Dambuster Tour 2018

Discussion in 'Long Ride Reports' started by Davy F, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    8 days, 2300ish miles, virtually wall to wall sunshine throughout and plenty of sights seen. Although I have a few riding friends, I tend to head off on my own as i like doing my own thing and not everyone is interested in the same things. Plus my tours are very A to B to C type travels and that doesn’t suit some either.

    So, catching the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry was an early morning start with a great route through the New Galloway forest and up over the North Pennines heading down beautiful English countryside past old mining collieries and stately homes.
    I had most of the first day to do this and needed to catch the overnight Hull to Zeebrugga ferry and managed to keep off motorways for the entire journey bar about 10 miles near the very end.

    On arriving at the ferry terminal, I joined a fleet of expensive cars heading to the classic weekend at Le Mans. There must have been a couple of million pounds worth getting on boards and loving cars as much as bikes, was a real treat to see.


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  2. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    The ferry was late leaving, late arriving and motorcycles and bicycles were last off so I had to drop my intended visit to Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s grave and headed straight for the WW2 museum at Overloon. This was my first visit to this museum and I have to say how impressive it was. It wasn’t just row after row of vehicles and cases of weapons. They basically had done some life size diaramas which was great and helped give some perspective. They also had some kit that I’d never seen before or even heard off such as the big amphibious vehicle in the bottom pic.

    7928A28D-4BA9-4FC8-A562-0F38838D5C72.jpeg 1F0DAD82-CDD6-4EA4-96FA-E1573726E85C.jpeg 51E0EA98-D486-4E39-8CB8-BB776C48E13B.jpeg FA0680C3-D341-4D09-AD43-437E9EA098BB.jpeg
     
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  3. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    EECE8BE3-5149-4C85-A0A7-D86DB1C30041.jpeg 9257CC83-E982-496E-94AB-F899C090C965.jpeg 961DCE2B-57FB-4BB6-A85D-ED4378787B2F.jpeg There was also a convoy of American vehicles owned by a group of English guys who were on a two week tour around the Netherlands, Belgium and France. It was fun to watch them rolling in around the museum and to chat with the owners.
     
  4. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    77B552BC-32F8-44AA-B95B-4D351BD3D80B.jpeg Cologne in Germany was my next stopover as I wanted to see the newly opened Michael Schumacher collection. This charts the cars from his racing career along with overalls, helmets, gloves etc etc. It’s held in Motorworld which has lots of lovely cars to see and is slightly sad when you think how his life has taken a turn for the worse.
     
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  5. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    AEDAA3D5-735E-488E-B746-3EC121403E01.jpeg Replica of the F1 world championship trophy
     
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  6. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    The beautiful Jordan. 1CA8DB63-5261-4534-ADD3-822453DAD09B.jpeg
     
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  7. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    68202EDD-219D-41B5-B844-7C23F32D4487.jpeg Race suits galore
     
  8. Graves

    Graves Moderator
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    Looks like you had a nice trip.

    While in Cologne did you stop by the cathedral? Amazing how much bullet and shrapnel damage remains.

     
  9. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    B5F61D2B-8572-464B-B42B-D32AB800399A.jpeg Day 3 and time to visit the Mohne and Eder Dams. These were the two that were breached by 617 Squadron on the 16/17 May 1943. Looking at the surrounding area, the Eder was the more difficult to target, but the bravery of the men who took part in Operation Chastise is not in doubt.
     
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  10. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    7E8F4AF8-6010-4A53-9F91-B15AA425FBAA.jpeg The Mohne is viewed as a peace monument these days. The Eder is very much a leisure area with lots of watersport activities available.
     
  11. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    I headed onward to my next overnight stop which was near Malmady in Belgium. I called into the SW Motech factory under the illusion they’d have a factory shop to buy lots of goodies from. Wrong !!!
    Most of the roads in Germany were fabulous with great surfaces and lots and lots of bends. 4DF97176-E727-4616-89A1-224E98773191.jpeg 1E622782-3DBD-410E-A581-1436DB22F1D1.jpeg
     
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  12. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    No, it wasn’t on my agenda.....but there’s always another time.
     
  13. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    5A3E2C40-5F55-405B-A799-A1C116CE0E88.jpeg My next two days were around the Bastogne Battle of the Bulge area. I visited loads of museums in this area which were all worthwhile to see. The nice thing is that as time goes by, museums and exhibits seem to get better as more people are now taking an interest in WW2 history.
     
  14. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    C04D4C1A-6955-4F8D-9988-96FE18403B33.jpeg Bastogne itself was especially colourful.
     
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  15. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    DB4E9F81-8D4A-45E9-AFEF-A2ABE0FA8026.jpeg The famous King Tiger.
     
  16. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    838BA063-AC8B-4950-8252-4CF9A0FE8FEA.jpeg Bastogne was very busy with loads of bikers parked about the town square.
     
  17. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    1C07056A-1075-4917-9CCC-2EBB74E155BE.jpeg After my second night in Belgium, it was time to head into France to visit La Coupole, also known as Coupole d'Helfaut-Wizernes ..... a German V1 & V2 rocket site not terribly far from Calais. The roof of this structure was so thick that bombs dropped by the RAF could not penetrate it. The roof alone weighs 55,000 tons and the complex was dug in beneath it. It was finally put out of action by the RAF dropping their (Grand Slam) earthquake bombs as near the complex as possible, making it unsafe for anyone to work in.
     
  18. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    21D2BDE9-2208-4E45-B795-8ED259F9EFF7.jpeg There’s an American Chaffee tank sitting outside the museum. Compared to the King Tiger, it’s like your Sunday Sports Tank that you take down to the shops for a wee run.
     
  19. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    #19 Davy F, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    B2680C80-A7E1-4759-BE59-67C90DEE23A7.jpeg C11700A9-4BB8-49D2-A4DC-182B46B85775.jpeg My final night on European soil was spent back in Belgium. Although I’d visited Ypres before, I never managed to see the 8 pm last post ceremony at the Menin Gate which is carried out every night by the local Fire Brigade. They close the roads off as there’s so many people attend this ceremony with some dignitaries and young people laying wreaths to the fallen. There’s 250,000 names of British and Commonwealth soldiers engraved on the walls of the Menin Gate.
     
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  20. Davy F

    Davy F Well-Known Member

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    The following morning it was off to Calais and the Eurotunnel to Folkstone in England. I was heading all the way north back to Scotland to get the ferry home. I could have gone a shorter route, but I had planned a final overnight stop near Keswick in the Lake District as I had a very important errand to carry out. There’s a sweet shop in Keswick called The Old Friers and it sells the most Devine home made fudge you’ll ever get to taste. My wife and her brother wouldn’t forgive me should I forget to bring a supply home with me.

    But before that, I called into the Triumph factory in Hinkley to visit their newly opened museum. Well blow me down but it was closed.....bugger.

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