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Remembered Today:

stripeyman

Lille/Albert

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angelab

I sometimes take a London-bound Eurostar from Calais that has started its journey in Paris or Brussels. At Calais, we are allowed to board, but nobody can get off; police on the platform make sure they don't.  Once through the tunnel, the train sometimes stops at Ashford, where people can get off - but not get on.

I assume that as these are INTERNATIONAL trains, you must actually travel from one country to another, not use the train for a journey that does not involve a Channel crosssing.

Edited by angelab

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Hedley Malloch
11 hours ago, angelab said:

 

I assume that as these are INTERNATIONAL trains, you must actually travel from one country to another, not use the train for a journey that does not involve a Channel crosssing.

This would not seem to apply in Lille where the Eurostar from LSP arrives at a public platform and can be boarded by anyone wishing to travel to Brussels. On the other hand, for the return journey a passport must be produced in Brussels for entry to a train for Lille. I lived in Lille and did this journey a few times. I argued with the (British) frontier police manning the control point that they had no right to do this - I was travelling between two Schengen area countries, not to the U.K., and I had a French carte de séjour.  As such, they  had no right to demand a passport. Eventually I was allowed on the train. In the interests of a quiet life I carried a passport thereafter.

Meanwhile in another part of the station, international SNCF services are leaving Brussels for Perpignan calling at at all points in between with no passport required. The international Thalys service travels between Amsterdam and Paris, calling at Brussels, without any passport being demanded.

The problem is that the U.K. is not part of the Schengen area and we don’t have identity card which are widely accepted as a travel document. But I don’t think the British traveller will come across these problems on the Lille/Albert line. On the other hand, French border officials have been seen in Comines demanding that British battlefield tourists show their passports.

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stripeyman

Just a quick note that my return journey went very well. I did see two security men with plastic placards at the entrance to the platform at Lille Europe informing that 'War Relics' were prohibited. So I was glad that I left the 9.2 shell at Bois Francais.

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Michael Thomson
On 28/10/2019 at 11:26, stripeyman said:

I did see two security men with plastic placards at the entrance to the platform at Lille Europe informing that 'War Relics' were prohibited. So I was glad that I left the 9.2 shell at Bois Francais.

I'm glad it went smoothly. When they say 'War Relics', does anybody know if this refers specifically to munitions or weapons that may be dangerous or to ALL forms of war relics? I can understand that transporting a rusty shell or grenade would be banned for good reason but I can't see the harm in a few buttons one might have picked up or a rum jar or helmet or empty shell case that one might buy or find? 

 

Are there legal restrictions on taking war relics (apart from the obvious dangerous ones) out of France? 

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stripeyman

I must confess that I did have a shrapnel ball upon my person which was ignored by the security man with his electronic device that scanned me, UK Border Force were quite pleasant.

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suesalter1

Anyone recommend a hotel in Albert? As I can't afford a Leger tour, I'm thinking of 'going alone' now. I know I can get to Lille by Eurostar and then from Lille to Albert. Just need someone nice, cheapish to stay in Albert. Then, hopefully find a tour company to take me to the battlefields.

 

Sue

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Michelle Young

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Ken Lees
16 hours ago, suesalter1 said:

Anyone recommend a hotel in Albert? As I can't afford a Leger tour, I'm thinking of 'going alone' now. I know I can get to Lille by Eurostar and then from Lille to Albert. Just need someone nice, cheapish to stay in Albert. Then, hopefully find a tour company to take me to the battlefields.

 

Sue

There is a new-ish Ibis hotel on the outskirts of Albert. A short taxi-ride from the station. 

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Don Regiano
1 hour ago, Ken Lees said:

There is a new-ish Ibis hotel on the outskirts of Albert. A short taxi-ride from the station. 

 

Think that's the one that Michelle has mentioned ... and there's a Lidl within walking distance!

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suesalter1

Sounds promising!

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Mark Hone

Mrs H and I stayed at the Ibis in 2016. It was OK and you can get something to eat there or at the McDonald's on the other side of the roundabout. (Be very careful of the traffic, if on foot). As someone else commented, there is also a Lidl next to the McDs. The centre of Albert is a bit of a stroll from there and we didn't find it easy to get a decent meal, even at the height of the centenary commemorations. The steaks we had in the main square one night were simply dreadful.

Edited by Mark Hone

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Tom Kilkenny

Stayed at the Ibis last summer and found it pleasant enough. 

 

If you don't want to take the car, it's a bit of a walk into town - 20 minutes or so.  Not sure how easy it would be to get a taxi.  Ate at Le Corner's Pub (sic) and Hygge and the food was perfectly edible at each. 

 

The bar at the hotel is (was) open till late so you can eat in town and enjoy a digestif when you get back.   

 

By the way, there's a bakery just across the roundabout on the way into town where you can buy fresh croissants in the morning if you don't fancy the hotel breakfast.

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