Explore...

Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Lorraine, France

Sep 23, 2018 - Some tourmates

A word about our tour group. Al is a big, gruff man, about 70, with a Jersey accent who has not cracked a smile on this trip, as far as I know. He wears a WWI Army hat every day, sporting dozens of pins from various WWI regiments, but he was never in the Army himself. He fills 2 seats on the bus and sort of wheezes his way through the day. Often, he stays on the bus when the rest of us get off to see something interesting, saying he doesn’t need to see one more thing glorifying the French. (He keeps mentioning how we saved their French...

Jump to full entry

Sep 23, 2018 - World War I Battlefields and Graveyards

I have not written about many parts of this tour, partly because my sore throat developed into a full blown cold that has me wanting to go to sleep as soon as I get to my room. But mostly because we have been visiting sites of such sadness, destruction, and slaughter. We have been to almost all of the American cemetaries from World War I in France. They are massive—-just acres and acres of white crosses, all marked with both American and French flags this week for the 100th anniversary events. Each cemetary has a more massive chapel,...

Jump to full entry

Sep 22, 2018 - The Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Today, we went into the Meuse-Argonne region (see map), scene of the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. We lost over 47,000 men there, including 26,000 on the first day alone. In its scale and in the number of American and French troops involved, not only infantry but artillery, tanks, engineers...just the logistics in this made it the largest operation that the American armed forces had been in to that point. The Americans faced the task of dislodging the Germans from land so easy to defend and difficult to attack. Although the American...

Jump to full entry

Sep 22, 2018 - Montfaucon

Montfaucon merits its own special mention. The largest memorial of World War One was placed at Montfaucon (Mount of the Falcon) deliberately, as this location was the first major height that needed to be taken in order to oust the Germans from France and end the dreadful trench warfare that had plagued the country since 1914. The memorial at Montfaucon is “the most imposing American monument in Europe,” according to the American Battle Monuments Commission This monument commemorates the American contribution and victory in the Meuse-Argonne...

Jump to full entry

Sep 22, 2018 - Verdun

Today, we stopped by General Pershing's headquarters in Souilly. They kept his office just the way he left it, they say. He is revered in France and almost every city in the northern part of the country has an Avenue de General Pershing. After that, we went to a little church in nearby Marbotte where dead French soldiers from the battle in the town were brought. There is an iconic drawing of it that was published in newspapers worldwide. Today, you can see the images of the dead and wounded soldiers in the restored church's altar and...

Jump to full entry

Sep 21, 2018 - Battle of St. Mihiel

Today we went to several places in the St. Mihiel Salient, a bulge in the front line that the Germans had held since 1914. The salient was full of defensive trenches, machine gun nests, artillery, and importantly, the high ground that could overlook the French and American lines for miles. Having been there for 4 years, the Germans were really dug in, but by then, their ranks of soldiers were quite depleted and tired, with many teenagers and old men having been drafted as replacements. The Americans and French took back the salient in 4...

Jump to full entry

Sep 18, 2018 - Grandpa heads to the front—Baccarat

Americans don’t remember much about the First World War, mostly probably because the second one came so soon after the first and was such a huge event for the U.S. by comparison. We forget how miserable, stupid, useless, and horrible the first one was. Half of the deaths in the war were from Spanish Flu, which was spread far and wide by having men first contained in crowded barracks and then shipping them all over the world. Spanish Flu (an H1N1 virus) could fill your lungs with fluid and kill you in one day. On Grandpa’s ship, the U.S.S....

Jump to full entry

May 25, 2018 - Day 5 - Nancy

A very early rise at 0530 hrs, refreshed, but feeling very warm from a comfortable night temperature and our fully sealed room from road noise. We attended breakfast in the hotel at 0830hrs before clearing our room and depositing our bag with reception. We did not want a repeat of yesterday’s arrival drama’s and strolled through the city before picking up the car from the underground station. An attempt to park on the verge in front of the hotel to pick up our bags was a Monty Python moment with the police striking from behind like a viper...

Jump to full entry

May 24, 2018 - Day 4 - Metz

We had indicated to our host that we planned to be away at 0830hrs and our early morning countryside setting helped. We first drove into Metz where with the help of a friendly lady who was nearly as competent with parking meters as myself we parked to walk the town centre. As with all of these towns of such age there was quite a lot to see of interest. Our first point of call was the Porte Chausssee, the Monument to the Children of Verdun who died for France and the river Meuse. Breakfast of not so fresh pastries, patisseries with very...

Jump to full entry

May 23, 2018 - Day 3 - Verdun

The previous night was not without undisturbed sleep however we felt fine to rise at 0630 hrs and to get on with the day. We departed the Ibis Hotel, which we thought as very average at 0815 hrs for Kaye to walk Epernay central. Our first stop was an appealing Patisserie/Chocliatter where we had our regular arrangement of three pastries and a coffee; all very delightful. As we walked the town, I assumed the role of tour guide having walked the area last evening. We concluded with a walk through of the local market which was operating, but...

Jump to full entry

Apr 23, 2018 - A Travel Day

Do you ever love a place so much you just hate leaving —— that was my feeling as we drove out of Bruge this morning. I wanted to shop for Belgium lace and Belgium chocolates but sleeping late made that impossible. My Dad always said, “The early bird gets the worm” and I was not early today!! Oh well, on the road to Germany!!Ben and I checked off some countries today - Belgium, Luxembourg, and a return to France. It was a travel day and we covered about 270 miles in 6 hours. The terrain changed from low, flat costal densely populated to...

Jump to full entry

Sep 29, 2016 - Verdun, and Rog's 80th birthday

After our adventures in learning about additives necessary for a VW van, we were able to spend the next day (September28) in Verdun at WWI sites. A new museum has opened since Roger and I were last there, and it is excellent. It is very well done in giving us a feel for what this horrendous battle entailed. The museum opened February 21, 2016 to commemorate 100 years after the beginning of the battle. The museum has artifacts, art, and lot of film and photographs that capture impressions of the hell that this long stalemate was. We also...

Jump to full entry
Previous -- 0 1  2  3  -- Next


Advertisement
OperationEyesight.com