Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The magic of a bus and this continent

...is that you can get on one and be in another place, cultures apart, within a few hours. Emphasis on few--we are talking like one, two, three tops. Not double digits, like the states. It's quite the luxury these Europeans get to enjoy. And that I get to enjoy, at least for a few more weeks.

Amiens, France.

It's not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, I realize. But it's the home to the biggest cathedral in all of Europe, charming French neighborhoods that make you want to swoon, and the Somme Battlefields of WWI. Which is just as cool. 

Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens:
The head of John the Baptist is alleged to be here, a relic brought from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. You could see the wear and tear of time on the ceiling and walls and for whatever reason, it made the building even more beautiful. It made it real.
Why I would want to be French: 
(Excluding the pretty language, fashion expertise practically a part of their DNA, and delectable cuisine). We found this area just outside the cathedral. I couldn't help but imagine a life of waking up in one of the cute, curtained homes and eating a small portion of baguette and Brie cheese with the sounds of a violin being played down the street at a nearby cafe. I'd make my way to my home design studio across the square, where I'd then boss employees around for not getting the right bolts of pretty fabrics and materials for my latest and most pressing projects, all before meeting a few darling, fabulous friends for a late lunch. You should also know that in this day-dream I had some very chic bangs....I go for the complete picture.

In Flanders Field  WWI Museum: 
We do have scholastic requirements. I mean, this is school. Even if everything you do seems too fun to be. This museum was one of the best, most well-done and interactive museums I've ever been to. Their use of audio and visual tracks was chilling.

This isn't intended to be a political statement, but the last room really got to me. WWI was supposed to be "the war to end all wars." In a short two decades we were fighting another, perhaps larger war. There have been over 126 armed conflicts since (as of 2008). I've had John Lennon's Imagine stuck in my head ever since (no, not the Glee version :).

The WWI 2nd British front-line trenches: 
I got to walk through these! I've been to the South and visited Civil War battlegrounds. I've been to the east coast and seen sites of the Revolutionary War. But neither of those experiences compared with this. It was beyond moving. Truly an unreal experience. This was the earth that the German and British soldiers fought each other from. Where they lived with dog-sized rats and picked up all manner of diseases. Where they died. Where a lot of them are still trapped in and buried. It was one of the coolest things I've done. And I almost feel like a different person because of it, as silly as that sounds.


The entire group. It's not often we get a picture. (Notice our cute professors & their families--the Crowe's and Dursteler's. They are the best.)

1 comment:

Vicki said...

wowza hay. This is getting to be like too much dessert. i just can't absorb these beautiful pictures. you forgot to mention a beret with those bangs...

you are in for a rude awakening when you leave your princess haley lifestyle...dang.