Sir John Monash Centre, Villers-Bretonneux. 2018 ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

Date: 11th July 2018

Travelled: 267 kilometres from Villers-Bretonneux to Lisigny-sur-Barse, France.

Visited: Sir John Monash Centre

Stayed: On the canal, Lusigny-sur-Barse. Free on the canal. Toilet nearby. N48.25449, E04.27297

Budget: 40 days @ โ‚ฌ86 per day.

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Pam thought it was a little spooky overnighting being so close to a cemetery, then I reminded her of several other evenings we have spent at various cemeteries over the past 6 years.

Anyway we have a very quiet evening watching the sun settle across the Somme.

In the morning we coffee and have our fruit as usual before walking up to the memorial and walking the rows of headstones reflecting on the young Australian and Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice near this place.  At the request of our friend and neighbour Gaye, we search the cemetery record book for George Alfred Pettet and find his place in the remembrance wall, taking a photo.  We walk up the tower and take in the spectacular view.

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Walking up through the cemetery at Villers-Bretonneux. The rows of headstones are full of red roses in bloom this year. A contrast from our previous visit.
For you Gaye.
Just to give a little perspective to the 11,000 Australians โ€˜with no known graveโ€™ listed here on the walls at VB.
Having climbed the tower at the center of the memorial, itโ€™s becomes obvious why the high ground between Villers-Bretonneux and Corbie was of such a strategic importance.  Itโ€™s another cool misty morning on the Somme, it always seems like this when we visit Villers-Bretonneux.

Walking back to the Hymer to pick up some earbuds as recommended for the audio visual presentation in the centre, as other cars start arriving for the 9.30 opening time.

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Looking down on the new visitors centre from the tower.  It sits inconspicuosly behind the existing memorial.
We find the Sir John Monash Centre hiding around the back.
A pair of emus formed from barb-wire make an impressive introduction.
When we enter the visitors centre we were asked by the staff, if we would like to add a family member, to the honour roll for the day.  So we add George Guymer and Charles Pettet.
Lots of stories, taken from letters on how and why people enlisted.
The audio visual presentations stunning.  Your should not visit France without spending a morning at the Villers-Bretonneux.

We chat to a couple of young Aussies in the car-park before we get the Hymer set for another day on the road.  From VB we cut across to the D934 and start the long drive south-east.  After yesterdays โ‚ฌ17.70 in tolls, Pam will not authorise tollways so itโ€™s the D roads for the day.

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Rolling along the D934. The D roads in France are obviously toll free, generally not as busy as the A roads or E roads (tollways). They suite the Hymer comfortably at 90-100kph.
Whilst the D roads save on tolls and provide wonderful snap-shots of French villages, they tend to be slow going.  There is a village every 5-8 kilometres, lots of round-a-bouts, speed humps and speed cameras.  This can be a grind if your doing 250 kilometre today !

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Our original plan was to stop in Troyes (Pam likes shopping there), but the parking area we normally use is closed. So we go on for an extra 20 kilometres to one of our favourite spots. Lusigny-sur-Barse on the canal.

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Michael; and Pam


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