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We're off on a jolly


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On Thursday afternoon my wife and I together with our TSSC friends Jerry and Judith in their GT6 are setting off for a jolly little tour around Normandy and Brittany. On the way to Portsmouth we'll be meeting up with another couple in a Gilbern Invader who are joining us on our trip. I will do my best to give a daily update with a few pictures thrown in.

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Please do! I've been a long-time fan of Breton music and always meant to get to the Lorient Festival... maybe some day.

There's a Gilbern not far from me, the owner was very impressed that I knew what it was and knew a bit about the brand as apparently few callers did; if I remember correctly it had a 3.0 Essex V6 engine same as my Scimitar used to have. .

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Please do! I've been a long-time fan of Breton music and always meant to get to the Lorient Festival... maybe some day.

There's a Gilbern not far from me, the owner was very impressed that I knew what it was and knew a bit about the brand as apparently few callers did; if I remember correctly it had a 3.0 Essex V6 engine same as my Scimitar used to have. .

 

Absolutely right Colin; Ford Essex. I've ridden in it and it is a very solidly built quality motor car. Pic attached. The 911 isn't joining us this time but Jerry and Judith are in their Mimosa MK3 GT6. Second pic.

 

Now, I'm a bit worried about this Breton music you mention. Are you in to that Fez Noz stuff? It has a strong following down here in Devon and they even have Fez Noz nights in a village just outside Exeter. It is Celtic music and I guess very similar to traditional Irish folk music. As a musician I'm sure you'll put me right on that.

 

Back to our trip. We are off tomorrow for a short drive to Dorchester stopping on the way for a cream tea. On Friday morning we continue to Portsmouth meeting up with Roger and Jan and the Gilbern mid morning for a coffee break. this will be the accent of the trip. Short drives and plenty of stops.gallery_67_84_38929.jpggallery_67_84_93181.jpg

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"We are off tomorrow for a short drive to Dorchester stopping on the way for a cream tea. On Friday morning we continue to Portsmouth meeting up with Roger and Jan and the Gilbern mid morning for a coffee break. this will be the accent of the trip. Short drives and plenty of stops"

 

Sounds like my sort of trip. I hope you have cake with the coffee!

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Now, I'm a bit worried about this Breton music you mention. Are you in to that Fez Noz stuff? It has a strong following down here in Devon and they even have Fez Noz nights in a village just outside Exeter. It is Celtic music and I guess very similar to traditional Irish folk music. As a musician I'm sure you'll put me right on that.

 

 

 

Yes - that's the stuff, I've been a folkie all my life and apart from the local Ulster-Scots trad we have Irish, Scots, English (not so much Welsh?) French, Canadian, and a lot of East European stuff in the repertoires I play these days. Even tried Greek stuff (my avatar is me practicing in the Peloponnese prior to a few concerts around 2013 / 14) and I've found that the best way to learn about a culture - and make some great friends - is to learn their music. Second way is to learn about their cars...

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Yes - that's the stuff, I've been a folkie all my life and apart from the local Ulster-Scots trad we have Irish, Scots, English (not so much Welsh?) French, Canadian, and a lot of East European stuff in the repertoires I play these days. Even tried Greek stuff (my avatar is me practicing in the Peloponnese prior to a few concerts around 2013 / 14) and I've found that the best way to learn about a culture - and make some great friends - is to learn their music. Second way is to learn about their cars...

Indeed you are right Colin. Find a common interest and build on that.

 

Well, we are now at Ouistreham and so far, all has gone pretty much to plan. We met up with the Gilbern at Wickham just outside Portsmouth and spent a very pleasant hour over a cup of coffee before driving on to Portsmouth and the ferrymed_gallery_67_84_22945.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_90539.jpg

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Another really nicemed_gallery_67_84_959.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_68633.jpg day today; great weather, interesting places and some good driving.

 

First off we drove to Pegasus Bridge and went in to the Cafe still owned by la famille Gondree who were actually there during the allied assault and the taking of the bridge which was vital to the success of the operation. How on earth our pilots managed to land troop carrying gliders on a postage stamp in the middle of the night beggers belief. The atmosphere and being there was very moving.

 

We drove along the coast past the landing beaches to Arromanches where their is an incredible museum and thence to Bayeux to view the tapestry. That in itself was amazing; a thousand years old and has survived unscathed.

 

The followed a really good drive up to the picturesque fishing town of Honfleur.

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Just watched a program that included the lady who owns the cafe there who was a child when the gliders landed, a real life story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And much of it incredibly sad (but necessary)

 

Anyway, glad you are enjoying the trip, hope the weather is being kind.And the cakes delicious.

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Just watched a program that included the lady who owns the cafe there who was a child when the gliders landed, a real life story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And much of it incredibly sad (but necessary)

 

Anyway, glad you are enjoying the trip, hope the weather is being kind.And the cakes delicious.

Yes all very good thank you Clive. The weather so far has been glorious but so far, no cakes  :(

 

I didn't get to speak to the lady you mention but she was pointed out to me by the waitress and she is the granddaughter of the original owners who passed vital information to the allies. It is interesting that the glider training for the operation took place in Exeter where the canal bridge and its position more or less replicates Pegasus. 

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The day didn't get off to the best of starts. Apart from the rain, when we came down to the hotel car park to leave we found that both the Gilbern and my car had suffered damage from careless drivers. The Gilbern had paint damage where a door had been opened onto it and my own had been side swiped by the car next to it who had reversed out of the space and turned too soon. Apart from damage to the paint the wing itself has been pushed in and the bonnet moved so that the door fouls it when opened. All a bit of a pain really.

 

Other than that the day went well with a visit to Honfleur which is a very picturesque fishing port and then on to Chateau Gaillard and Giverny the home of Claude Monet.med_gallery_67_84_38355.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_5503.jpg

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Hello.

 

I think that coincidence is somewhat unlikely, bearing in mind the recent unacceptable English behaviour we have seen since the start of Euro2016. 

 

Ill feeling will be running high with many French citizens at the moment, who can blame them when their lovely country and hospitality is abused, and I doubt anything about the UK at the moment is going to be viewed in a good light.

 

Once again a small minority of people spoil it for the majority, and those completely disconnected with Euro2016 become innocent victims.

 

We are visiting France next week and without a doubt we will carry an edge of shame and embarrassment as a result of these dreadful skirmishes & scenes.

 

One can only hope for an early exit out of the competition so that the dust settles and these mindless idiots return to our shores   - unpatriotic no, realistic yes.

 

Regards.

 

Richard.

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The drama of yesterday morning has now been firmly put behind us and today is another day and what a good one it has been too. We stayed last night in a superb hotel at Giverny 100 metres from Monet's Garden and with our pre-bought tickets we were first in ahead of the crowds. The garden had suffered as a result of the heavy rain but it was still magnificent, particularly the lily pond in the Japanese Garden. And so much atmosphere in the house. It really is a very nice place to visit. From there we've headed North on some wonderful pin straight real driving roads and all three cars were in their element. We stopped in Vermeuil for refreshment and to let them cool down.med_gallery_67_84_143748.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_82133.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_123744.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_74427.jpgmed_gallery_67_84_19130.jpg

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What a good trip this has turned out to be with another day of superb driving and sightseeing at Mont Saint Michel. We seemed to drive for miles on end on straight roads without any traffic and plenty of opportunities to stop off for a coffee whenever the need arose. Tomorrow we leave Normandy and slip over the Border into Brittany to visit the Parc Floral.med_gallery_67_84_51035.jpg.

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Yesterday we visited the Parc Floral near Fougeres which we all enjoyed even more than Monet's Garden. Set in fifty acres it is on a much larger scale and the sheer variety of the planting is stunning. But more than that it was the peace and tranquillity that was so impressive. It must be one of France's best kept secrets. We were almost the only people there.

 http://www.parcs-et-jardins.net/index.html

 

Last night we stayed at Treguier in company with half a dozen Morgans en route to Le Mans.

 

So what of the cars. How have they behaved? So far, we've covered about six hundred miles since leaving home and none have developed any serious problems. Roger has discovered that the sun roof on the Gilbern leaks and over the week it has shipped an impressive amount of water. Fortunately rust will not be a problem. Jerry's GT6 is still work in progress and there are still a few things to iron out; principally the overdrive which cuts in and out randomly. I'm pretty certain this is being caused by the gear lever loom shorting out. Suspension bushes and engine mounts need replacing which should eliminate all the clonks and bonks. My own car has done really well and its performance is better than I could ever imagined. It is not a restful car to drive because of the noise but the engine is a sheer delight and the car is so quick through corners; everything I wanted.

 

So it's back to Roscoff this morning and home on the afternoon ferrygallery_67_84_17750.jpggallery_67_84_10495.jpg

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Hello John.

 

This has been an enjoyable travel log to read and the accompanying pictures have done the script proud. Monet's Garden is a particular venue we wish to visit; although not next week as we are heading to Tours and then the Cognac region.

 

Many thanks for taking the time to place the updates. Safe travel.

 

Regards.

 

Richard.  

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Hello John.

 

Just to let you know the July issue of Classics Monthly (having just popped through my letterbox) has a six page article on your GT4.

 

Not read it yet, but looks in-depth and an excellent read.

 

Well done.

 

Regards.

 

Richard.

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Hello John

                 I enjoyed your blog and it has got me thinking perhaps? I can do the same?

 

We are off on Monday on what we are calling our Italian trip sailing Portsmouth to Le Havre (overnight ferry and yes I have booked a cabin££££)

 

The plan then is 300 miles to first stop then another 300 to Italy(Via the Col du Mont Cenis pass) we hope or maybe on the way back?

 

http://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/france/228-mont-cenis-france.html

 

Then we will travel down the amalfi coast to Pompei then across country to Matera(cave houses etc)

 

Then wander back up the middle to Civita.

 

http://www.romeartlover.it/Bagnoregio.html

 

Then over to Pisa.

 

Then retrace our steps back up to Classic Le mans.

 

Then after that couple of days at Normandy landings area.

 

All hotels etc booked via booking.com. route roughly worked out?

 

Now the panic is starting to set in as it looks like we will cover about 3500 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Still I went to classic Spa with my son a few weeks ago and did 1000 miles Thursday night to Monday night.

 

So what could possibly go wrong? after all we are only in a 35 year old car with a combined age of 173 with driver and passenger!!!!!

 

Roger

post-44-0-32188600-1466083187_thumb.jpg

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Hello John.

 

Just to let you know the July issue of Classics Monthly (having just popped through my letterbox) has a six page article on your GT4.

 

Not read it yet, but looks in-depth and an excellent read.

 

Well done.

 

Regards.

 

Richard.

 

Thank you for the heads up Richard. I picked up a copy of Classics Monthly yesterday and I'm very pleased with the article. It's well written and apart from one or two errors it's spot on.

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