) there, Lone Tree Cemetery.





Our next stop was 13 miles up the road  to Langemark Cemetery, a German WW1 cemetery. It was separated from the road by a lovely avenue of trees, and outside is a statue of four mourning soldiers.





Inside, rather than individual graves, soldiers are buried with others from their unit, mostly 20 to a plot.





44,000 wasted lives.





When we left there it was after 5pm and we were staying in Holland so it was onto the motorway and push on, stopping a couple of times for coffee and food. We arrived fairly late and the owners of the place kindly invited us to bring the bikes inside for the night before we climbed the tiny steep stairs and passed out after riding 343 miles.



Online uralrob

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2020, 12:33 PM »


 Graphic and engaging. Enjoyed that.

 More please  :028: .

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline Clunkyboy

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2020, 12:44 PM »
 :123A:
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Offline grumpyoldgit

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2020, 02:54 PM »

*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]

 Graphic and engaging. Enjoyed that.

 More please  :028: .

 Rob.

+1

Just a week or two before you I was doing a similar trip but solo. I went via Langemark to visit the Welsh memorial but due to an almost complete lack of planning knew nothing of the places you mention above. I'm not an emotional type and I know no-one that gave their life in either wars but found the cemeteries and memorials quite moving. I spent half an hour at one tiny cemetery near Dunkirk, empty apart from myself, just tidying up the fallen leaves and twigs scattered about the place. I have no idea why, I have to pushed to tidy my own garden up!
I shall take note of the above places and visit them next time I'm passing.

More please  :028:

Online Zipperhead

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #4 on: Sep 15, 2020, 06:03 PM »
I must credit my brother with the choice of places to visit, some of them he had visited before and others he had researched. But there are still so many places to visit, halfway between Poperinge and Ypres is the cemetery where Noel Chavasse is buried. A doctor who was awared the VC and bar.

Day 2 - 30th July 2019

When we got up for breakfast it was another lovely sunny day so we (and the other guests) had breakfast outside.



This was a lovely place, this was the office next to where our bikes were parked



The owners told us that they were restoring another old house over the road to use as a holiday rental so we went and had a look at that.



I love the way that the tie bars have what is presumably the year that the house was built incorporated into them.

Inside some of it was complete, but some was still a work in progress



When we had discussed our plans for the day with our hosts they told us about a memorial a short distance away, so we went there first. Unless you went looking for it you would not find it by accident. It's set back a little from a tiny country road opposite fields, I would imagine that very little traffic apart from tractors passes there.



The crew of this Stirling were shot down by a night fighter in 1942 and crashed here with no survivors.



The pilot, William Greenslade, was on his 64th mission so presumably this was his third tour of duty.



These are fragments of the wreckage that were recast and incorporated into the memorial.

We went to Venlo to see where the Venlo Incident occurred, where two British spies were captured in Germany just a few metres from the Dutch border and which was then used by the Germans to justify the invasion of Holland.

As we were there we rode over the border (a bridge) into Germany to see if we could find somewhere for a coffee and cake, but the two places in the nearest little town were both closed.

The main visit of the day was to the Overlooon War Museum. If you are in the area then go and spend a day there, or just cycle through the vehicles hall on the bicycle bridge.

The museum is split into two parts, the first part is about the occupation of Holland and how the Dutch were treated. I had read about some of this and friends parents had told me about how it was when they lived through it as children but it's still horrific. Not always in a graphic way, there's a picture that I took of some Christmas decorations and the "normality" of it is chilling. I would post it here, but it seems there are no spoiler tags, but if you go and look at my album it should be obvious.

The second part of the museum is a massive mostly filled with WW2 vehicles up to Dakota size. I wish that I'd taken more pictures to include here because it wasn't just tanks and jeeps, there were mobile workshops opened up as they would be in use

I'm not quite sure why it was there, but there was a BARC



(the good looking person in the picture is about 6' 4" to give an idea of scale)

It's enormous. Huge. 4 engines, each driving a wheel. Engines coupled in pairs to drive the propellers. 100 ton payload.

Out of reach was this device for dealing with any stray trees.



Over in one corner was a display that had 1000 shells of all sizes. The model on the left is a Schwerer Gustav railway gun. This puny(!) thing is not the shell that it fired.



This is



The thing on the left hand side is the propellant casing.

This is going to need more than some T-cut



I really need to go back again.

Time to head for our accomodation for the night which was in the Ardennes, so we headed south and stayed in another lovely place with lovely people. He kept his prized motorbike indoors (in the hallway) and insisted that we bring ours into the garage for the night.

Distance for the day 191 miles.



Offline Oldplodder

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #5 on: Sep 15, 2020, 07:33 PM »
*Originally Posted by grumpyoldgit [+]
More please  :028:

Yes - More please

Dave T
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Online uralrob

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #6 on: Sep 15, 2020, 08:39 PM »


 Not only enjoying it but learning a lot too. Your detailed photos along with text are very informative.

   :028: :028:

 Rob.
 
 
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline timster66

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #7 on: Sep 15, 2020, 09:05 PM »
Great write up and pics, thanks for sharing.
I’ve always been meaning to do one from a trip to Normandy two years ago, one day...

Offline whiskydave

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #8 on: Sep 16, 2020, 08:02 AM »
Very good  :028: :028: :028: :028:

Offline Stewie

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Re: A little ride with my brother
« Reply #9 on: Sep 16, 2020, 08:21 AM »
Excellent write up.

If anyone is riding through France I can highly recommend the Musée des épaves sous-marines du débarquement.
It is on the D6 a little bit south of Port En Bessin near Bayeaux.

One of the salavge team who was clearing all the sunken tanks etc from D day has started his own museum with a lot of the things he dredged up.
In one Sherman tank he found letters and personal effects from the tank commander and found the person.