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Well, it had to happen eventually – the end of our travels around Europe. Our last stop in France was Montreuil sur Mer; surrounded by massive ramparts it was once an important sea port but now lies ten miles inland. Although few people may know of the town itself it was immortalised as the setting for parts of Victor Hugo’s novel ‘Les Miserables’ after he stayed there at the ‘Relais du Roy’ in 1837. Relais du Roy in Montreuil sur Mer, France with shutters and window boxes, dated 1643This wonderful hotel oozes with history and a crumbling charm accumulated over the years since its original construction in 1578 and, as well as several actors and musicians, it has also provided refuge for Napoleon Bonaparte and Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig (who used it as his base towards the end of WWI). The town is a delight of crooked old buildings, cobbled streets and flower filled squares. Whilst meandering I came across this scene which just struck me as very typically French – in spite of the old crate for an iconic English beer! Antique shop (brocante) in Montreuil sur Mer, France with Newcastle Brown crateShame I didn’t have my polarising filter with me 😦

Somewhere along this journey (and this is about as close to the end as you can get!) I had to include a shot of my trusty steed and constant companion …. Solitary Honda Transalp (XL700V) in carriage of Channel Tunnel (Chunnel)We cruised under the Channel in solitary splendour with a carriage all to ourselves – such an unlikely event, it was worthy of a photo!

I hope you all, whether occasional visitors or regular followers, enjoyed ‘riding pillion’. For those of you who joined en route and would like to see more, my ‘grand tour’ started here. Thank you to all those who humoured me whilst I relived some great experiences and wonderful memories, liked what you saw and shared your own thoughts – your support has been much appreciated.

 (All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

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