Ann, the winner of our Normandy & D Day Landings Competition has written us, a very lovely diary of her winner’s holiday below.
We boarded our coach, all went smooth to Dover got our ferry to Calais it was a very smooth crossing. It was a great run to our hotel arriving about 7pm.
Well what can I say! We found out we had a D Day landing veteran on our coach, Fred 92 years young, he will be 93 this week. I can assure you we were all honoured to be in the company of this man. With our hero Fred, we visited Juno, Omaha & Gold Beaches, also we visited the museum at St Maria English and saw John Steele hanging from the church, we had a very full day sightseeing.
Well this was be a very emotional day as Fred was laying a wreath to his fallen men on Sword Beach. It was raining but this was not going to stop us or Fred. We visited Pegasus Bridge and of course Madam Gondree – Fred went and said hello to her again and had tea with her, this time it was not champagne as in 1944. From there, we went to Sword Beach and the memorial to the Hampshire’s, which was Fred’ s unit. We stopped and got out and Fred laid his wreath with the help of his grandson and son, so 3 generations, to his fallen comrades, there was not a dry eye on the beach so it was a good job it was raining so we could blame the tears on the rain.
Well, our last day, we are early birds as we are leaving. Sad, sad. Ricky our driver is a credit to the company and very good and knowledgeable of the area. We made our way to the docks, boarded our ferry, which was a bit choppy in places but all went well. We dropped people off in Dover and then on to Canterbury to drop our D Day landing hero and his family. Well, I can tell you he had a round of applause as he got of the coach! Fred, it was a honour to even walk in your presence and thank you for letting us be a part of your wreath laying to your fallen comrades.
All I can say is thank you Crusader, you do fantastic holidays and some times you get to meet a superhero aka Fred, we all agreed it was a honour to be on this trip with a D Day hero. A once in a life time chance, thank you Crusader and thank you Fred for the freedom to allow us to do this.
Above is a selection of photo’s Ann took on tour.
Thank you Ann, a lovely piece!
A lovely warm sunny day, not bad for October, we made our way to our first point of call, the village of Long Melford and then onto Lavenham. Once we reached our hotel, we all got settled into our rooms and headed to the restaurant for our evening meal, which was very good, time for guests to spend some time together and get to know each other.
On the Saturday, we visited the coastal town of Wells then onto Sandringham House, for the afternoon however it was raining so it was shelter in the house all round, then back to the hotel for dinner and conversation.
On Sunday it was a great start to the day, sunshine and blue sky, not a cloud to be seen, so after a good breakfast we boarded the coach to travel, the short distance to Ayelsham and boarded the train to Wroxham, where we all enjoyed a cruise in the Norfolk Broads, seeing some wonderful wildlife and scenery. In the afternoon passengers spent some time in Norwich City Centre, then it was back to the hotel for our evening meal and time to reflect on a good day.
On Monday we left the hotel for our homeward journey, visiting Southwold and Aldeburgh.
A great time was had by all, a nice end to a good tour.
Patrick, the winner of our Choice Magazine Holiday competition to Newquay has written us, a very nice diary/review of his winner’s holiday below.
On a sunny but early Sunday my companion and I were picked up promptly by a friendly mini bus driver, who then proceeded to pick up other people until we arrived at Thurrock. At Thurrock we boarded the comfortable coach for Newquay. There was no pushing & shoving as all seats had been allocated earlier. On our way to Cornwall a couple of interesting stops allowed us plenty of time to “refresh & relieve.” One of the stops was at Jamaica Inn, subject of a famous film & even more famous book.
Our hotel, the Esplanade over looked a large sandy beach which is famous for the many surfers who use the rolling Atlantic waves. The hotel was waiting to welcome us in a friendly, efficient way giving us time to prepare for the first meal of the holiday. Meals were well thought out and breakfast was excellent – my special haddock & poached eggs were ready for me each morning. The varied evening meals, with 4-5 choices were wholesome & English and special diets were catered for.
The excursions provided by Crusader Holidays enabled me to see more of Cornwall ranging from Lands’ End to Looe, including the many pretty villages & harbours. No compulsion of course but it would have been a pity to miss the sights, and the “free day” balanced the activities.
The weather was fine throughout the whole holiday – no rain, but that can’t be promised – of course we were lucky. We were also fortunate in having a skilled and approachable driver, Brian who had a good knowledge of each area. He was cheerful and very helpful with nothing being too much trouble.
All too soon it was time to return home, which we did, with no trouble & on time. It was a week well spent, enjoyable, good food, pleasant company and lovely weather. My travelling companion was 83 & at first worried about going because of his age, but everything went smoothly.
Thanks Patrick, a great piece!