Dunkirk

Sunday, 4th January 2015

I’ve already mentioned the poor night I’d had on Friday but Saturday night made up for that. I slept so soundly that I didn’t hear the alarm at all so it was well into the morning before I surfaced. This was a great disappointment to me as I’d planned on visiting the Eglise de l’Espérance for the morning service at 10:00am.

So after a more leisurely start than anticipated I toddled off for a mooch around. The day was bright though cold, and a short distance down the road was the Tour du Leughenaer (the hotel is on Rue du Leughenaer), which dates from around 1450.

Tour du Leughenaer

You can see the hotel (the rust-coloured building) in the background on the right. Further along was the marina:

Marina 1
Marina 2

Then, across the water, was the Dunkirk Port Museum and berthed alongside was one of the exhibits, the tug Entreprenant:

Entreprenant

Further along was the previous Sandettie light vessel. There is a current one moored in the English Channel to mark the Sandettie Bank and which replaced the one in the picture in 1989. Besides warning of the sandbank, the vessel (unmanned and without engines) relays weather data which is reported on the BBC’s Shipping Forecast.

Sandettie

Lastly, there was the Duchesse Anne, a sail training vessel launched in 1901 as the Grossherzogin Elisabeth. She was given to France by Germany in 1945 as part of the reparations following World War 2:

Duchesse Anne

Here are the 3 in panorama:

3 ships

There was an information board, too:

info

Later, I drove out to Bray-Dunes, right on the Belgian border. The last time I was here there was a little market on the main car park, but alas (or should that be “hélas”) not this time.

So here’s a picture of the beach, from which some of the 300,000 troops recovered in Operation Dynamo were evacuated under extreme conditions in the dark days of May/June 1940.

Beach

In the evening it was back to Flunch for another excellent meal (Saumonette, sauce aux petits légumes, and Gateau Basque), then off to bed.

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