Monday, May 21, 2012

Why do Mondays always feel like a Battlefield?

Monday.  The final day of our group trip.  The days had flown by and it was crazy to think that it was our last day! But we were all growing very tired and ready to be back 'home' in Maastricht. But we had two battle sites to see before we were back in Maastricht.

This morning we loaded the bus and drove.  Obviously, we all fell asleep on the bus.  What else is new? We are all convinced that the bus driver was circulating some sort of sedative through the air conditioning system on that bus.  Seriously.  Every time we boarded the bus, we were instantly asleep. Which made getting our class reading done extremely difficult.

Our first stop was at was the battle site of the Battle of Verdun, which was fought in Verdun, France.  Our tour guide was the most precious little French woman.  She was like a grown up Madeline, with a big red hat and everything.

She walked us through the memorial dedicated to the 1 million French and Germans who died there and through some actual trenches that were used during the 10-month battle. We even found a bullet near one of the trenches, which she let us keep, as long as we didn't tell anyone. But I trust that all of you can keep a secret.

After the tour, the sweet little woman apologized for her "poor English," which was actually nearly flawless...most of the Europeans think that their English is horrible, but in actuality, it's near flawless. If anyone should be apologizing, it's us Americans who come to their country and expect them to speak our language.

Then we drove some more to Bastogne, Belgium to the site of the Battle of Bulge, the last major battle of World War II. The memorial was a HUGE monument, which we were allowed to climb.  On the monument, the state of every American who fought in the battle was represented on the monument.  Don't worry, Kansas was there:

Can you find the excited little Kansan in this picture?

That was our final stop of the day until we finally reached Maastricht around dinner time.  It's so nice to be back in a familiar location and finally get some time to just relax, before we all leave for our individual travels tomorrow.  

2700 km, 7 countries, and 5 days later....Operation Europe: complete.

This sign hung proudly on the front of our bus for the entirety of the trip.

Chelsea and I will be leaving for Italy in the morning and will return to Maastricht next Monday.  So expect another post soon after that! Have a good week!

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