We drove the winding roads to Gaztelugatxe. The manmade bridge to the island was used in filming Dragonstone in Game of Thrones, but instead of a CGI castle at the top, there is a hermitage called 'San Juan de Gaztelugatxe'. Amazing place and views. The tradition or superstition is to ring the bell 3 times and make a wish. Both Sharon and I had a go ringing the bell.
Highlight(?) of this walk (aside from being almost destroyed by the tiny walk - unfit!) has got to be the toilets that pretty much consisted of a pipe that chucked it over the cliff onto the rocks below!
We stopped in at San Sebastian without realising how lovely it was. We paid for parking and took a walk along the beach front. The sun was out and it was lovely, I can imagine it is absolutely packed in high season. We blew 6 euros on 2 coffees (and from now on we will check the menu or ask how much before ordering!). There were surfers catching the odd wave and in some sections the waves were splashing over the rocks/walkways. I'd happily visit here on a short break.
After Archachon and the Dune, we headed down to the Biarritz area, stopped at a couple of beaches before finding a camp for the night next to a field with 3 very popular and well fed donkeys. People would turn up, jump out of the car and feed the donkeys what appeared to be old hard French baguettes, chopped up. The donkeys appeared to love them even when they got on to their 3rd big bag within the hour! Forgot to take pics of the donkeys :-(
After leaving Gordon and Carols we headed past Bordeaux to Arcachon, and the Dune de Pilat. We hung out on beaches and then visited the dune and climbed it. Wow we are unfit! It is huge though. We camped at the Le Teich bird reserve carpark with a bunch of other campervans and motorhomes
We called in to see my Uncle and Aunt who live North East of Bordeaux, not quite sure how long or involved our stay would be as it has been a long time since we saw each other! We ended up staying for 3 nights and had a great time, eating far too much cheese and drinking far too much wine!
Shaz was invited off to an Art class Gordon runs, and while she was away I tackled some truck maintenance and made 2 new sink/hob covers after I dramatically smashed one of the original glass ones by kneeling on it the night before!
Friday we were taken into Bordeaux and had a nice relaxed mooch around with plenty of coffee and lunch. Gordon Carol and Shaz picked up some art supplies at a fantastic art shop. Really enjoyed Bordeaux - as me and Shaz both said 'ooh it feels like holiday!'.
Thanks Gordon and Carol, for a lovely time. Hope we can catch up again soon.
A week ago, on Monday 5th March we visited the Village of Oradour sur Glane. In June 1944, Waffen SS soldiers massacred 642 men women and children and attempted to destroy the village. The village was not rebuilt, and kept as it stood, as a memorial. It is a horrific story but one worth reading about.
In the sun it was easy to appreciate what a beautiful village this used to be, yet equally difficult to process how the massacre came to happen.
In the first week of March 2018 we have visited some sites associated with the D-Day landings in June 1944. Some may better know this as the horrific opening scenes to Saving Private Ryan. That was Omaha beach. We visited Omaha beach, and also Gold beach. The cannons and rangefinding bunker at Longues sur Mer, the remains of the Mulberry Harbour near Arromanche-les-baines. We also saw the US Cemetery and memorial at Omaha beach and some tanks outside the Overlord Museum.
The weather has warmed up and we’ve seen a bit of sun and rain which is welcome after all the freezing weather recently.
28th Feb we visited the Tyne Cot World War 1 memorial near Ypres in Belgium, where a relative from my mum's side of the family is commemorated. We weren't able to find a named grave, but we were able to find his name listed on one of at least 162 stone panels and an unnamed soldier headstone for the Northumberland Fusiliers.
Joseph Sidney Brady died on 22nd October 1917.
A beautiful but bitterly cold day. Hard to comprehend how it would have been to be here just over 100 years ago.