Grandad WW2 cycle trip: back to Blighty

posted on January 2, 2015 in Cycling,Travel

Argentan was where we finished the homage to Grandad, needing to head back up to our start point in Caen about 50 miles away. One day we might retake up a different section of the route. After all, there is a continuous line charting his journey, covering the 13 maps and taking in several countries across Northern Europe.

We headed North to Falaise (another significant location in the Battle for Normandy; The Falaise Pocket), pit stopped (croissant, coffee, jam, baguette, orange juice) and then North East onto a road we had been recommended by a friend’s cycle trip 20 years earlier. The D511 if you’re interested, it was ludicrously arrow straight. Even with the bikes fully loaded we chain ganged at about 20mph the full route up to Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (coffee, more pastries). With plenty of time until the return ferry, we sauntered the remainder of the journey. Recrossing Pegasus bridge (from the opposite direction) and then the last few miles up to the ferry port at Ouistreham.

At Ouistreham we stopped for a meal, a beer (“Oui une grande bière se il vous plaît!”) and to reflect on our little adventure. It had been a terrific few days, largely due to Lew’s diligent planning and hardened our resolve to undertake a similar trip the following year. I think Grandad would have been quietly impressed with our little cycle. I can imagine showing him the photos and the route we took and him ‘mm-hmm’ing in approval. Sadly it’s too late for that now, but it felt like an appropriate nod in his memory.

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