31 March 2017

Vimy 100

Checked the website again to see what the travel arrangements are in place and with 9 days to go to the event, there is still nothing about the parking and shuttle up to the site.

There is an update regarding the e-ticketing to the event and for some reason, the French Government has asked that the e-tickets are sent out again.  

"Important Information – New E-tickets being issued

As a result of new measures in place put in at the request of the Government of France, Veterans Affairs Canada is issuing new e-tickets to everyone registered to attend the commemorative ceremony.
All e-tickets will be distributed by April 1, 2017. Further information about shuttles and parking will be provided in the coming days on the Veterans Affairs Canada website at Canada.ca/Vimy-100.
For those who previously received an e-ticket, please replace it with this new e-ticket. Please bring a copy of your official e-ticket and government-issued photo identification, such as a passport, national photo I.D. card or driver's license, on the day of the event. As the wireless network in the area may be very limited, it is highly recommended that people bring a printed copy with them to the site.
Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with our partners including the Canadian Embassy and French authorities on all aspects of these events including registration and accreditation, security and transportation."

See what happens.

UPDATE 2nd April.

At last the parking and shuttle bus information have been updated on the website.  There are places not that far from the Memorial site and I have loaded one into the satnav. 

The trip from home is about 105 miles and that includes the Shuttle mileage.  

28 March 2017

Vimy 100

It's less than two weeks to go. I have my ferry booked and even took up the P&O offer to have RAC cover just in case Pepé breaks down.  Like all insurances you might never need it but...

So whilst I have a while before I need to pack the big lock and the panniers with stuff to wear whilst on foot at the ceremony, my thoughts turn to where to park.

The monument itself will be closed to the public, or at least private vehicles, with a shuttle bus service being laid on to take the public up there. As yet, there are no details in the website to say where the parking will be nor where the shuttle buses will run from. I assume as with the Somme 100 event last July the two will be about the same place. But where?

The FAQ:

Q 8: Will there be parking available onsite for the April 9th ceremony? Will there be accessible parking for those with mobility impairment? Will the site be wheelchair accessible?
A 8: There will be no vehicle access to the Vimy Memorial site for the ceremony on April 9. The Vimy Memorial site will be accessible to those with mobility impairments. More information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.
Q 10: Will transportation be available to and from the ceremony?
A 10: A public shuttle system will operate to transport the public to and from the Vimy site. Information about shuttle schedule, pickup points and designated parking will be posted here as it becomes available.
At the moment none too helpful. I go and check everyday.  I need to get the parking/shuttle into the TomTom so that I can find it off the A26 motorway.

On this trip I will be Johnny No-mates but I expected as much.  Things to do nearer the time. Decide what camera to take and charge the batteries up. Canon DSLR or Samsung compact?  Charge up the external power supplies for the mobile phone. 
A couple of pictures off the Canadian site.

19 March 2017

Ride out

Today would have been the Meldrews' March meeting but most of the regulars were away and I was down with a cold. So I didn't feel like a breakfast meeting.

We took the dog for his walk and were back for lunch.  By 3pm I needed to get out and so it was.

Firing up the engine I saw that the miles to empty on the clock was 12. I am sure it would have been more when I was last out. Obviously not.

First stop was Tesco for petrol.  A ride up the A20 and past the Blue and White where I should have been some five hours earlier.  No waiting but annoying that "pay at the pump" wasn't working again. Always seems up the swanee when I am on the bike.

Where next? I decided to head for the coast and then loop back home. So opted for the B2070 to Brenzett and then the A259 to Romney, then Lydd and onto the Dungeness Estate. I was too late for the railway cafe although there was a train in the station.

Instead I tried to get a pic of the bike by the old lighthouse. The sun wasn't doing me any favours and so I took just the one.

From there it was back along the newly resurfaced estate road back to the public road and along the coast back to the 259 and home. A short detour across country via Burmarsh and West Hythe.

I was out about 90 minutes in all and for mid March it wasn't too cold.

In the picture you can just make out Pepé in the dark shadow. 

6 March 2017

Vimy 2017

Planning has begun on the first run of the year. This trip will be to Vimy in Northern France. 

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Arras, and in particular the Canadian assault on the enemy held ridge at Vimy to the north-west of the city.

I have been several times before, lastly in 2014 and in 2015 I had a heart operation just days before it took place! I was unable to go last year even though it was a Saturday.

This will be a Johnny No-Mates trip as we had originally planned to have it as a Meldrews event but when we found that Eurotunnel had no day tickets to sell as it is the week before Easter, we dropped it.

The date is as always April 9th and this year it is a Sunday.


Report later.

UPDATE 3rd April 2017:

I saw on Facebook that one of the bike groups I joined a while back are having a day trip to France on the 9th to have a hoon around and lunch. So I got on the Eurotunnel site and saw that day trips arr now available. So I booked myself on the 0850 returning at 2020. This should give me time to get here in good time and then get away again after the shuttle buses take us back to the parking and then the 80 miles ride back to the port.

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