Getting the Hang of Things
Trip Start May 02, 2010
74Trip End Aug 10, 2011
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We decided to travel down to France. Someone at one of the schools told us about a hotel and museum that they had been to so we decided this might make for a good weekend. It was the best weekend we have had yet so here goes ...
This weekend marks the halfway point for our time in Germany ... we look back on all that has happened and alll of the places we have been and we sometimes find it hard to believe all that has happened ... we have learned so much and are starting to feel like we are indeed locals- even if we do still have some language issues ..
We left Friday around 4 pm after work and the idea was to drive down to Luxembourg and break up the trip to Sedan in France. Marylee is the trip planner and she found a hotel in a small town on the way down. These hotels are called Auberges ... these are mainly restaurants that have some rooms available. We got there and settled in and they had an Irish Pub so this is where we spent the tn night
You never know what will happen when you order food ... even if you think you know what it is ... so Marylee got the standard pizza and I ordered the Lasagna ... now the Lasanga was excellent but it wasn't the kind mom makes ... it was hard to find the noodles and it was more like a cream soup ... ah the French and their sauces (you see in this part of Luxembourg they speak French) ... and the cheese on top was as thick as you would find on French Onion Soup ... delicious yes but again not like mom would make ... the room was quite nice ... small as this was a 2 star and one of the rooms had bunk beds for the kids ... so if you were a family at least this could make travel affordable ... next day it was up early for breakfast and off on our travels again ... total cost for room, parking, internet, supper and breakfast ...90 Euros or about $120 dollars ... cheap for traveling ..The people at the hotel were awesome.
So then it was off to Verdun, France ..
We were on our way through the area ... when just ahead of us 3 very strange animals made a dash across the road ... this was our first time seeing wild boars and they were big with there big tusks ... we had heard of people hunting them but again this was our first sighting ... same feeling tourists in Banff would get on seeing their first bear . (Definitely not "boaring"!)
As we approached the battle site at Verdun we could see the forests ... trees have grown up on the site .. there were obvious artillery creators throughout the area ... this was an area that was fought over for four years and some 1 million artillery shells fell in a very confined space ... the whole area is basically a national monument with no building or farming allowed ... it is seen as sacred ground by the French . We visited a huge cemetery, and two of the"forts" that the French had used for defense. Not like the forts we think of ...these are underground cement tunnel networks that stretch for kilometers.
When we left this area we found a little place called Montmedy, (Dave had seen it on a post card somewhere-it wasn't in the travel books)...and it was just a great little castle/town
Later in the afternoon, we finally went to Sedan,France where we stayed at the the Chateau. What a cool experience-staying in a place like that. We were surprised because even though we were on the sixth floor, the door led out onto a huge grass area (for Cassie!) We wandered around the town, had a beer, and then a quiet family-run place for supper. We were asleep by about 9:00pm. A lot of walking today!
Sunday morning we toured the castle we had stayed in. They had a good audiotour which I always appreciate. By noon we left Sedan, driving just a few kms to Bouillon, Belgium. Here we went to the castle that was built in 900 ish by a guy that ended up selling it off so he could finance his trip on the first Crusade. Beautiful little town, and really quite an impressive castle..complete with a dungeon and torture chamber.
We had time for one more stop-Dinant, Belgium...but by the time we got there and saw the 414 steps up to the Chateau, we decided that would be best left for another time. Five countries in two days-it always amazes me.
Now for some editorial content ... A word about the French
I have been to France many times and have always heard stories of how rude they could be to English speaking people ..
Second editorial ... we are really starting to like Belgium ... the Ardennes area is really a beautiful area to visit ... lots of scenery ... trees, rivers, history and castles ... and traffic is light when you get of the beaten track ... Marylee and I both agree that it is the our favorite spot so far ... and the Belgiums are a friendly sort ... we enjoy the cafes and the city life there ... I have heard the term TBW ... short for The Belgium Way ... apparently the Belgiums see the world differently ... viva la differance ... see i can speak a little French ...