Normandy

From the beginning of my travel, one of the biggest things I hoped to accomplish, was to find the resting place of my Great Grandfather.  I knew he died in Normandy, France in World War One.

I figured a good place to start my was in the middle of Normandy. Doing no research beforehand, I picked Caen.

Caen is a beautiful place.

Caen

I spend a few weeks there doing research and visiting historical sites and cities near by.

Bayeux, one of the cities near Caen, was unbelievable. It’s a little town with canals running through parts of it. Picturesque!

Bayeux

Having seen many World War Two movies and studying Canada’s contributions on the subject, I had to visit Juno Beach.

Juno Beach

As part of the reseach, I was discussing my findings with family. After a conversation, I found he died in the Battle of Amiens.  This gave me a date to go along with his full name.  With those two bits of information, I found his resting place through an online grave index.  Amazingly, his record had the address he lived at in Vancouver.  I cross referenced this with marriage records of my Grandaunt, which had that same address. 100% this was my Great Grandfather.  He is buried in a small town outside of Amiens.

And I was off to Amiens….By way of Prauge, Krakow, Dublin and Kiyv.  I’ll skip those for now, however.

Amiens

I spent a week in Amiens, wandering around and taking in this beaufitul place.

I also took a couple side trips.  One was to see Vimy Ridge Memorial

Vimy

Unexploded ordinace across the street from Vimy!

A bicycling detour had me happen across an old WW2 firing position in a field.

I did a day trip to Lens and Battle of Hill 70 memorial site.

Lens

Battle of Hill 70 Memorial

On the train to Lens, I had a transfer in Arras.  I took the time to explore the city and stumbled across a Summer sausage festival.  The Feast of Andouillette.

Arras

Of course, I did all of this exploration after visiting a little town called Rosières where my Great Grandfather rests.

Rosières

Rest in Peace.

Festival Of Speed

For about a year, I had been excitedly waiting for the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed. I bought the tickets about 10 months before the date of the Festival.

After selling off my possessions, this was the only thing I was nervous about travelling with. Everything else, I can live without or replace.

When the day came, I was happier than a butcher’s dog.

Flying into London was a bit of an event. At the border, the guards were leaning to not letting me in. I think they didn’t realize I had a visa from the French government and were concerned I had overstayed a Schengen visa. Once the senior guard noticed this, I was stamped through.

My night in London was larger than I expected. I met a friend (and then another) and ended up on the tiles until after 1 AM. Getting up, getting my rental car, navigating London traffic on the opposite side of the road was quite an adventure. Adding on top of this, the crummy in car USB wasn’t producing enough power to charge my phone and run Google Maps at the same time.  It was a touch stressful.

I prevailed.

Goodwood and the Festival of Speed was a blast.  Camping was cool. I picked up a little tent on the way down, so I was sorted.

The event itself was amazing. The weather behaved and it was sunny most of the time.  I also got to take in some of the dream cars from my youth. Here are some of the highlights of the event.

There were Ferraris.

There were Pagani Zondas.

A sweet Koenigsegg CC8S…

My dream car, a 1993 McLaren F1 (This one is a prototype XPS I believe?)

A Jaguar XJ220

I also saw The Hoonigan Ford Escort

As well as this cute couple in the “exotics parking” area.

While walking around and snapping these pictures of the cars was a trip, the coolest part of the event was the hill climb.  So many classic cars charging the hill, along with drift cars, current winning cars and so many more.

I would do this trip again, in a heart beat.  Maybe, I’ll skip navigating London traffic with a hangover. Or, maybe, all together.