From/To: Sippersfeld – Verdun
We had a couple of days to spend before the Ulysses club AGM started, so we thought a trip to France would be nice. Not far from Sippersfeld was Verdun, that seemed to be a nice enough destination. So in the morning we slowly packed up the tent, had a swim and some coffee and cake, than started in the afternoon direction Verdun. The weather was quite warm and we arrived in France without traffic jams.
After the border we realised that our GPS had only the German map and was now showing us the coarse world map, which was not useful at all. We had a real problem to find the accommodation. At the end we used the mobile phone. When we finally arrived, we noticed as well, that our French is not really up to scratch. Our host didn’t speak English but admitted eventually to speak a little bit German, so we reverted back to Google translate. That seemed to work, a bit slow, but better than nothing. We found out that our host offered to drive us to the city, so we could have something to eat without jumping back into our motorcycle gear. With the high temperatures at night, we happily accepted. We walked around a bit, picked a restaurant and had a nice dinner. What a lovely day. Our host was so kind to pick us up again.
The next day we explored Verdun; there were plenty of places to visit. We started to stroll through Verdun and found the Porte Chaussee, huge entrance to Verdun. Later we found out, that this was not the main gate; this was another gate close by.
From here we went to the impressive ‘Monument to the victory at Verdun’. It contains a crypt which was used to hold books with the names of those French and American soldiers who fought in this region. There are many steps J. Inside was a small exhibition, some of the German propaganda material.
From the crypt was it a short stroll to the ‘Cathedrale Nore Dame de Verdun’. This cathedral looked impressive, especially when you saw how damaged it was at the end of 1918.
From here we walked to the Museum for Peace where we went through an exhibition about the First World War. It did show not only the live at the front, it showed as well the impact on the civil population. We were happy that we never had to live through something like that.
From here we went back to the Meuse and found some sort of water feature, which looked nice.
The next day we planned to have a look around the city, but our host told us (via Google translate), that it would be interesting to have a look at the ‘Citadel’
Next day visit the Citadel, there was not much to see from the outside and I forgot to take pictures inside.
The next stop was Fort Vaux and Fort Douaumont, both Forts were built to defend Verdun. It was incredible to see how people have lived during the war and which technology exists at this time. Below are some pictures from both forts:
Back side of ‘Fort de Faux’
Connection tunnel in the Fort. It felt we and cool.
Some bombs, I tried to lift on, they were really heavy.
Toilets, well one, the rest was removed since it didn’t work during the siege.
The washing quarters: The stalactites are a new featureJ. It shows how moist it was.
And the turret tower from the inside and outside. One was still functioning and could be lifted and retracted.
After all day sightseeing, we went back to Verdun for some nice treats and to walk through the city gates.
That was our time in France. Tomorrow we’ll travel back in Germany. On our way we will have a look at Hackenberg, a Fort build from France in the 1920th.