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Published: August 5th 2012
Saturday, Day 12
We started the day in Verdun. We wanted to see the battlefields and then drive down to Reims, France.
This is the location of one of the deadliest battles in World War I. It lasted more than 300 days in 1916. The battle was basically a stand off but Germany lost more men. In total more than 500,000 men died here.
We drove around the battlefields and saw many of the original bunkers and trenches. There were also forts around the town that were captured, first by the Germans, then later recaptured by the French.
The most moving part was the huge cemetery and memorial building in honor to those that died. In the basement of the memorial was a terrible scene. It housed thousands of bones of bodies that were never identified. You could actually see these piles through windows in the basement of the memorial. Jackie chose not to look. I wish I had made the same decision.
After this happy venture, we decided to drive as fast as possible to wine country. We targeted Reims, France. It is the home of champagne.
We arrived late and found our hotel.
We met this guy on the side of the road. He said he had been hiding in the woods for years. I gave him a ride in my car. He wanted to know if it was a German car. Since he looked French I was afraid to tell him it was.
It was a Best Western in the old town area. Our room was spacious and had air conditioning and wi-fi. After what we experienced in Verdun, we deserved this. We were also in walking distance to good restaurants and cafes.
Tomorrow we plan to visit one of the wine caves and the location of the German surrender of World War II.
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