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Travelling in northern France/Belgium

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bootlegga

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Posted: 2004-08-19 00:57:00   

Hi, I'm planning a trip to Europe to see Normandy and the Channel coast and I'm looking for anyone who might live there or have travelled there for some travel tips.



I'm planning on flying into the UK, and then using Ryanair to get around, but any tips on lodging, trains, food, etc would be great!



I've checked the Travel reports sections, but they mainly focus on Paris and Brussels, neither of which I plan on spending too much time in...

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"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." – Mark Twain


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spasmotronic


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Posted: 2004-08-19 01:20:00   

Gent is definately worth a visit, very picturesque and very unique architecture... attractions - local brewies/good beer only found within Gent, the churches made from bricks, the lace if you are into that kind of thing. Easy to get there on the train from Brussels. While you are in Brussels check out Le Corbeau, a rather unassuming bar easily walked past. By day a quintessential Belgium bar by night it transforms into a huge party with everyone dancing on the tables... excellent place to meet people as their clientel is a broad spectrum of society there - 18-20 rue St-Michel . There are some other fantastic bars in Brussels, contact me for more info... I lived there two years and miss it. Also take time to head down to the south of the city along Avenue Louise... its beautiful, especially along some of the side streets... lots of little shops and restaurants.

Lived in Paris two years if you want some advice.



Adam


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mortimer

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Posted: 2004-08-20 13:40:00   

Hi James

We have been there in February. You can check out this homepage for the belgian part of your journey www.dekust.org a very good site in english, german, french and netherlands. It has informations about all the coastal towns from de panne to knokke.

We spent a week there and did a lot of sightseeing. Lille, Brugge, Leper, Veurne are all nice towns to go to with a lot of sihgtseeing, churches, museums, war memorials.... to do. Don't miss out war cemetrys they are all over flanders. There are also some part of trenches to be visited in Flanders I just don't remeber in which town they were. In Oostende there is part of the atlantic wall to be visited the park is called Domain Raversijde.

In terms of restaurants there are plenty all around, we liked t'sand in Blankenberge,'t Kantientje in Knokke (great and a lot of mussels!!!), de Kruidenmolen in klemskerke just to name a few.

For more good information you can alway look at www.viamichelin.com

In terms of transportation there is the coastal tramway that links all the belgian coastal towns.

Hope to have been helpful

martin

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bootlegga

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Posted: 2004-08-20 16:51:00   

Thanks for the tips!



Actually, the main reason I'm going is to see the war cemetaries and memorials, as I'm a bit of a history buff. I'm hoping to start at Juno beach (Courseulles, Normandy), and then head up the coast from there, the same way Canadian troops would have in 1944/45. I hope to go right through the Schledt in Belgium and into the Netherlands, and then head into Germany. If I have time on the way back, I'll check out Paris and London.

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"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." – Mark Twain


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mortimer

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Posted: 2004-08-20 17:58:00   

Hi James

We haven't done a lot of ww2 because we stayed most of the times in belgium the main thing there is ww1. Still, if you go there you really have to go to Leper and to the biggest british ww1 cemetry which is very close by 9km and has some 11000 crosses and names of 35000 brits who died after the august 16 1917 there sure are a lot of canadian names to find.

martin

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nedkelly

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Posted: 2004-08-21 18:34:00   

Hey there Bootlegga,

Now Im sorry if this is a little vague , but once me and a couple of mates got bored with uni and took a road trip to belgium and we went through Ypres, there are loads of cemetry things there too but we found this cool place where a farmer had renovated a trench system and everything is as was. Theres some form of museum there too with things the guy found in his fields, quite harrowing but Very educational. There is also a bar that serves cheap beer so we had the best of both worlds. Im sorrry the details are not too hot but I know the place was somewhere neer Ypres. and I dont think theres too much more around there. oh befor I forget where abouts in the Nederlands will you be heading , I used to live there so give me some details and Ill see what I can do.

Ride Free



Matt





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mortimer

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Posted: 2004-08-23 13:17:00   

Hi Bootlega



Another interesting link for your trip http://www.normandiememoire.org



martin

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thierry


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Posted: 2004-09-07 00:25:00   

check the www.gent.be site of my hometown, look under toerisme if you search a little you can find the english version. Good luck!


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rafa01

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Posted: 2004-09-12 00:06:00   

You may try to come over from the UK by Ferry and have a stop on Guernsey and Jersey if you are not short on time. Definitely a recommended place to visit. I would not go in late fall because this region is well known for heavy storms and lots of rain. Try the filled mushrooms with escargots in one of the many excellent Restaurants in Brussel around the Grand Place. Stay a day or two in Le Havre or Dieppe and have a nice time;-)

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xzorky

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Posted: 2004-10-05 16:29:00   

Hi Bootlegga,



I hope I'm not too late for your trip.

Anyways, I live in Belgium, so I recognised everything you people talked about.

When you go to Ieper (not Leper :o)), be sure to pass the "In Flanders Fields" museum and area's. There are indeed English cemetaries, but there are also German ones. It is really interesting to see the difference between all those.



I you would like to follow "De Schelde" (the river) up to the Netherlands and then going on to Germany, I must tell you there are enormous traffic works around Antwerpen. So if you go by car, try not to get stuck in the Antwerpen traffic or you will lose about a day.



Gent is also definately a must see. Lot's of musea and churches.

And when you're on your way towards the Netherlands, do pass my village (Dendermonde). The market place is just renewed and has now a more social feeling. And go have a drink in "'t Belfort" then. That's the second cafe on your right when you're standing with your back towards the town house.

I go there during the weekend-evenings, mostly ;o)



Greetings

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