Arrondissement de Dunkerque

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Dunkerque. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

43 travelers at this place:

  • Day35

    Student Blog - Jonny Lodder

    July 27, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    It has been such a great opportunity to be invited come back on tour, and to be able to play with the orchestra again (thank you Tim!!!!). After a year away at university not playing much percussion at all, I truly feel at home here, with my friends and family at NMPAT.

    I remember when I left last year, it was overwhelming, and not just because of the constant 35°+ heat. I was terrified, unsure of the future, sad, happy, and so proud, so so proud of the music we were playing. Even though that was a year ago, I can totally empathise with how some of my friends feel right now, as we heard back to NMPAT for the last time this year, and for some, the last time ever.
    Just before we boarded the coaches to come back from Italy, Mr Smalley told me simply (after I’d done a pretty big embarrassing cry, trying to say thank you, or maybe I was trying to say ‘PLEASE HELP WHAT DO I DO NOW?!’, but it came out as thank you) ‘I understand, I get it’.
    Now after a year, I think I get it too. Those of you that are leaving the orchestra, or choir this year will always have been in some of the best ensembles in the country. You will always have had the opportunity to tour with those ensembles and have performed amazing music in beautiful venues, with some of the best musicians, and friends you will ever meet. You will always feel the pride you feel now. You will always have been a part of this family.

    Being a student at NMPAT and working with the staff there is one of the best things that has, or will ever happen to me, and even though we move on, every year there is a new generation of young musicians who will need a nmpat, to make sure they have the same opportunities we have been so lucky to have.

    So make sure you hold on to how you feel now, and make sure you shout from the rooftops about it. Make sure you tell people about what we’ve achieved, and how it shaped you. No matter whether you’re leaving to study music at university or not; let’s make sure when we’re the parents, teachers, and the people WE look up to now, that we support and nurture youth music. Let’s make sure every child can have the opportunity to have their lives touched by music as we have.
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  • Day787

    Bois des Forts, Bergues, France

    August 22, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    It is calm here. A cluster of conifers and a curve of tall Black Poplars shade us from the warm afternoon sun, keeping the van comfortably below 25°C. The gentle rustle of a breeze through their leaves is louder than the distant murmur of traffic. Bois des Forts (Wood of the Forts) is a country park with pleasant gravel parking, divided by well tended hedges and surrounded by grass and picnic tables.

    After a bit of a stressful morning getting Poppy's passport sorted at the vets in Tournai, she flaked out in her usual position between the driver and passenger seats as we set off on today's 100 kilometre drive. Before we knew it (literally!) we were in France, the outskirts of Lille to be exact. We hadn't seen any 'Bienvenue en France' signs on the motorway and we only realised when a text came through on Vicky's phone saying that we were in a 'roam-free destination'. Every fortnight and each time we enter a different country Vodafone tells us we "are probably expecting a text about roaming charges" . As you can imagine, we are becoming rather tired of them after 15 months and nearly 30 border crossings!

    Poppy continued to snooze while we travelled out of the urban and into the countryside. A good feeling spread through us when we pulled up at Bois des Fortes. As much as we appreciate town aires like the one at Tournai, we feel so much more at home when our home is surrounded by greenery! After settling in and giving Poppy freedom to explore off lead, we took a stroll along the criss crossing paths that led through the woods and by the side of canals and large ponds. We leant on a bridge's wooden fence and peered over into the muddy brown water, spotting the large mouth of a carp coming up for air. It was a very relaxing way to spend our penultimate afternoon on the continent!

    The following morning we set off towards the Carrefour supermarket at Bray Dunes. We had stayed here previously and knew its car park offered overnight stays for vans, a petrol station and van wash. We planned to stay here but when we pulled in it was pretty busy. Although we managed to find a spot on the end of a row we made the decision to return to Bois de Forts and stay there a second night. We therefore did a shop, washed the van, filled up with diesel and set off back to the woods!

    We enjoyed exploring a different part of the plantation in the afternoon and knew the right decision had been made as we were able to thoroughly relax before our ferry crossing from Dunkirk the next day.

    We haven't booked a return ticket yet because we don't know whether Will might need to attend a follow-up appointment, but we intend to be back over on the continent and blogging our adventures as soon as we can!
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  • Day856

    Bray Dunes. End of 2018 tour

    October 30, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Sorry for the delay in uploading this one!

    We are parked at the familiar Bray Dunes Carrefour supermarket aire in France. The wind buffets the van as rain lashes down. We hope the weather improves for tomorrow's ferry crossing to Dover.

    We left the Netherlands this morning and drove all the way through Belgium into France. We rely very heavily on the sat nav to get us where we want to go, only occasionally toggling 'Satia's' settings to include or exclude motorways from the route. It was therefore a bit of a shock when we were slapped with a €19 toll for the Liefkenshoek Tunnel, that allowed us to bypass Antwerp. However, we have always had massive delays when taking the free roads through Antwerp and after mulling it over, decided we'd have rather payed the toll than face the traffic chaos around Belgium's 2nd city.

    As we drove the temperature dropped to a chilly 3°C and sleet began to splat the windscreen. We certainly hoped it wasn't a sign of things to come. At the French border we passed the obligatory cluster of businesses taking advantage of the changes in tax between the two countries. Smokey River, Tobacco Alley and Euro Baccy (yes, these were the actual names) were all flogging cheap fags to the Belgians.

    We had planned to spruce Martha Motorhome up at the Carrefour van wash but neither of us could muster the energy to face the elements after the long drive. We'd also hoped to make use of the on-site launderette and fill up with water, but both the laverie and the water point were closed so we trawled the aisles and stocked up on festive spirit(s) instead!

    We'll be staying in the UK for 2 months, until the end of December, visiting family friends and catching up on all the necessaries like the MOT and dentist checks. We are very much looking forward to seeing people back home and celebrating the season. The blog will be put on the back burner while we are trundling round old blighty so now is a chance to look back on our travels in 2018.

    The first part of the year saw us spending over 14 weeks touring Spain, including a fabulous week with our good friends Cath and Paul at a villa in El Gastor near Ronda and 2 brilliant weeks WWOOFing in the Sierra Nevada mountians. Neither of us had spent very much time here before but the winter sun, tapas, scenery and layed back culture were definitely winners for us! We popped into Gibraltar for a day in March and feasted on fish'n'chips and an English pint before taking the chair lift up the rock to visit the Barbery Macaques- a wonderfully memorable experience.

    As with many things in life, our travel plans veered off course when medical appointments extended our trip back to the UK in May. With the prospect of further examinations and consultations, we abandoned our plan of touring Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, opting instead to stay closer to home and spend July, August and September in Denmark with a trip back to Orpington in August for Will to see the doctor. The country's lakes, coastline, countryside and charming towns won us over. With free and easy wildcamping and innumerable opportunities for outdoor activities, Denmark quickly became our favourite country of the tour.

    October took us to the Netherlands, but with the cold and dark of Autumn descending and Denmark still fresh in our minds, it had a hard act to follow. While we enjoyed our Dutch tour, it lacked the thrills we'd had in other countries and we were ready to make an early return to Orpington for Vicky's long awaited gyneacology consultation on 1st November.

    While health concerns have come between us and farther flung adventures in 2018, our appetite for life on the road is not diminished. Our extended UK visits have given us the opportunity to spend more quality time with family and friends and the memories made are ones we'll cherish. Meanwhile our explorations of countries within easy reach of the ferry crossing has allowed us to fully discover and fall in love with Denmark.

    We'll take a hiatus from blogging while we are home, but we'll be back behind the wheel and the keyboard in January. Whether you've been with us from the start or have just subscribed, thank you for all the support you've shown in following us, it means a lot. See you in the New Year!
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  • Day730

    Bray-Dunes Carrefour Aire, France

    June 26, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We'd relished spending nearly 8 weeks of quality time with family and friends in the UK, mostly in people's gardens, relaxing or helping out. It had been an extended stay because of hospital appointments but with these over and done with for now, we were keen to hit the road again.

    Our carefully planned itinerary has had to change because of the extra time in Britain but we are going with the flow. Will has a colonoscopy in around 5-7 weeks time giving us a window of opportunity that we intend to make the most of. We wanted to visit somewhere close by so that our time wasn't eaten up by motorway driving and we'd toyed with the idea of The Netherlands, but in the end the coast, countryside and potential cool of Denmark called to us.

    Saying our goodbyes to our family in Orpington who had put up with us camped on their drive for over a week (thank you so much!), we had an uneventful journey down to Dover. We were pleased when DFDS ferries reminded us to keep our windows open and make sure Poppy had a bowl of water so she didn't overheat. They even offered us window grilles to help and provided a doggy exercise area in the shade that was within easy walking distance of the lane we'd been told to queue in. The hound was therefore happy to have enjoyed a bit of sea breeze when we drove onto the ferry and left her for the 2 hour crossing to Dunkerque.

    The boat had few other passengers on it so we easily found a table by a large window and Vicky got on with sewing the new cover for our bench seat while Will enjoyed some Kindle time. He had already changed the headlights to the European ones in Orpington and it only took a small amount of time to readjust to driving on the right when disembarked. It is getting easier each time we switch. The car park of a medium sized Carrefour 33km away provided an free motorhome aire and seemed an ideal spot to spend the night. We were able to drain our waste water and it even had a launderette and specialised van wash facility on site. It was great to be in a van friendly country again!

    Back when we were in the North East, Vicky's step mum had given us frozen snails in garlic butter that she'd bought during Aldi's French week, so it seemed only appropriate that we eat these together with a celebratory glass of bubbly on our first night in France for a while. In the morning we did a big shop at Carrefour and washed the van before beginning our journey north.
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  • Day2


    December 28, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌫 5 °C

    Na Dunkerque rijden we naar onze overnachtingsplaats ongeveer 27 Km verder in Gravelines. Dit noemen ze de versterkte stad maar dat zullen we morgen pas zien daar we buiten de stad staan. Veel honger hebben we niet dus wat snacks en dan lezen en film zien. Vorige nacht was het koud dus leggen we een dekentje bij vanavond.Read more

  • Day2


    December 28, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌫 4 °C

    Nu wandelen we naar het centrum van Dunkerque maar zonder de poes. In het centrum zijn de winkels wel open. Er is een kleine kerstmarkt en een ijsbaan. Op een ander plein is er een wandeling tussen de kerstbomen en huisjes gemaakt met elfjes en kerstmannen. Kei tof. Er staat een kraampje met kunstwerken van een schilder, een schilderij springt er uit maar is veel te groot en te duur. We wandelen via de haven terug naar de camper. Hier een buurt met veel moderne woningen. Totale wandeling 8 Km.Read more

  • Day2

    Malo Les Bains

    December 28, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌫 2 °C

    We maken een wandeling langst het strand samen met onze poes. Ze blijft goed zitten in de draagtas. Een wandeling van 6 Km over het strand waar de film Dunkirk is opgekomen en waar ook in 1940 het drama zich afspeelde. Op het einde van het strand ligt een restant van een wrak dat enkel bij laagtij boven water zichtbaar is. Ze hebben dit laten liggen ter herinnering. Na de wandeling gaan we lekker eten in de mobilhome.Read more

  • Day134

    Dunkerque: A Sobering Scene

    September 12, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    This morning we ferried across the English Channel from Dover to Dunkirk. There is a bunker near the beach which has been turned into a museum, 1940 Operation Dynamo, in which over 300,000 Allied troops were evacuated in 8 days, with the aid of a flotilla of "Little Ships". We saw the movie Dunkerque earlier this summer, and seeing where it happened brings it to life. Of course, many died too, and civilians were displaced or killed as well.Read more

  • Day2

    Cold damp and windy

    May 16, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 48 °F

    If it wasn't for the occasional rain, the cold and the driving wind it would be quite nice.
    Today we braced the weather and drove to Cassel but only for a couple of hours before heading back to the hotel with our jackets tightly fastened and start planning our trip south. Once it was all plotted and entered into the sat nav we went for a meal with the MG T owners only to be told more than once to stay away from our intended next destination of Rouen so we came back to our hotel and as I write Mandy is plotting our route once again this time to Honfleur.Read more

  • Day3


    March 10, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    HUGE Monument to recognize all the missing soldiers in the battle of the Somme. As more soldiers' bodies are still discovered each year, they scratch off the names on this monument when the soldiers are identified and buried.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Dunkerque

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