Crossing the Rhine at the town of Lorch, Germany.

Down the Rhine

On our way to Munich and Octoberfest we travelled down the Rhine counting the castles along the way.

River boats travel past the famous Lorelei rock on the Rhine.
River boats travel past the famous Lorelei rock on the Rhine.
The tiny streets of Sankt Goarshausen
The tiny streets of Sankt Goarshausen

We stopped at a little town of Sankt Goarshausen which is near the famous rock cliff of Lorelei to purchase some wine for our relatives who are hosting us in Munich.

The town was nestled up against a cliff face, we got off the highway and parked up against the river.  Once walked across the highway and entered the town we encountered streets that were little bigger then sidewalk between the buildings.

We found a Weinstube in the “wine cellar” of a building.

Getting some wine corked at the weinstube.
Getting some wine corked at the weinstube.
David Hasselhoff on the jukebox!
David Hasselhoff on the jukebox!

This little old lady was filling corking a couple bottles of wine for us to bring to our relatives. (She was very nice but the only sharp photo I have is the one of her not smiling)  I went to check out the tunes on the old skool jukebox and there I found the largest of all German stereotypes, David Hasselhoff! We didn’t have time to throw a couple of euro’s in the juke box We had to get to Munich!

Oh the unique experiences of a road trip down the Rhine in Germany.

Crossing the Rhine at the town of Lorch, Germany.
Crossing the Rhine at the town of Lorch, Germany.

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Kunst Museum Staircase

Kunst Museum Staircase in Bonn, Germany
The Architecture of the Kunst Museum in Bonn is just as amazing as the art inside. I loved this staircase. I though it also would look better in black and white. I love the contrast of the white against the black with 256 shades of grey in between.

The Dacia Sandero Bet

Dacia Sandero with a Nurberg Ring Sticker
Dacia Sandero with a Nurberg Ring Sticker

Being treated to a DTM race at the Nurburgring during my european vacation by my brother. On our arrival we both saw a number of vehicles with the a Nurburgring sticker on them, with both my brother and I being fans of Top Gear. I said,

“I’ll give you 10 Euro’s if you can find a Dacia Sandero with a Nurburgring sticker on it. “

Less then a minute later my brother laughs out loud and points! HA! Yes in the thousands of a cars in the parking lot at the GP track a Dacia Sandero with a Nurburgring sticker sits in front of us. I paid up and can only imagine what James May would be saying.

Vimy Ridge

Les falaises d’Etretat

Les falaises d'Etretat on the coast of Normandy
I stopped briefly at the town of Étretat on September 21st to see the cliff Monet had once painted. Since it was a cloudy day I thought the B&W version was a nice touch to the scene.

Thanks to BBC show Coast for giving me the idea to visit this amazing little town and it’s famous rock cliffs.

Sunrise through the fog on Juno Beach in Courseulles Sur Mer, France

Visiting Courseulles Sur Mer

The TLDR version of this post. I went to Courseulles Sur Mer in France, It was awesome you should go too (Image gallery at the end of the post).
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I came to Courseulles Sur Mer because I wanted to visit  the beaches of Normandy. I felt it was important to see sacrifices Canadians had made for my freedom.

Arriving in Courseulles Sur Mer late due to the cheezies tornado I didn’t get to see much that first night. (Use the jet lag to your advantage and watch the sun rise over June Beach, I was not disappointed ) After breakfast the next morning a walk around the community. It’s a small coastal community (much like home) and to a tourist / foreigner it’s like everything you would expect to see in a small seaside fishing village of the coast of northern France.

Close up of fish from the fish mongers / poissonniers in Courseulles Sur Mer, France
Close up of fish from the fish mongers / poissonniers in Courseulles Sur Mer, France.

From the fish mongers / poissonniers selling fresh seafood on the dock, to the farmers market on the weekend to Chipie Plage, a cute little shack that lets you rent a bike for 8 euro’s a day.

I had heard before my trip that the people of Normandy wanted to leave the war behind that they didn’t want to remember everything that was the war they wanted to return to their lives on the small coastal villages.

Well after visiting I can only say well that’s why Canadians landed here so many years ago! To help return the French to there way of life.

To completely forget the war had ever happened and not remember the past, I really don’t think so and didn’t see any evidence of that in any of my travels along the coast. I saw as many french and I did foreigners taking in the historic lessons of the area.

Like may other tourists I spilt my time between studying the history of the D-Day landing and enjoying the beach and relaxation of this amazing resort area.

I even met a fellow laser sailor who allowed me to sail his laser for about half an hour just off beach. That never would have happened without google translator.

Language Barrier

I’ve barely spoke a word of French since grade 9 in high school ( 25 years ago) and their are very few residents of the community who speak English. But after day three it was amazing what I was able to pick up. Even if it was only meaning and not the words.

Accommodations:

I stayed at La Pecherie and would highly suggest this hotel to anyone. They were awesome to deal with and attended to my every need. Read my trip advisor review for more info.

The wonderful La Pecherie Hotel is perfectly situation in Courseulles Sur Mer, France and was a great place to enjoy my Normandy vacation.
The wonderful La Pecherie Hotel is perfectly situation in Courseulles Sur Mer, France and was a great place to stay and enjoy my Normandy vacation.

Places you should visit in the area:

In conclusion if you were looking to experience a small French coastal town that amazing seafood and great cuisine I would come to Courseulles Sur Mer.

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Juno Beach

Photo of the English Channel from Juno Beach

Awe Stuck by the beauty of the Normandy Coast and the English Channel from shores of Juno Beach in Courseulles Sur Mer, France.

cheezies

The great cheezies tornado of 2015

My friend Ernest wanted to know of my adventures or mis-adventures during my European Trip. Well It didn’t take long for the action to start.

I waiting for my baggage to arrive at CDG and I see this blob of clothing cheezies dust and the last  remains of my bag.

My niece wanted some cheezies that she couldn’t get in Germany. So I got two bags and then double wrapped them just incase:

Destroyed luggage covered in cheezie dust
The Great Cheezie Tornado of 2015

Whatever monster inside the bowels of YVR Or Pearson ate my bag I’ve never seen such destruction taken out on a bag.

Funny enough the lock which prevent everything from being stolen was still completely intact and “working perfectly”

I couldn’t even leave CGC airport without a buy a new bag.

New Travel Bag
Meet Bag 2.0

The staff at the luggage storage and sales places couldn’t have been more helpful though. Now it’s off to find a laundry mat in Courseulles sur mer.

ps. Yes I am submitting a claim to the airline, yes I purchased extra insurance for damage on my trip. But for now it just a funny story.

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Juxtaposition

A boy and man scale a climbing wall in the sun.
I like the contrast between my nephew on the left and climber on the right. Both were climbing a wall at the recent Canada Day celebration in Coquitlam.
Robert Dall standing infront of a Columbia 21 at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Association

Footloose and fancy free

I was invited to Seattle by Ben Lobaugh for what I called a Super Sailing Weekend in Seattle.

Ben had told me he volunteers at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Club and if I wanted I could come down to help out as well. The entire venture sounded great so I packed my bag  and came down for the weekend.

Sailboat used by the Footloose called a Access Dinghy
Access Dinghy / Photo Footloose

The thing I really liked about the association was they really made it accessible to everyone possible no matter what your disability and each sailboat is slightly different configuration but all were completely accessible and very stable and unable to tip over (or in sailing terms turtling).

The Access dinghies were similar to lasers just much LESS tippy and the participant sat side by side with the skipper.

The 2 Martin 16 other boats the participants and skipper sit front and back of each other.

Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch of the footloose sailing club
Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch / Photo Footloose

The skipper is a volunteer with the association and is completely experienced with the boat. They are there to assist the participant, whether that be teaching them how to sail, co-piloting the boat or just along for the ride while the participant  controls everything.

Paraplegics easily operate Access dinghies with a joystick. While quadriplegic can operate the Martin 16 which are equipped with electric winches and can be operated by either a hand joystick, neck joystick or the or a sip and puff method commonly used by quadriplegics.

The two Colombia 21 that are part of the fleet are larger boats and can hold up to six people. They also have a skipper and at least one crew member to help rig the boat. My job was to helping the participants get on and off the boat along with grinding the winch on the jib.

For those with limited mobility Footloose has two davit hoist system with a hoyer sling to transfer participants from wheelchair to boat and back.

It was a real pleasure to volunteer on a beautiful sunny saturday out on Lake Washington. I I didn’t know but from the water  you can see Mt Rainier to the south and Baker to the North. It was beautiful!

It felt great to give back and learnt a little bit more about sailing slightly larger boats as well I hope I can do it again on my next trip to Seattle.