Germany - France
June 2o24

 Verdun Rest Day 25  June 2024

I had a rest day on Tuesday in Verdun, so that I could spend some time sorting out laundry and doing some bike bits, and generally resting up.  The weather was glorious and camping out for a couple of nights was quite nice.  The camp site was very French, most people in their camper vans, and taking pity on the poor man in a tent with a bike, bringing me beers and offering to charge up my devices from their electric connection.  I’d already been told off for not having booked a pitch with electric yesterday when I enquired about availability of electric.  I’m getting used to being told off as I travel around.  Hotel people and campsite people seem to be bossy by nature in Germany and France.  Anyhow, this morning I had two pain au chocolate- preordered - with my cafe au lait, walked the short distance in to town, and wandered about, got a hair cut (only 12 euro, compared to 14 sterling at my local Turkish barber - where they are all Iraqi Kurds really), and then in the afternoon a visit to the Verdun citadel, which was a major defensive place during WW1 and the seige of Verdun.  The  visit of the citadelle was all done through a  kind of Son et Lumiere style presentation, driven around in automatic guided style dodgems through the tunnels.  It was cold and damp down there, so I had a little wrap to put on just in case.  Historical place these days go in for wrapping the story and the history around some characters from the time, in this case three Poilus, as the French infantery soldier was called at the time, with dialogue such as, “Is that fresh bread, mon ami?  Can I have some?”  And the reply, something like, “Sacre bleu, don’t you know there’s a war on, mon mate. Non.  Pushez vous off”, and so on.  A bit naff.  I just wish they would stick with the facts and the history.  Anyhow, it was good to get a sense of the defences and the battle that took place.  

Verdun is dotted around with memorials, graveyards, defences, too many to see, although as I rode out the next morning I passed many of them.  Verdun is on the River Meuse, which heads north in to Belgium and Holland, where it becomes the Maas, and I can see that it could be a route for a nice cycle ride sometime in the future !  

I ate in the evening at the campground brasserie, very acceptable food and drink, and the most interesting middle aged waitress, last night in a white crocheted trouser suit and tonight in some gold lame design, all the while serving up the food.  Very French.  Her companion was still wearing the dungarees she had on yesterday.  Not anyway as elegant. The football was on, and there seemed to be a lot of interest, but I worked out that it was mostly the Dutch campers who were making all the noise - Netherlands was playing.  It’s been an interesting pause in Verdun, nice weather, interesting French campsite, getting told off, some history, and a chance to pause and catch breath before the final stages to get me home.


Berlin-Lutherstadt  :   Lutherstadt - Bernberg. :   Bernberg - Blankenberg  :  Blankenberg - Einbeck  :  Einbeck - Kassel  : 

Kassel - Kirchheim  :  Kirchheim - Marburg  :  Kirchheim - Limberg/Diez  :  Limberg/Diez - Mainz  :  Mainz - Koblenz  :

Koblenz - Krov  :  Krov - Remich  :  Remich - Verdun  Verdun : Verdun - Reims  :  Reims - Amiens  :  Amiens - Arras



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