Archive | May, 2019

Day 36 Finally get to go home.

24 May

I woke up at 9 and debated with my self wether to go to breakfast. In the end I couldn’t turn down a free breakfast.

I return to the room wondering what I’m going to do for the day.

I feel father waking me up he tells me it’s 3pm

So I have a shower then we decide we might as well just head to the airport and wait out the time there untill out flight is due.

We check out .

We get to the airport and check in at Emirates Airlines only to find that the guy I talk to on the phone the day before had made a mistake and booked us in for a flight on the 22nd not the 21st.

The guy on the desk was very professional and quickly changed our flight he was even able to get us an earlier flight out of Heathrow at 8.40. it would mean a 4 hour wait at Dubai but we didn’t care.

So we acceptes that one and sat it out to wait.

It was one of the most emptiest plane flights I’ve ever been on. The guys in the back of the plane were spread out over 3 seats. We had an empty seat beside us. .

After our wait at Dubai the next plane was only slightly less Empty as well.

Due to the time we landed in Brisbane it was mostly dark on the way. Watched several movies. Aquaman ,Glass I can’t remember the others.

Read a bit of the book on Scottish history the faded map. I’d borrowed it from father,but hadn’t read much of it.

When we got near Brisbane vi contacted Fiona. As she was the one coming to pick us up.

After we landed she got in touch that she’d brought Caelan with her so he could get some hours up.

So we drove to fathers dropped him home then picked up Caelan who drove most of the way home.

Then I got home and went to bed. I debated with myself wether to try to stay awake til 7 or 8 at night.

Cause I knew that if I went to sleep when I did that I probably wake in the early hours of the morning which is what happened.

But I could barely keep my eyes open so went to sleep and woke up at 3 in the morning.

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Day 35 Things go south

24 May

I debated wether to include photos in this blog post as they depict my dad in a vulnerable condition. For the sake of his privacy I will not include any photos in this particular blog post.

We arrived at Hertz car rental to take the car back.

While I waited with the guy to do the paper work father got the luggage out the boot and disappears into the car rental terminal.

I finished with the guy and went to the shuttle bus that was waiting. The buses take Hertz customers to the airport terminals.

I put my head in the door to see it father was on board. A guy who was sitting there asked me who I was looking for. I replied my dad.

He asked if he was an elderly gentleman with hearing aides. I replied yes. The guy said that he’d fallen over and had been taken into the car rental office

At this point I wasn’t too worried as father had had a couple of falls on uneven surfaces before.

This turned out to be different. His face was covered in blood. There was an Asian lady who was getting him to hold toilet paper to the side of his head.

The manager of Hertz car rental . Called for a paramedic to come and check him over. So we had to wait .

While we waited I thought to clean the blood off father’s faced to see the extent of the injury.

There were some scrapes on his hands. There were also some on his chin. But the one that was bleeding the most was on the side his head close to his temple.

It also looked like his classes had jammed into his head as there was bruising on one of his right eye socket just below the eyebrow.

The paramedic arrived and asked father a series of questions.

Time was also slipping away from us as it was getting closer to the time that we needed to get to the airporr.

The paramedics name was Dave .

How father fell was that he had been wondering what was taking me so long so he misjudged the hieght of the step it was quite large.

So he’d fallen over. Dave talked to us about our trip how we’d enjoyed it.

To have more privacy we were seated in the manager’s office.

When Dave recommend that we go to a hospital and get checked out.

Father started to become upset.

Dave had also attached a pulse monitor and a blood pressure cuff. Due to being agitated his blood pressure was pretty high.

He had been all set to go home and now this had happened.

Father said that he felt fine . That his head wasn’t hurting.

Dave called an ambulance and we waited. He also organised to get the flight put back for 24hrs there was nothing earlier I even looked my self at various online flight Booker’s and it was true

We were able to convince father that going to the hospital was the best thing he could do

The ambulance came in due time.probably after an hour of waiting. Then father started encourageing me to leave him. There was no way I was going to do that as my first thoughts were that Elizabeth,Shiela and possibly Fiona would kill me. My second thoughts were that father really can’t travel by himself anymore.

We didn’t know wether they would keep father in for observation over night or not.

I at least would need accommodation so I looked at a few different hotel booking sites for one that had a 24hr check in.

The crown Plaza Heathrow was just the place. I booked a double with breakfast just in case father didn’t get admitted over night.

So we got to the hospital. Hillingdon it was about ten minutes from the airport .

Father was put in the trigger too. Waiting to see the nurse.

She came and saw up .did some tests to father. Rules out needing blood tests. Then we were told to go sit in the hospital waiting room .

Now it was just a waiting game as to when the doctor would see father and what he would decide. Based on what Dave the paramedic had said I estimated it would be at least a 4hr wait.

After about 5 hours father was getting antsy pacing around the floor. He asked the nurse a few times when his turn would be. He response was as soon as the doctor can see| you. Or the next one your 4th in line.

I thought he might blow his stack when this young mother and child came in and were in and out almost immediately. He barely kept his cool and continued to wait

6hrs later when the waiting room was nearly empty the doctor came to see father .

He got his fit to fly note then we headed to the hotel.

One nurse was grumpy as . When I phoned the taxi listed on the hospital wall they said it would be at least an hour’s wAit.

I asked her if she knew of any other companies she just grunted no.

I was wondering what to do .

This other nurse comes out and asked how she can help. I tell her my problem she like yep no problem.

Tells us to go wait at a certain place.

We wait there this car pulls up. It doesn’t look like a taxi to me.

The guy gets out picks up our luggage and takes us to the hotel.

When we get to the hotel I book us in and get an extended check out. So we don’t have to leave till 4. They I get to the room lye down and go to sleep.

Last Days Cliffs of Dover.

24 May

We had to be out of the temple accommodation by 9.So we cleaned the place and packed all our stuff into the car.Our plain flew out at 10.15. however the car had to be back by nine.So whatever we did had to take that into consideration.It was father that suggested that we go to Dover castle. It wasn’t too far away.I had been considering going to Canterbury for the last few days. It was near Dover so I decided that if we had time we would go the Canterbury Cathedral.Dover castle has been around for over 1000 years.There’s even a part of it that used to be a Roman light house.Them there was this great little museum that told the history of the castle through a short video.Then we came to the central citadel. They had displays that showed how the people in the 12 century lived and functioned while working at the castle. .Then I climbed to the top of the citadel to see the view from the top.I came down and met father he hasn’t climbed the stairs to the top.We found a restaurant that served tradional English food. Father thought it would be a fitting end to our time in England to dine there .I had cottage pie. Father had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.We got back in the car and headed to Canterbury.Our last meal upset both our stomachs as the first thing we did when we got there was have to find a toilet.Father and i got split up some how.I think it was when I stopped at a light he jumped out to look for a tiolet.I parked the car then went looking for a tiolet my self.I found this church while looking for one .I ran into father I still desperately needed to go so he showed me this pub were he’d went.I came back to the car to find father in the car he was mad at me for not locking the car it was the third time I’d done it. Gave me a short lecture .As I was leaving I locked the car . I’d forgotten that he was still inside. OopsSo I walked down the street and came to the gate that leads to the cathedral.Then when I saw the cue to get a ticket to get into the cathedral I decided to take the best pic from the outside.Then we headed back to the temple .Father wanted one last walk around the temple grounds. We decided just to go to the airport early and wait for our plane.

Day 32 Western Front cemeteries.

22 May

This had been a day that I want looking forward to. It was however the number one reason why father wanted to come to France.I did some research and found out that Amiens had played a supporting role on the western Front during WW1.On the night before we left I had been looking at how to get to Amiens when the name Villiers bretoners came up on my computer. This rang a bell as to a place were the conservative government had spent millions on an Australian war cemetery.So we added that to our list of cemeteries to visit.In the morning we take off for Amiens.76It was a beautiful cathedral built as a copy of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Though the people in Amiens believe that Paris copied them.Of all the churches and cathedrals that I have visited over the last 5 weeks for some reason Amiens felt the most sacred. The most what it feels like to be in an LDS temple.

So the first cemetery we visited was Villers bretoneaux.

It was one the had slot of Australian war Graves so the Aussies have spent alot on building a fantastic museum and multimedia interactive display.

Participating in the display made you feel like you were really there.

Then we walked around the cemetery. We didn’t stay for too long as this was just the first of may stops we needed to make

Next we headed to contalmaison. This had special significance for father as it was a memorial to member of the hearts soccer club. They volunteered to join the war to set an example for the other clubs to not use there sport as a excuse not to go to war.

We headed from there to the war cemetery at Fromelle.

We went there as it was another major Australian battle feild.

Then we headed to Ypres.

There is an interesting story to go with this. We tried putting Ypres into the GPS and it came up with nothing.

We had a tough idea of were it should be based on were it was on Google maps I had on my phone we found a town that was on both.

We kept on seeing signs to this town called Ieper. When we were getting petrol dad asked .

The lady told us that due to people mocking Ypres by calling it wipers they had shifted to calling it by its Belgian name. So which is Ieper.

We punched that into the GPS and away we went.

The Iepers cemetery is huge and it is only one of many that is in the area.

The largest one was just out side Iepers at the town that we were heading to originally before we found out about the Ypres name change.

We spent quite a while there.

We got back the apartment not to late .

I was able to have a good discussion with Phillipe. He had mentioned previously that his dad had been part of the French resistance during the war.

It must run in the family as Phillipe is part of the Yellow vest movement. A modern resistance against tyranny

Day 33. Calais Castle.

21 May

This was our last day in Calais our train left at midday. So we had so time to kill. Phillipe suggested that we visit Calais Castle. It wasn’t far from were we were.

Phillipe had some one else coming so we needed to be out by ten.

We packed the car and said our goodbyes.

Sometimes our GPS which we called Gina could be really dim.

We tried entering the name in but it wouldn’t come up so we just drove around hoping that we would see it. But nope.

We did find another for but it happened to be permanently closed.

Then I got out Google maps on my phone . We found the citadel and drove towards it.

We went around the block a few times trying to find a way to enter it we were successful eventually.

What amazed me was that the authorities had put a soccer feild in the centre of the citadel.

After that we drove away. I saw a beach and decided to stop and look at it. Father stayed in the car.

It had the beach shacks that I’d been expecting to see in Brighton.

Even though it was a bit early father persuaded me to go to the train.

I noticed that the security we had to go through this time was more strict than when we had come to France.

Our trip was uneventful. We headed straight for the temple accommodation.

We had planned to maybe do a session in the afternoon but definitely do one at night but when we got there father found out that the 3pm session was the last on for the day.

So we hurriedly got dressed in our church clothes and went to the temple.

Father wasn’t feeling the best he had caught a cold standing in the wind at Dunkirk beach.

So after the session he left the celestial room pretty quickly. I had wanted for him and I to go to the altar in the sealing room were he and Mother had been sealed over 50 years ago.

I went and did it by myself any way.

We then went for a walk around the temple grounds.

I noticed that the temple reflected in the water so took some pics of it.

After that I went back to the room and watched a new anime series called Revisions.

By the time had finished with hat it was dark .I realised that I hadn’t really had the opportunity to look at the stars on this trip

As it was late I went out to look at the stars but it was over cast so there wasnt any.

It should have occurred to me before but the temple is lit up at night.

It is very beautiful like a fairy castle

I went back to the room and went to sleep.

Our time on the holiday was drawing to a close.

Day 31 I visit 3 countries in one day.

20 May

We had originally planned to only visit Dunkirk on this day. Looking at the map I saw that it would only be an hour across Belgium. So at the last minute we decided to go to Holland

I wanted desperately to see a real life Dutch windmill.

Dunkirk holds a special place for me. My grandad James Allan. Was on the HMS Fernie. They helped to provide cover for the smaller ships to go into shore and not get attacked.

Father once again spoke to the video to tell those at home what Dunkirk meant to him.

I payed my respects to those who fought to protect the people fleeing the German advance there is a memorial.

To them.

Then I went down to the water .the men fleeing often times had to wade chest high into the water to be picked up.ny the waiting ships.

While being surrounded by artillery and rifle fire.

We finished at Dunkirk and headed to Bresken in Holland . I chose it as it was the closest Dutch city to the border

When we got to the border I stopped to get photographic evidence that I had actually been to Belgium.

It was an uneventful drive through Belgium.

I stopped at the Dutch border as well.

We were hungry by the time we got to Bresken so had lunch first.

A large serve of fish and chips.

Then we went to the Bresken museum.

What I found most interesting there was the history of mammoths in the area and the bones that have been discovered.

We the went and had a look at a dyke went for a walk Along the top of one.

I had assumed that once we were in Holland we would see windmills every where but that wssnt the case . We saw a couple of towers that looked like they had formally been windmills.

The guy at the museum explained it to me.

There used to be lots of Windmills. Windmilld were used to. Pump water to keep the water table down as the area is below sea level. However with the invention of electric pumps the big windmills were needed so much any more so most towns tore them down.

Due to Holland being famous for it windmills. The government in conjunction with UNESCO listed some windmills as not being able to torn down.

He gave us a map with some windmills I picked the windmill that was closet to us and headed for .it turned out to be not as easy to find as the guy at the museum said.

There was a point as we were driving around trying to find the windmil when I thought about giving up and not worrying about the windmil. I thought I’d try one more street. Tada like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow there it was . Wahoo,!! I was pumped to have found it.

Father was a killjoy he was so what it’s a windmill. He stayed in the car . While I went out and looked at it. Due to the time of day the windmil was shut so I couldnt go inside.

We left and started home.

We stopped in Belgium to get some petrol . I saw that they were selling waffles.

So that just topped off an excellent day.

Day 30 Normandy landing.

19 May

Early the next day we headed out to visit the site of the d-day invasion.We started at Caen. Just cause we didn’t know were to go to find the beaches.As when I looked up it said that Caen was one of the allies major objectives.We went to the centre of Caen and found a museumWe obtained a map showing how to get to the beaches For me the museum was one of the best parts of the day.

Then we had a decision to make. Wether to visit all 5 beaches or to pick a coupleAt first we picked Omaha and Sword. One American and one British. But due to circumstances we ended up vVisiting almost all of them.We started by looking for point du Hoc but ended missing the turn off we stood on Utah beach

We thought were we were was at point du huc but we met someone who told us that point du Hoc was on the horizon.

Du Hoc was where the allies advance team scaled cliffs . Then worked there way along ridges to arrive just in time to make a major impact at the battle of Omaha beach.

So we headed down the road that parrells the beachAt Omaha beach we came across a museum. It was pretty amateurishIt was surprising to me that something of such importance was organised so poorly. Maybe there was a museum somewhere else that was done better. I thought that with Omaha beach looming so big in American history that there would have been more done to remember it.

They do have a festival every June.A nice touch was that down the main road they had pictures of the fallen every so often.

So we headed to Sword beach which was were the main British advance had happened.

Got father to record his impressions on video for the people at home.

Finished the day by getting fish and chips then headed back to Calais.

The journey home was long and tiring.

We had threaded in and out of coastal roads while searching for ways to the beaches.

So it was quite late when we started back.

It’s the first time that we had arrived that our day finished after sun set . Given that the sun sets around 9.30 in the evening.

We got back after the sun set.

So it was dark by time we got back to the apartment.

I was quite as I didn’t want to disturb Phillipe and Muriel. However father comes in and starts turning several lights on or that’s how it seemed.

I crashed into bed I was out before I knew it.

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