A Travellerspoint blog

August 2009

France and Belgium following the Poppy trail! (35/35)

Lest we forget!

sunny 22 °C

I have always been itnerested in doing a battlefield tour and the most famous is definately the poppy trail which mainly revolves around the somme area from world war I or 'the Great War'. We headed to the town of Amiens to get our bearings and get a bite to eat. From here we were able to find out that the Somme Museum 1916 is in Albert a few KM up the road so we headed there to see what we could find out.

When we got to the Museum there was a French lady on the desk. I tried asking her were the larger cemetaries were and memorials and if there was a map. She snapped something very quickly at me in French I only grasped a handful of words from it but I knew that I needed to speak to a Mr Something or other in the shop at the end of the Museum tour! She then told us that there was a video room on the left and that it rotates the language that the film is shown in.

We headed down into the old tunnels which were used as escape routes by the towns people during the war and looked at some of the memorabila before the english version of the film was on. The film had lots of information about the different nations memorials in the area and we then had a better Idea of where we wanted to go. The ones that looked the best were:

•Big crater
•Ulster tower
•South African

As we completed our tour of the museum we made our way to the shop at the end and there was a nice gentleman who spoke excellent english and was able to help us along the poppy trail. He told us that the free guide books were back at the entrance and to head back there and pick one up which we did.

First stop nearest to Albert was the large crater left by 24tonnes of explosive! It was 100m in diameter and 30m deep truely massive! A lot of people died that day as it said in the video and we were starting to get an apprechiation of why.

On ward from here was that Australian memorials and we met some Australians there who were fasinated with our car and the charity road trip. They even took a picture. The memorial was a large stone obelisk with some details of the fallen.

Next step was the British memorial. This one was truely the most impressive of them all. A massive structure with the names of all the fallen and their regiments engraved in the stone. There was also a grave for each of the lost. It was a really sad and somber place. There were alot of wreths left and I was looking at the notes. All of them to great great, or great uncles, from nieces and nephews. I guess the reason being they were all so young when they died none of them had children of their own so they would only have nieces and nephews. One of the sadest ones was a simple note left on a grave which had a name. It just said "In loving memory, Lest we forget your sacrifice for our freedom. Love the family you never met" I found that one very sad and there was a picture of the hero next to the note.

Enroute to the next stop we passed Ulster tower but it was closed and the gate was locked so we didn't enter just stopped for a picture and a few moments to remember those that lost their lives.

Next stop was the Newfoundland which is the canadian memorial. Here you can still see the trench lines and it really is an impressive sight that after all this time soil erosion has not taken them away. A mighty stag stands at the front and looks out over the trench field. There is also a list of names of the fallen.

We had to turn back to go to the South African memorial. It was to remember those fallen from both world wars and as such had a larger cemetery outside it. This one was again closed but we walked up as it was just a chain pulled across so we think you were allowed to enter (not sure).

So that was the end of the road trip and our last day out. We finished off with a meal at a Steak house in the centre of Brugge it was very nice.

Posted by LizaBrooks 00:05 Archived in France Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Brugge (35/35)

Time for a few days chill me thinks!

sunny 20 °C
View Liza Mission to Visit EVERY country in Europe this year! on LizaBrooks's travel map.

So the road trip challenge may essentially be over but there is still much to do and see in Belgium and north france before we come home via ferry kindly reduced in price by Sea France :D

We are camping in Memling Camping in Brugge after finding that every other campsite in the TomTom’s directory has been replaced with a hotel or shopping mall! Not good.

We decided to go into Brugge last night as I and Dale have both not been there for many years. The place has changed with less chocolate shops and more resturants charging estortionate prices and trying to make you eat rabbit!

We brought some chocolates for our Nephews and then brought some FAT Cuban cigars for ourselves we were still in the celebrating mood! After walking around the town and Dale finally deciding that chocolate penis’s and vaginas would make perfect gifts we headed back to the main square and had a crepe and smoked our cigars. They were very nice as were the crepes! The man gave out free green olives with the drinks aswell which was pretty sweet!

We headed back to the campsite and I cooked tea…Dale went on a mission to find beer and didn’t tell me so his tea kinda went coldish doh! Nevermind he got his beer!

Tomorrow we are heading off on a battlefield tour!

Horse and Cart now seen:95
Crepes eaten:4
Stella’s drunk:2
People who told us off in McDonalds for not tidying rubbish before going to toilet!:1

Posted by LizaBrooks 00:06 Archived in Belgium Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Run down of the Trip! 35 Countries in 28days by car

Special thanks to, Bathwick tyres, Sea France (discounted ferry due to Charity P&O can kiss my ass from now on!) and the hundreds of people who have helped us with directions and advice along the way!

sunny 23 °C
View Liza Mission to Visit EVERY country in Europe this year! on LizaBrooks's travel map.

Well I hope if you have been reading my blog while Dale and I have been away that you have enjoyed being kept updated with our trials and tribulations. We have successfully made it around pretty much the whole of Europe in my mums old banger of a car and we are I am pleased to say still in one piece as is the car! We have had so many great times and memories we will cherish forever! We are now in the progress of planning our next BIG adventure we were thinking a East Coast USA road trip but that would be childs play compared to this so read on at the end to see what we have planned :D

I've listed some highlights or key memories from each of the places we went to below!

Amsterdam: This place brings shopping around right up to a whole new level!
Germany: Lots of wasps in the restaurant!
Copenhagen: Carlsberg…probably the worst brewery tour in the world!
Stockholm: The Swedish girls aren’t quite as hot as they look on the TV (according to Dale ☹)
Party boat: “They don’t know fucking Cascada!”
Helsinki: its not a real Sauna if its not over 100degC and your taking the brace position.
Estonia (Parnu): Where were the mud baths?
Lithuania: Can nothing really be this big?
Latvia: where McDonalds is out to kill you from sodium OD!
Poland (Auschwitz): Christian retreats rock! And Nazi’s I hope you all are burning good in HELL!
Czech Republic: A fly by!
Slovakia: Probably the best McDonalds in the world!
Hungary (Budapest): The new Stag and Hen location of choice! AWESOME Spa at Hotel Gellert.
UKRAINE: Possibly hell on earth…If I ever go here again it will be too soon!
Moldova: The shocker of the trip…poorest place in Europe swanky capital and really nice people. Good roads too!
Romania: Community dogs.
Bulgaria: Toliet and shower in same cubical pretty gross but 12p shots means after a few you won’t notice anyway.
Turkey: Navigating Istanbul was really easy??? WTF?
Greece: Where are all the gaz stations?!?!?
Macedonia: Various products of inbreeding…also fat girl begging for food.
Albania: Freespirited drivers on traitorous alpine roads.
Montenegro: “They don’t know fucking Cascada!” possibly the worst DJ’s in the world? ‘You’re Poison!...Poison running through my veins”
Serbia: Interesting border control?
Bosnia: Killer tuna!
Croatia: Horse burgers and slow service?
Slovinea: Expensive duty free cigarettes
Italy: FUCKING expensive tolls!
San Marino: the McDonalds with probably the best view in the world
France: I want a yacht and I want that one!
Monaco: I want a Ferrari and I want that one!
Switzerland: No more tolls hurrah!
Liechtenstein: Where no one knows their mother tongue.
Austria: In and out!
Luxembourg: Champagne and chicken…we’ve done it (following our quick drop into Belgium tonight)
Belgium: Probably the place Liza found out she is probably no longer allergic to peanuts!

Dead community dogs:21
Dead pet dogs:1
Dead pet cats: 7
Horse and cart:95
Ferrari’s raced:1
Aston Martins Raced:1
Number of passers by amused by our antics in traffic jam: hundreds
Number of times we could get Dales mum to say “Oh My God” in one conversation: 7
Total number of nights spent in car:7
Countries Mcdonalds visited: 20
Best McFlurry: Smarties with Caramel!
Best bigMAC: Slovakia
Number of Cyclists nearly killed: 7
Nazi memorabilia stolen: 2

Regrets of the trip:
Going to the Ukraine/not speaking Russian
Not stealing the cute puppy from Romania to give it a better life in England
Not asking the begging Romanian boy how much he earnt in a day and giving it to him and telling him to take the day off and have a bath!
Not giving all our money to the begging boy in Macedonia ☹
Not going back for a second look at the inbred girl in Macedonia.
Not counting the number of times Dales mum said “oh My God” in one conversation sooner.
Not thinking of playing the McDonalds game before we got to Bosnia.
Not stealing someones yacht/car/house/something else of stupid value
Not having PS3 in car with Nazi Zombie game for playing

If we could have done things differently?
Avoid the Ukraine (we had 34 countries anyway with our sneaky Czech Rep detour!)
Get a satnav which covered all of Europe
Learn Russian prior to leaving
Get a lonely planet for western Europe
Not trust people who say they use Euros in Bulgaria
Change Estonian money before leaving the country

Where we will be going back and would recommend you go to!
Party boat
EVERYONE should visit Auschwitz so we as a human race never forget the terrible things that happened there!
Budapest - I am planning on going there again VERY soon!
Chisnau in Moldova! This place rocks and your a millionaire with £10 (well not really but your money goes a long way)
Bulgaria - take your own porta loo!
Constantana in Romania (this is a up and coming bulgaria in our opinion!)
Macedonia - lake was beautiful
Budva AWESOME atmosphere if not the worst DJ's on the planet
Italy (great pizza!)

Where we would advise you not to go...

So this concludes the write up for the trip. At the moment we are in Brugge Belgium and enjoying cigars sunshine and beer. We are hoping to reach our £2000 target for money for Bath RUH NICU. Please do make a donation on our just giving site.

Now where are we planning next...well I hear the Caribbean is nice...where exactly you might ask? Well how about all of it!

Posted by LizaBrooks 11:16 Archived in Belgium Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

35 Countries 28days! WE RULE!


sunny 24 °C
View Liza Mission to Visit EVERY country in Europe this year! on LizaBrooks's travel map.

Well we ahd done it as I write this and I am sipping the most expensive champagne we could find to amrk the occasion (no really its good stuff!!!).

We set off into the capital in Lientenstien tog et our apssports stamoed up and boy did we get some stamps. We then decided to get some souvenirs and I brought some gifts for the famil I hope they like them they were good value I thought.

Once we had finished our shopping we headed off enroute fo Luxembourg. We dedciedd to avoid toll roads as we have now established that the fench really like to rip you off when it xomes to tolls! We ended up in some country towns which were nice but hen it came to getting fuel my French skills were tested to the max with a automatic machine which you had to putyour card in first and then dispense fuel…we’ll see if I was successful when the bill comes in!

We were making fairly good time including the mcdonalds stop ubtil we got stuck in traffic 26km from the border! We had been stuck about 15mins when I suggested to Dale that we start a singing fest an entertain our fellow traffic goers! This was great fun and mad eht e hour long queue whizz by, We provided much amusement for all the foreigners who were quite confused with it all and I suspect reported us for drugs use as we probably appeared high!

Keeping it simple we put faith in the tomtom and went to the first recommended campsite on the list and it was in Luxembourg. We made it there ok and the nice lady only wanted €12 to camp for the night bargain and we got our own pitch and tape it looks ACE! As it is the 28th day we needed to get 34 countries! But…seeing as we have been sneaky we actually already have done 34 an Belgium was to be our 35th ( we went into Czech rep enroute else where earlier in the trip :-p) we headed over the border and got some nice young men to take lots of photos of us celebrating with the flag and a sign showing our triumph!

To celebrate we have brought the fine champagne I am drinking now and also some nice chicken skewers were delicious apart from the one I am worried had nuts in.

All in all a successful trip and we hope we have raised lots of money for bath RUH NICU! :D

Posted by LizaBrooks 11:14 Archived in Luxembourg Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The road to Liechtenstein (33/35!!!! Countries!)

This place is so small but sooo cool!

sunny 27 °C
View Liza Mission to Visit EVERY country in Europe this year! on LizaBrooks's travel map.

We planned on setting off early but instead ended up shopping around the town for a bit. I was really excited about this part of the trip as the alps are my favourite place in the world and driving there is awesome! The drive took a fair while and we arrived at about 5pmish in the capital of Liechtenstein. The capital was more like a large village which was a bit disturbing. We parked up in a multi storey (ok there were two) and then found our way to the TI. Sadly it was closed so we figured the next best thing was a souvenir shop to ask where we might be able to camp for the night. The guy there directed us to the bus station but the information stand there was also closed so we were still at a loss DOH!

We went into anther tourist stop and then found out that there was a camp site in the next town over in Triesen. We headed that way and once we were in the town stopped at what we thought was a garage but in fact turned out to be a supermarket. We asked if they spoke English and the girl ran away and made an announcement for someone that spoke englsih to come. A nice girl came and she helped us find our way to the nearest campsite. After she had told us where to head we askd her what language they spoke in Leictenstien as the mother toungue and to out surprise she didn’t know and wasn’t really able to help us. She said sort of like swiss, german, French with some Italian.

WE foudnt eh camp site with ease and the had room for us and our tent and the price was good at CHF33 per night. We asked the girl there what language she spoke and again she didn’t really know ☹

Once we were all camped up and tea’s up we decided we were going to go into Austria to get our tick in the box for that country also to look for a supermarket enroute. There was no supermarket but we got to Austria in no time but alas no supermarket there either! RUBBISH. So back to a fuel station and the staple of the trip pasta and butter it was again! LOVERLY JUBBERLY! We ate and had amazing hot showers afterwards these were quite possibly the best we have had since scadinavia so well done Leictenstien for not only having the nicest people we have encountered so far but the best camping facilities!

A slightly bad nights sleep followed though I had a nightmare about nasty things and Dale I think did too. We also heard a wild animal foraging and trying to get into our tent but it lost interest and wandered off so we were ok in the end!

Lichtensteiniens that don’t know their native tongue: 100%

Posted by LizaBrooks 11:12 Archived in Liechtenstein Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 22) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 » Next