Published: May 21st 2012May 21st 2012
We leave Paris this morning. Our apartment check I'd some at 0600 so we can get the bond back and have time to get to the station for a 0728 train to Amiens where we then go on a 2 day tour of the Western front WW1 battlefields (Somme, Poziers, Villers Bretenoux, etc.).
We get to Amiens without a hitthe wait outside Subway (sandwichery as they call it here) for our 0930 pickup. 0945 and start to wonder - 0955 and making calls to tour group - bugger, that is 1800 in Sydney. Try again and they offer an emergency line but as I am about to hit the buttons, a man that Chris had noticed standing on the corner comes over - our contact who had been on the corner he usually meets people, but not for this tour - bad start but at least we are the only ones on this tour.
He is British and drives a right hand drive Land Rover so awkward sitting in the driver side if it were a European car. His knowledge is very good and the day starts to get better, except for the bitterly cold wind and some rain.
We do the school and museum at Viller Brettoneux first (sister city of Robinvale - just around the corner form Mildura). Every where you look in the school, they have messages like "Do Not Forger Australia" and they also have their school hall decked out with large posters of Victorian tourist places. Interesting.
We do a few cemeteries and also the Australian memorial at VB - very imposing sight.
Do quite a few more sites showing the trenches and how the various campaigns were fought and the huge numbers of deaths and injuries sustained in these battles. There was one that had over 60,000 injured and 20,000 dead in the one 4 day fight.
As he explained, it compares to getting a large crowd in a football stadium and wiping them out..... Hmm, I think that is what Melbourne are doing at the moment.
Finished the day at Poziers where we were blown off our feefish headed to our hotel which happens to be opposite the Amiens Cathedral so we did that one - makes 4 now I think - and only in the second week - might be cathedraled out soon.....