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About AdamW

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    BFE Staff
  • Birthday 28/06/1993

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  1. AdamW


    Snow now starting to fall a bit heavier here in Wiltshire, Bristol has a sprinkling this morning but for l think the next 18 hours will be critical. Relieved I'm not at the stage where I have to drive trains based on this morning, looks worse in this photo than it actually was:
  2. AdamW

    Sea City

    I think this is the 2nd series - first one featured Portsmouth if I remember correctly?
  3. AdamW

    Favourite French films

    I did too - first saw it during GCSE French all those years ago. Being a heart warming story, I make a habit of watching it every year before Christmas! "Il stawrwarisa son courrier" or something like that if you want to show the full range of verb declensions! Slightly different one, as many of the films so far present a 'picture perfect' image of (mainly) rural France - La Haine. Not so much an enjoyable film as such, but a significant one that was an interesting watch before my Year Abroad in Paris to understand that it's not all brasseries, croissants and wine.
  4. AdamW

    St Malo/Portsmouth 28/12/2017

    ...And given that a high percentage (can't remember the exact figure that's often quoted, but it's between 80 and 90%) are UK travellers, and as others have pointed out, in the UK many establishments serve 'foreign' cuisine for people that are after a decent (but not record-breaking/overly-ambitious) meal, it's therefore little surprise that UK tastes have such an influence on the self-service. That said, @zuludelta, I don't think your croissants are in any danger yet!
  5. AdamW

    St Malo

    St Malo at its best, lovely lighting as a backdrop
  6. AdamW

    CONDOR FERRIES: Condor Liberation

    Working on the railway, welcome to every single day at work
  7. On second thoughts yes, you're correct, it was Etretat. Got my wires crossed there as it was Baie de Seine that was loading at a similar time to us on the outward. Remember now as my dad remarked on the small superstructure of Etretat. In the end we docked first - at one point it did look as if Etretat was gaining on us but that could well have been a trick of the eye as darkness set in mid-channel. We were very much 'in the lead' by the time we entered the harbour area, even if Etretat was rather close behind by the time we had completed the manoeuvre for docking. One of the first vehicles off after the motorbikes and car-hunters were out of the way.
  8. Breakfast in the cabin - whilst this I imagine is what we still would have chosen had we have known (in the cabin, for my mother does not have great sealegs!), how does it work in the Deauville? Le Havre has the most to gain by the arrival of Honfleur - they get a 'proper' BF ship with the capacity increase and level of services on-board that comes with it; it will feel more integrated into the route network is my guess.
  9. Summer brought time to return to what has become a family tradition – the annual summer holiday to France. This time it was down to La Charente-Maritime to explore the area around La Rochelle. Saturday 09/09 – 08:15 Portsmouth – Ouistreham (Normandie) We had tried to book a commodore class cabin for both journeys, but this was only possible on this outward crossing. Boarding seemed to commence earlier than we’ve ever had before and so we were in the cabin with a good half an hour before departure – after the now obligatory bag check as we left the car deck. Other cabins were still being cleaned and readied although ours was good to go – I presume there is an effort to ensure the Commodore class cabins are ready? Breakfast was served at around 8 and as always it was immaculately presented. Out on deck then to watch the departure from Portsmouth, and I reflected on the fact that 20 years ago, as a family we were probably stood in the same place, doing the same thing, although if my memory is correct from one of the P&O ‘super Viking’ class, most likely Pride of Cherbourg was the vessel of choice for my first trip abroad. From there my love of France as a 4 year-old began and the rest, as they say, is history. Normandie was very lightly loaded for the crossing, and whilst the cabin facilities meant that we didn’t venture out much around the ship, Normandie is looking well for her age. The outside decks appear very well kept, and only some rather vintage neon signage and stained carpets give away her age and a clue to the workhorse she has been of the route. When she moves to the Le Havre route, it really will be a step change in the offering. Normandie at 25 looks nothing like Pont L’Abbé did in her late twenties when we did a return crossing on her around 10 years ago – having ‘one owner from new’ certainly has made the difference as the latter looked tired at the time. It was a slightly choppy crossing and arrival was bang on time into Ouistreham. A much quicker exit from the port this time around (no doubt due to the light loading) although still not like the ‘good old days’ when it was off the boat and out of the port in 10 minutes on the French side, guaranteed. The holiday was spent enjoying the region around La Rochelle, our first visit to this part of France and breaking the usual destination of Brittany or Normandy. We were very impressed by the area, and it was pleasant to stay in a town that was typically French and where presumably many a Parisian heads to over the summer (Chatelaillon-Plage), where Ile-de-France number plates outnumbered GB ones. Saturday 16/09 – 16:30 Ouistreham – Portsmouth (Normandie) The return trip was on Normandie once again (just like last year, with the out and back being on Normandie) although this time the crossing was markedly busier. We were loaded at the far end of deck 5, ensuring a quick disembarkation at Portsmouth – always a result. We were allocated a cabin on deck 6 this time, asking on the off chance if a (paid for) upgrade was available being met with a ‘malheureusement, non’. We left Ouistreham in much poorer weather than for our arrival a week earlier, and this time the crossing was flat as a pancake. In then end the cabin on deck 6 didn’t turn out to be too bad at all – as a family of now 4 adults we had feared it being cramped but we didn’t find it that way. These cabins have clearly received some attention recently, with new purple cushions and curtains, even if the pillows were rather lumpy and the toilet seat rather loosely still attached! This time round the top deck was open and so we took advantage of this to watch the English channel traffic – Etretat was parallel to us for over 2/3rds of the journey, leading to intense debate over who would dock first and therefore be first through passport control! Arrival into a now dark Portsmouth was again on time, as we watched the army of cleaners assemble on the quayside ready to board the ship. Our swift disembarkation was briefly put in jeopardy by multiple people being unable to find their car. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t understand how you can forget where your car was, especially since the people in question even had the card indicating the deck and door letter! Through Passport control in under 15 minutes (a record for us at Portsmouth) and home around midnight. Another enjoyable holiday and two very agreeable crossing on Normandie – certainly life in the old girl yet.
  10. AdamW

    MSM Friday 17 Sept

    I too noticed the presence of people hoping to hitch a ride in the Ouistreham town area on the drive in yesterday (Saturday 18), and also what I'm also guessing were people with similar intentions on the rocks between the port and the beach. I did see a news article (can't remember where) suggesting that Bilbao was now a target due to it not attracted the security attention like Calais or the Tunnel does.
  11. AdamW

    SAILING UPDATES: 2017 Latest News

    Interesting - I did Caen - Portsmouth on Normandie yesterday afternoon/evening, and we only had the former, no sight of boarding cards required.
  12. AdamW

    Advice On GCSE Options

    Don't know how I missed this being an Exeter graduate myself but you're 100% correct - the whole city is hilly and Cardiac Hill certainly lived up to that reputation. Very difficult to navigate (up or down) once a few drinks were consumed* *or so friends advised me
  13. Agreed, small but perfectly formed... familiar looking livery too!
  14. AdamW

    French supermarket favourites

    Without wanting to turn this into an alcohol thread, this wine http://www.prixing.fr/promotions/cotes-de-bergerac-aoc-blanc-moelleux-3282885# from Super U (other système U outlets are available!) is a firm family favourite. Other than that - Picard Pear sorbet. Pear + sorbet is such a superb combination.
  15. AdamW

    South Brittany Break April 2017

    That doesn't surprise me - can't imagine the ice cream places were doing a roaring trade. Carnac was another favourite when I was younger. As for Benodet, the last time I was there (August 2011) it as at a free concert in the summer evening sun on the Sunday evening, after which people swamped the ice cream place on the front near the Casino. Ice creams at 10pm on a Sunday... why not!