The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Thursday, June 6, 2013

From the beaches of Normandy

I was driving down the country lanes in Wales when I went around a curve and was greeted by this scene.
I'm loving Wales. It is hilly and curvy and absolutely beautiful. I can't much understand the people, even though they are obviously speaking English, but everyone I meet is as friendly as my old Grandpa Sam.

I camped up on a cliff at a very nice campground and watched the sun set into the Irish Sea.  It was a gorgeous place to spend the night after my supper of stew and lettuce salad
It was just as pretty in the morning. An oatmeal breakfast and time to get back on the road.

One of the beautiful national parks in Wales is the Brecon Beacons. I road through this with my wife on our bicycles years ago, and what a difficult ride it was. I'm glad to have 650 cc's of power under me this time.
Part of these hills is open range for Welsh ponies and sheep. I didn't see any of the ponies, but the sheep are everywhere.
What do you think of this windmill. Someone lives in it. Won't see many of these in Wales.
Around noon I was back in England in the town of Portsmouth.
From here I want to take the ferry to Le Havre, France. It doesn't leave until 11 pm though. Gotta find some way to kill about 10 hours.
I decided to visit the docks. There are some fine old sailing ships docked here. I just love sailing ships.
This next ship if the HMS Victory. Do you know the story of this ship? It was Admiral Nelson's flagship, and it was on it the Nelson was shot and killed by an enemy rifleman at the Battle of Trafalgar. That is a famous battle; one of the most important in naval history.
I had a good time exploring the Victory. I learned a few things. For example, did you know that the "Seat of Easement" (the Toilet) was always at the head or the ship, and that it emptied into canvas tubes that carried the wastes down to the ocean.
This is a "monkey". Its job is to hold cannon balls.  I asked if they were ever made of brass, but I found out only the army used monkeys made of brass.
The army stacked their cannon balls on the brass monkey in a pyramid shape. You might be interested in knowing that brass shrinks when it gets cold. When it was cold enough, and the brass shrank enough, the cannon balls would fall off the monkey. Thus the saying:------ (You thought it was something else, didn't you. Be honest now.
Finally it was time to head for the ferry to France. There were dozens of motorcycle riders there.
We all took our motorcycles into the deepest bowels of the ship. And then we climbed up and up to the lounge area. There were some reclining chairs up there, but it was sure hard getting much sleep. It was fun talking with the other motorcycle riders though.

The ferry got to France at 8 am the next morning. I headed down along the coast of Normandy. DDay was exactly 69 years ago today.

First though, before looking at WWII scenes, I had to take a picture of two of some scenes in Normandy.

You have to be hard-hearted if the scenes of DDay do not bring a tear to your eye. Especially the cemeteries.

I am dead tired from lack of sleep, so I am going to crawl into my tiny tent and get some sleep. Tomorrow I think I will head toward the south of France. Lots of things down that-a-way I've never seen. Lourdes, for example. Until next time then---

No comments:

Post a Comment

To comment click on "comment as" and choose name/url. List your name (you can leave url blank). Make your comment and click on "publish". Please keep your comments clean and positive because my students and family also look at these pages. Ron