Verdun and Battle of the Bulge

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June 7th 2010
Published: June 11th 2010
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Day five, our last day of the group trip, started really early, at 7 AM, to be exact. Today we had to drive quite a ways to make it back to Maastricht, but we would also stop twice to tour World War sites.

The first stop was at the city of Verdun, to pick up a map of the battlefield and to eat lunch after driving all morning. Almost everyone chose to eat at the same place, which had good food but was quite slow. It took awhile for everyone to get their food and then get back to the bus. Yes, I know slow service in Europe is considered polite service, but we were looking for a bit faster service than what was provided.

After that, we stopped at the World War I battlefield of Verdun. Though we did not have a tour guide for the battlefield, we made a couple of stops there. It was not unlike some Civil War sites that I have seen, where visitors can still see remnants of the rifle pits and trenches that were dug during the campaign. There was a large cemetery and ossuary there that we visited. The ossuary was especially moving.

The Battle of the Bulge was our only other stop before we arrived back in Maastricht at about 7:30 PM. At the Bulge site, there was a small museum that needs help that we toured, and a monument across the street dedicated to the American soldiers at the battle. The monument itself was built sort of like a Greek/Roman temple, with the name of every state inscribed all around the top.

After arriving in Maastricht, everyone was quite exhausted, but the group trip was deemed a success. We had seen a lot of places that otherwise we probably would not have seen, as many were inaccessible or inconvenient to see via trains. It had been a wonderful trip, but now it was back to school, at least for a little while and only for some.

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