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Everything posted by cvabishop

  1. If BF offer a hotel in the area you want to go then doing an inclusive short break with them is usually a no brainer. Breakfast is normally included too which can save quite a bit over having to purchase it. Sometimes you get one night free as well.
  2. In my experience, which confirms what you have seen on Roadwatch, the M25 starts clogging up from early afternoon on Sundays particularly between the M40 and Junction 11 for Chertsey. It tends to get worse as the afternoon progresses. The M25 is also a lottery when busy, one collision and you can be easily looking at a further delay of an hour or more. In your position, and assuming that you have got the day free, I would travel down in the morning and spend a bit of time in Portsmouth before your sailing. Once you have got to the M3 on the M25 and traffic is moving you may as well stay on it as the A3 is usually pretty good these days southbound at weekends. (Not so good northbound approaching the M25 on Sunday afternoons though.)
  3. What time are you travelling?
  4. Thanks for the report and super photos Brigitte, it's a while since we were last there so nice to see it again. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Colin
  5. I think he was something of a disappointment.Worthy rhetoric but insufficient substance, Talking the talk is OK but you need to act as well and he as too indecisive.. An opportunity lost in many respects.
  6. Quite an adventure for her. The Saints have proved good value over the years.
  7. They were indeed brave - but they also didn't have much choice! But that does not detract from the debt we owe them.
  8. Your Grandfather should have gone back. Many Germans fell in love with Greece and rightly so. As it happens we are off to western Crete on Saturday for a week. The apartments we are staying at are particularly popular with Germans who are welcome. On a previous visit we met a German couple who had settled in the area and run a small tourist business. They were very nice people and clearly loved the island as we do. Not very far from where we are staying is the German Military Cemetery where many of the parachutists that invaded Crete are buried. There is an Allied military cemetery at Souda Bay not all that far away too. What a waste of such young lives.
  9. The news channels gear their output to public consumption and naturally in the circumstances focus on D Day itself. Those of us with a more in depth knowledge of the history can place it into context with the subsequent battle of Normandy and breakout to the Rhine. I don't think you can reasonably expect any more interest from the bulk of today's population, most of whom have only the vaguest grasp of even recent history. Personally I have visited most of the sites associated with the D Day landings and the subsequent fighting inland and also the various military cemeteries which marked the progress of the invading forces. I have also visited many of the WW1 Western Front sites. Verdun strikes a chill into your heart even now. Interesting to hear of your German maternal Grandfather's experiences. Not all Germans were bad obviously and all credit to him. But over the years when visitintg differerent areas all over the Continent one thing that has made a deep impression on my Wife and myself is the sheer number of memorials to executions and atrocities by Nazi forces during the WW2 period. You see them everywhere. I do not associate these in any way with most of today's German citizens who have been brought up under very different conditions and who I have always found to be extremely pleasant people and I sympathise with the burden thay have to carry relating to the actions of many of their forebears for whom they are not in any way responsible. I really don't think that the port of registry of Boudicca is in any way significant. It is just a paperwork and taxation issue in the same way that today's 'Cunarders' are registered in Bernuda. Very few ships of significant size are registered in the UK these days. Shipowners have always been unsentimental when it comes to such things.
  10. Not sure what would be open from 22:00 though and wandering around Tallin after dark late at night seems a bit pointless.
  11. Yes, it certainly makes sense to book the hotel with BF, usually makes a big difference compared with doing your own thing.
  12. Yes, day trips can be a bit of a rush although St Malo does lend itself to a 24hr excursion with options along the coast in both directions or inland plus a meal in the Intra Muros I've not priced up any short breaks this year but we did one down to the Loire Valley last year to view some of the Chateaux which was good value. I think you have to look at it on the basis that day trips are exceptionally cheap although cabins each way can jack up the costs and that a fairer comparison should be made with the cost of a short break in the UK. Decent B&Bs or 3 star hotels over here can be surprisingly expensive unless you settle for a Travelodge or chain hotel out of town whereas many French B&B hotels in Brittany and Normandy can be very pleasant places to stay in attractive locations and with local cusine as opposed to steak and chips at the nearby Brewer's Fayre! In the end it's whether the overal package cost seems reasonable for the enjoyment you get. There are some nice hotels in Bayeux or along the coast which make great bases for exploring the landing beaches and local area. Look at mid week travel options too, we have found Monday to Thursday can often be cheaper.
  13. If you are interested in nit picking then Bretagne appears to be the place to do it looking at the other topic...
  14. Carried in their bedrolls you mean?
  15. I have noticed a lot of cheap one way flights out of the UK with the low costs carriers but it can be a different matter altogether if you want to come home again!
  16. I only have it for breakfast... We buy filled baguettes for lunch.
  17. I just buy it and eat it, no problem.....
  18. So the engine 'problem' was a fire then.
  19. Did you have Russian visas? Or some other arrangements? I must confess that we found the place rather alien in many respects.
  20. Two cars burning furiously in the middle of the road. Subsequently heard there were people inside. Not nice at all but the way that traffic was just treating it as an obstruction to be negotiated was quite upsetting really. Some people regard Russia as part of Europe but it isn't at all, attitudes are very different there. Helsinki and Tallinn on either side of the gulf were fine, totally European and Tallinn is a great place to visit very walkable in the lovely old city and a short tram ride from the old city to the palace quarter for more exploration. I'd go back anytime. Helsinki is quite good but more sprawled out in terms of attractions. A local excursion would be a good way to see the main sites as we did. My feeling with Russia is similar to what we experienced in Egypt. There are some absolutely amazing sights to be seen but the only really safe way is to use a local tour operator who will give you the guided tour in a safe bubble. Don't be put off but make sure it's safety first. I wish things were not that way but they are. You won't regret it though. Just for the record, our cruise called at Stockholm, lovely place and Copenhagen, needs no introduction. A pleasant surprise was Warnemunde in Germany. It is touted as a port to visit Berlin which is hours and hours away by coach but the port itself is really nice, we thought it was similar to Weymouth in the UK plus a short train ride will take you to nearby Rostock with its attractive medieveal centre. Very much underrated. We enjoyed our Baltic cruise as it offered the opportunity to visit a lot of very different countries in a short time which could have been quite expensive by other means although ferries may indeed offer a viable alternative. Just do your homework first!
  21. This is where the Wightlink service has gone downhill. By changing to a less frequent service handled by just two large ferries they have left themselves vulnerable to major disruption in case of breakdown. Of course it was predictable but the new arrangements cut costs at the expense of reliablility and customer service. Underneath the positive veneer, passengers are getting a significantly worse service overall but the accounting bottom line is still protected. Depressing really, just like the airlines.
  22. I don't think it is somewhere you'd want to visit without being cocooned in the embraces of a local tour operator but the palaces and the Hermitage are stupendous. Might be worth looking at recommendations on sites such as Cruise Critic. I won't republish my highway photos as people on here thought they were too graphic at the time.
  23. If you want to visit St Petersburg then plan very carefully as entry requirements are stringent and travel arrangements can be difficult unless you make arrangements in advance with a local tour operator such as those which serve the cruise lines. We visited for 48 hours as part of a Baltic Cruise and the sights in the city are amazing but the road and driving standards absolutely terrifying. During our two days we saw 32 accidents from the coach one involving people in burning vehicles in the road with casualties on the verge and the traffic just driving around it all.
  24. Hello Fadah, hello Mudda, I have got a dodgy ruddah And I think I must inform ya That I cannot turn around a corner But the ship yard they will sort it Even if they have to force it Cos I must return to operations Despite these odd aberrations My passengers rely upon me To discharge them where they wannabe And I’m really, really trying Even on three engines striving I will get you to your destination Maybe late but not much waiting So as you drive off to your vacation Criticism should be lost in transalation
  25. The problem is that everyone is egging everybody else on... We have invented perpetual momentum...
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