Places I Remember with Lea Lane

France/Belgium Road Trip: Trenches, Beaches, History, Charm

June 01, 2021 Cary Lane talks with his mom Lea about a meaningful drive focusing on the battlefields of the two World Wars, including memorable stops along the way. Season 1 Episode 18
Places I Remember with Lea Lane
France/Belgium Road Trip: Trenches, Beaches, History, Charm
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Husband Bill and I invited my son Cary and his partner Zhanna on a travels through the major European World War battlefields, in Belgium and France, ending 10 days later in Paris -- a road trip of charm and history.
First, we hear tips on road tripping, then we describe our trip. Right away we missed The Compiègne Wagon, the train carriage in which both the Armistices of both World Wars were signed. We also misdirected the GPS and wound up back at the airport! But we visited pretty  Laon, and then drove up to Lille, “Capital des Flandre."
-- Next day, to Ypres in western Belgium. The Great War Museum in a former medieval cloth factory near the cathedral gives perspective. We followed the now serene battlefield circuit, once scenes of bloody warfare. At Ypres we attended the Last Post Ceremony, held every evening at the Menin Gate.
-- In  Bruges,  fairy-tale city in northwest Belgium, we stayed for dinner when crowds thinned. Next day to Amiens, in France. Nearby, the Battle of the Somme in 1916, was one of the largest of World War I, among the bloodiest in history.  In Peronne, an excellent Museum of the Great War illustrated nearby battles.
-- In Rouen, where Joan D’Arc was burned at the stake, we lunched across the street at La Couronne, oldest inn in France, where Julia Child had her first French meal.
-- We strolled Honfleur harbor  then drove to Bayeaux, near the Channel coast, famed for  the 11th-century tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England.
-- We spent a day experiencing the more recent invasion: moving sites of Omaha Beach, the American cemetery, the war museum, and surrounding gun batteries and remnants of D-Day.
--  We arrived at our favorite hotel after a crazy drive, and ended the trip in Paris.
-- And Cary adds a beautiful, meaningful, final memory!
Cary Lane is a professor, author, artist, museum curator and history buff.
Lea Lane blogs at, has traveled to over 100 countries, written nine books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to guidebooks. She's @lealane on Twitter; Travelea on Insta; on  Facebook, it's Places I Remember by Lea Lane. Her website: placesirememberlealane.comPlease follow, rate and review this weekly travel podcast!

* Transcript edited for clarity.

Lea Lane  00:04

Hi, I'm Lea Lane, an award-winning travel writer and author of Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 Countries. On this podcast we share conversations with travelers about fascinating destinations and memorable experiences around the world. One motto that applies to a road trip, you may have destinations in mind. But adventure truly lies in the journey. And that's one of the great things about a road trip. You never know what you'll find along the way. And you have the Independence to stop and enjoy it. Our guest today is Cary Llane. He's a college professor and artist, a museum curator, and my son. Welcome, Cary.


Cary Lane  00:49

Thank you very much for having me here. I'm very, very excited. And this is your new podcast. And I couldn't be more proud of you. This was a really wonderful trip that we took. And it's a pleasure for me to reflect on it with you.


Lea Lane  01:01

Great. It'll be fun. For a big birthday, my husband Bill and I took Cary and his lovely significant other Zhanna on a road trip. Cary's a history buff, especially about the world wars of the 20th century. So what would be a better place to travel than the battlefields of World War One and World War Two in France and Belgium. And along with the historic sites, we visited some of the loveliest towns and cities in Europe, including Bruges, Belgium, Roulin, and all Fleur in France, and we ended in Paris. First, we'll talk a little bit about planning a road trip, and how to make it work. Planning helps you to have time to find surprises later, you want to be realistic about your time leave enough. You don't want to drive more than maybe four hours a day if possible. And you want to leave time for the unexpected. Think about if you have enough time to do what you want. If not, you'll have to shorten your goals or add some time or move along faster.


Cary Lane  01:58

I thought it was great. I thought we blended well together. And I think that when you travel in a group communication is key. Everybody had a nice tempo and we went with the flow. And if somebody wanted to do something we did we did it. And if somebody didn't, we didn't then sometimes we split off in a group. So I thought it was really, we had a nice chemistry together.


Lea Lane  02:20

Great. We designed the trip for minimal unpacking. We were using our car and maybe some trains. And we figured we'd have many stops. And we had daylight until about 9pm. It was the summer. So that helped a lot. You want to plan a goal. Make sure you can write your theme of the trip in a sentence. So I would say that on this trip, we toured France and Belgium driving to the regions of picker de Flanders, Normandy and Paris. And we focused on the wars of the 20th century and cultural and historical discoveries and good food. So that was what we were trying for and I think if you can write it down, it helps you to keep your goal in mind.


Cary Lane  02:58

What you're saying and even you had little beaches and trenches. And I remember when we landed at Charles de Gaulle, you there you are with that with your sign the beaches and trenches tour and, and I knew we were in great hands. 


Lea Lane  03:13

I thought that was sort of the theme. I guess that was the better thing than the the longer thing. You want to consider your transportation carefully and book ahead if possible. Depending on how many of you there are the size you need, the comfort you need. Consider the ease of driving and cost of gas. Do you want an RV? Do you want an SUV a sports car a convertible?


Cary Lane  03:35

Well, we had four people and four people of various sizes and we had luggage for two weeks. So we needed something sizable, a drivable car and we needed GPS navigation. And we wanted to make sure it was comfortable. So when we landed it, Charles de Gaulle, we went to the Avis and we tried a couple of different cars before. It was like the three little bears. Did our luggage fit. Yes. Did we fit? Yes. Is this a is it a drivable car? Yes. And so we ended up with a Volvo four door station wagon very large. I'm almost like a hearse inside. But it was very drivable, and we drove a lot. That was key. So the car really was great.


Lea Lane  04:16

Great. Okay, what about the lodgings? You want to book at least your first and last lodgings? Preferably all of them?


Cary Lane  04:23

Well, we stayed in many different places. And we went with a more adventurous sort of itinerary where we move more frequently than stayed in one place. I believe we call the the Hub and Spoke method. 


Lea Lane  04:34

Yeah, I did. Yeah.


Cary Lane  04:35

So, you know, we went with the more asymmetrical route. So we tried, you know, many different hotels and B and B's and some are great and some may miss a little bit which we'll get into but doing the research ahead of time, I think is the key to success in this case.


Lea Lane  04:51

Yeah, we tried to stay at least two nights when we were traveling because you can arrive sometime on the first day and get settled. And then you have a full day to work. floor, and then return at night, get a good good night's sleep, which you need and then you'll depart refreshed the next day. So that was our goal. Sometimes we stayed even longer than two days or two nights. And we tried to stay close to the center, when we wanted to walk around to save time, and effort and money. We did try to choose hotels with lots of reviews. Otherwise, you know, you want it you're sort of on your own. But you have to be a little bit skeptical. Do you want to tell us a little story, Cary?


Cary Lane  05:28

The only hotel we had problems with was one where we couldn't really vet it as much as other places. Because this was a newer Bed and Breakfast. This was near the Normandy beaches. And this was about a week after the 75th anniversary of D Day. So there weren't that many available lodgings and we actually got this place because one it was available when other places were not and two, even though it was new and not well reviewed. It was on the pricier side, we assumed that it was going to be of a quality that we wouldn't have to worry about. But it turns out despite the charm of the city, and actually the charm of the building that you know, our accommodations were a bit moldy and stuffy and there were no windows in the room that you are staying in the so I guess the moral of the story is do try to try and vet your lodgings using TripAdvisor or some of the other review websites.


Lea Lane  06:22

Right. I can add a little bit to that the room that Bill and I had was a store, it was a store, we walked into a an art store and we looked in and we said where's our room and the proprietor said, This is your room. And she took us to the back of the store where there was no windows or anything. And during the day, people would look through the windows and you know, they'd see us inside the room. And it was the oddest hotel room I never been in. It was the most expensive hotel on our whole trip. So you do want to watch the reviews. And be careful about that. It was a it was a good story afterwards, at least how about restaurants you know you have to eat when you travel on a road trip, I would say you want to eat where the locals do if possible. And if you can picnic where it's a beautiful area, that's a wonderful thing to do on the road as well. 


Cary Lane  07:11

So you know you're in the French and Belgian countryside. And for what it's a lot of farm to table and a lot of local chefs, we relied on Yelp a lot, we took chances with places and again, it's going to be hit or miss. But for the most part, I thought the food was amazing. The growing the meat that you're eating is usually raised locally, and the wine is local. And they're growing the peers and the apples and they make cover those locally wonderful. There were maybe one or two duds that we had in the entire trip one time we were coming and we were in Lille and we were coming back from a day in the touring the battlefields of World War One and it was very late. And we were near the main square in Lille and we saw a bistro and it looked perfect. It was like something out of Dibella Park and it was sort of this traditional French bistro. And it ended up despite the ambience, and despite its look and feel it ended up being maybe I don't know, is one of the worst cocoa vans we dry chicken. And you know, really, it wasn't good. But the odd man that we were so disappointed because the look and felt the part but you're going to have that in a two week trip. And that's part of the charm too. And we're talking about that meal, and maybe not some of our better one. That's part of the adventure.


Lea Lane  08:19

Well, it's sure and eating is one of the five senses, and you want to use all your five senses. On a road trip. I remember seeing the most beautiful poppy fields and listening to the birds and feeling the hot sun and talking to the locals. So you really get to know a place when you're on the road. And that was one of the best parts of a road trip, I would say. The last thing to think about is to be very thoughtful when you're on on a road trip. When you're sharing, driving, navigating, you want to think of others needs and their quirks and how many pitstops you have and first aid you want to get up on time be on time. And sometimes you take breaks from each other you have some downtime, and we did lots of that. So I think you know generally speaking wherever you go on any road trip, these are these are things you can think about. But let's talk about the pleasures of art road trip June 2019, our trip through France and Belgium. Let's just go through it and talk about a little specifically some of the wonderful places we experienced. We came out of de Gaulle Airport in Paris on a very sunny morning and we drove through the area Picardy, where there are many world war two battles. We were going to find the railroad car where the armistice was signed, there were two armistice sign they are actually for World War One and World War Two. And we thought this would tie the whole trip together, starting with a car where these armistice was signed, but guess what, we couldn't find it. So what happened Carrie?


Cary Lane  09:43

I think it was also a case of you know, we had just gotten off a red eye and II had just rented a new car and we were thinking that point most of us were thinking about craving a meal and a bed so you know these are going to be maybe we were a little ambitious about trying to do too much too quickly. way after just arriving from our long flight and again, but that's part of rolling with the punches, and sometimes you're going to think you're going to do something you end up doing another thing. The downside of that is like, during that day, I remember we, we were so tired that we programmed the GPS in the wrong direction. And we drove two hours out of our way. One way, we had to drive two hours back. So on top of the, all the travel and the sightseeing that first day, we ended up taking a four hour detour because of the language barrier with the GPS.


Lea Lane  10:30

Yep, it was not a good start. However, we saw some pretty little agricultural towns and, and we, we got over it, we had a very good night's sleep. And our first stop in Lille, which is a very underrated city in northern France. And in the Flanders area, where we stayed for three nights, we stayed near the train station and downtown, because we thought we might take a train to get or maybe Brussels. But we decided instead to sleep in, I guess, because of our first day. So we just explore the area a little bit. And then we took a full day to visit our first world war one battlefields around APRA, which is a beautiful medieval town from the Middle Ages, which was a major cloth weaving city. And it has a beautiful square. And it's a wonderful thing to visit just for itself. It had a museum there of the Great War. And we started with that. So we got an overview of what we were going to see. And we even got a map, which we took with us. And again, when we were on a road trip, we could do what we wanted, be independent stop and start when we wanted and we took this map, and we drove around. How would you describe the drive?


Cary Lane  11:39

The battlefield is, is haunting, and you can feel the sort of presence. And I think one of the ways that you feel it is because of the just the number of memorials that there are the Western Front was a very narrow swath, you know, you didn't really waver more than 1015 20 miles. But it was really long stretching from Northern Belgium all the way down to the Swiss border, along this walk on the Western Front. I mean, they're just, they're hundreds of cemeteries and memorials. And so as you're driving around the battlefield, there are it's really the memorials that you ended up shopping for in some of these memorials and cemeteries are just dark and beautiful and haunting and well maintained at the time, cots cemetery, in particular, with British and Australian soldiers. Beautiful, really. And so you really have this feeling it's a sort of you internalize it, because it's in the it's, there's something in the air as you're touring, you feel it. And then of course, the poppy fields, as you mentioned, which is also a symbolic reminder. So you can't go really very far without being reminded of the history and sort of goes inside of you, you know, yeah,


Lea Lane  12:49

It's really moving. We made sure to be back at APRA for a ceremony at the main gate. The Menin Gate is a memorial that bears the names of more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth officers and men whose graves are not known. And every night at 7pm People gather at this gate. You want to get there early, if you want to have the best impression of what goes on. You want to describe what that is?


Cary Lane  13:14

Yeah, it was. It's a nine minute ceremony, and I ended up videotaping it. As you said, Leo, I got there in our head while you and Bill got a cup of Belgian coffee or hot chocolate, there are two to 300 people who gather every night at 7pm. And the night we were there, it was raining. But we were protected under this arch. And it's a very moving ceremony with local veterans groups, the local military and Drum Corps in bugle lists, and they lead to the travelers who who visit help lay the wreath and so it's a very moving ceremony and just the idea that they do this every night and had done so every night since the end of the war is very striking. 


Lea Lane  13:57

Yeah, it's very beautiful. The next day, we drove to someplace else that's beautiful. Bruges, Belgium. Now I had written about Bruce for photos guidebooks, so I knew about it and been there before. And I can say it's still beautiful, but the crowds are intense. So we got there mid day, and we walked around the cobbled streets and looked at the canals and we went to the Burg square and the city hall with its ornate ceiling and the Market Square with its 13th century Belfry and it was very beautiful. But the crowds were overwhelming. So we decided to stay late and have dinner there. And then after dinner, we walked out and what a difference it makes.


Cary Lane  14:40

Beautiful when you have the time to yourself like that. And one of the things the best things and brews are the artisan chocolatiers and so they have all you know, dozens of artists in chocolatiers making wonderful chocolates. We made the mistake of actually not buying enough chocolate your thing Oh, we'll save our appetite for dinner. And then you we regretted it later that we didn't buy enough chocolate. So when you go to Bruges and you buy their chocolates, which are fantastic. Do you buy enough and take a few boxes with you because you'll want them later?


Lea Lane  15:10

That's an excellent suggestion.


Cary Lane  15:14

Who doesn't buy enough chocolate at the best chocolatiers in the world? 


Lea Lane  15:18

I know we were foolish. But we did have I think they had fries, didn't we? I mean, you have to have the fries at the Mayo, of course, the chocolate treats, right? We saved for you. So then we move we stayed two nights in another city in France in EMEA. And that's a regional city. It's a university city and it's a gorgeous gothic cathedral. It's the tallest Cathedral in France and from the 13th century and they light it up in the summer. We just We just missed the lighting, but it was so beautiful inside. And they have floating gardens and canals all the way through in one area that you take a little barge and you go and float along. It's very unusual to do like that.


Cary Lane  16:00

It's a tributary of the some river.


Lea Lane  16:03

Interesting. Because we were in the sump area. You don't think of that so much when you're in the battlefield area. But yes, that's the tributary of the summit's so very nice city. So we were there two nights. And one day we took another full day to drive around the psalm area where there were battlefields and how would you describe this area, Cary?


Cary Lane  16:22

It's been 100 years since its war so you kind of have to use your imagination a little bit because although you're standing on a demarcated Battlefield, there oftentimes isn't as much in terms of remaining artifacts or barbed wire, or trenches which have been filled in or eroded. But there are scars on the land Hills, which are either cratered because of artillery, we visited a huge bomb crater, you sort of can envision what this stalemate and of the two sides in the trench warfare was. It's the cemeteries adjacent all the battlefields that really puts it into context in terms of scale, the time cuts cemetery, I think it being the the feature one in the some in the apron in some areas.


Lea Lane  17:05

Yeah, I think when you drive along this beautiful agricultural area, it's so calm and peaceful. It's hard to realize that one of the largest battles of World War One, one among the bloodiest in all of human history, was right there. I think there were more than 57,000 casualties of British forces, including more than 19,000 soldiers killed on the first day of the battle alone, the single most disastrous day in that nation's military history. But the area today is lovely, and calm. And it makes you think about many things, and appreciate peace. There was a little museum in a town called Poron, a little Military Museum, and it was quite striking


Cary Lane  17:48

and modern and well appointed in the open with a very fine film that really forms you about how complex and how brutal this World War One was, and how romanticize it was going in and how brutal it was coming out in senseless really. So they really start you on with a wonderful film there. And then they have a fantastic artifacts that you can get very up close and personal with. And in the back, you can actually touch this was a very nice museums and you get we ran into so many different museums large and small, and you kind of have to choose and again, you have to do a little research which are worth stopping at it. And especially in the Normandy area, which we'll talk about. There's so many little museums, or people have three or four Sherman tanks, and they call it a museum, like the food or the lodging the museums will be hit or miss this one in Rome was a good one.


Lea Lane  18:37

Well, the next day we went on to Normandy, to Rawat a beautiful, beautiful capital of the northern region of Normandy sound, the river San and it has a beautiful cathedral, like so many other of these towns, but this one was painted often by Monet, you may have seen it in museums, it's shimmering and white. So we walked there. And we decided to have lunch at a very famous restaurant called La Quran. 


Cary Lane  19:01

Hard to believe it opened it opened 80 years before Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. And it's actually 100 feet from where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. So I don't know if they brought her there for her last meal. But if they did, it was open so that when you're eating in an 800 year old restaurant, it's you know, this is the case where you know, there's a little bit of height to it. And you know, it's gonna be expensive because it's the oldest restaurant in France, but you do it anyway because you know, because it's the oldest restaurant in France. What did they serve 800 years ago and Julia Child ate there and her pictures up there and you have some play and you have patties and poached fish and very traditional it was still wonderful experience and my seat was facing out into I could see the little garden where the Joan of Arc was before she met her demise. It was just you feel the history. It doesn't get more traditional obviously it just lets you know the these cathedrals and these restaurants are 800 to 1000 years old and they're really wonderful experience. 


Lea Lane  20:00

Sometimes it's worth it, I should say more than having lunch there. Julie child was inspired by I think it was her first French meal. And she said, Write that in there. I'm going to learn how to do this. And the rest is history of another sort. After that, we decided to add a little stop. You know, this is a good thing about a road trip, we had a little time. And the light was late, you know, it was on till 10. So we said, let's go on to the prettiest port and Norma data on Fleur. It's just a beautiful little old harbor with 16th to 18th century townhouses. Monet painted it and other painters. It's where the sand meets the English Channel. And we just walked around John and I did and had a very nice, unexpected stop.


Cary Lane  20:38

It's very charming. And I remember taking a picture of you, you rode the carousel in the harbor, and we walked around the harbor and everybody was having a drink outside a very lovely stop.


Lea Lane  20:49

Yeah, we had a lot of serious things on this trip. And we went to many museums. This was just a joyful little stop, and I'm so glad we did it. We drove on a little bit more to buy in Normandy that is very close to Omaha Beach, where D Day occurred June 6 1944. It's a beautiful medieval town. We stopped there for two days.


Cary Lane  21:09

No. So again, we were there. We just happened to be there the week after the 75th anniversary of the D Day invasion. And that means a week after all the leaders of the free world were there. So the grandstands were still there. And obviously the cemetery and surrounding areas were in immaculate shape. So we get to feel the sort of the anniversary without having to deal with the crowds. The Bayou the town, we were staying in honor the 75th anniversary, every single storefront had a little sort of painting. Thank you, America. Thank you allies, with American soldiers painted. Nice to see this sort of throwback to when the allies the American soldiers were respected in Europe. And you know, I'd never been to Normandy or Omaha Beach. I'd read Stephen. 


Lea Lane  21:56

Yes, you have, Cary, when you were a tiny baby, I took you in a stroller up the steps of Boston that Sam Michelle, you don't remember. What year was that? Way back in 1970, 71. Around that.


Cary Lane  22:11

When you wind your way, you know, you're you're driving through all the hedgerows and all the little towns that from Bahia that the Allies spot after the beach invasion and and that's one of the things you actually notice when you go to the American cemeteries that the dates of death of the American soldiers earned on June 6 1944. Were there June 21. There July 4 1944. And so a lot of the casualties that the Allies experienced as they fought their way inland into the hedgerows. Those soldiers also are buried in the American Cemetery but you know, like it the book ends the World War One cemeteries, which I think, you know, the cemeteries and the memorials, I think in this whole area is really the standout. It's not even so much the battlefield, per se, and we did walk down to the beach, Omaha Beach, and that does give you chills, and I couldn't help from looking for artifacts myself, will there be a piece of shrapnel here, you know, 75 years later, I just couldn't help looking down at the sand hoping to find the casing.


Lea Lane  23:07

We did see something. Remember there was something in the sand. It was heavy, so it probably couldn't have been moved easily.


Cary Lane  23:13

Yeah, a lot of times they're the they put a plaque on an immovable object like a hunk of steel from, you know, one of the German fortifications. You know, if you're at the top of the hill, you there, German artillery guns are still on their pillboxes. And you get to go inside this pillboxes and overlook the beach and so from the perspective of above the beach, especially at point A hawk, where do you know the Army Rangers climbed the the cliffs, the chalk cliffs and heavy casualties. You saw from the German perspective, you saw from the Americans perspective, and you're down on the beach, and how daunting that was, you have a lovely museum near the American cemetery that we actually went to after we visited the the cemetery, I would recommend actually going to the museum before you visit the cemetery, to really sort of it ever again, a lovely film to orient you in wonderful artifacts. And it sort of this to prepare you for what you're going to experience very sobering. In current political climates. You see what's at stake, and it met expectations. 


Lea Lane  24:15

Yes, it did. The next day was our last day we were going to take a train to Paris. But we changed our plans again, on a road trip. Sometimes that happens, we decided to drive into Paris. So right before we did Gianna, and I went to see the tapestry of Bahia, which is an 11th century tapestry is 204 feet long. It's absolutely beautiful. It depicts the 1066 Norman invasion of England, which kind of, you know, makes you think about wars and how many invasions have been and it was quite quite something to see. And we were glad we stopped and then we went on to Paris and Carrie did the driving and would you like to describe what it was like on a Friday? I think it was a holiday as well and we came down to the Shan CTSA and what happened


Cary Lane  24:59

I live in New York and I, you know, you think you can handle the traffic in Paris, you can handle the New York traffic, you can handle the French traffic. And I did, nothing bad happened. But it's quite an experience going around the art tutorial with seven different merges. And you just remember that, you know Paris has served the architecture in terms of the city planning is very complex. It's like a circle or a spot, like a wheel. And all roads lead to the center of the city. Well, here we are at the center of the city. And the roundabouts that you see in New England sort of don't do that justice. So what this was, yeah, I decided that I was if they're gonna hit me, they're gonna hit me. I'm gonna step on the gas. And nobody hit us. And we made it in.


Lea Lane  25:42

We made it and it was exciting. I will say that. I had my eyes closed most of the time. And I know Bill had his eyes closed. Oh, yeah, I think we all had you had your eyes open you had to. But we got to our beautiful little Hotel San Paul Reed Gosha, tiny little hotel and left bank. And we stayed in Paris for a few days. And we sort of split up here because Shawna had not been to Paris. And you took her around to some of the places she wanted to go to and was very nice. We met for dinner. And we sometimes were there for breakfast together. But we had our own alone time. And it was a lovely ending to the trip. And we're not going to go into Paris. We'll have another episode on Paris alone. We've already had our first episode on the left bank of Paris that I've already done, but we'll do more. But just to say it was a beautiful ending to a magnificent trip. The name of the podcast is places I remember. And on this road trip, what's one of your favorite memories, Cary?


Cary Lane  26:35

To me, as I was saying earlier, maybe one of the best parts of the experience was were the memorials and cemeteries that were adjacent to the battlefields not necessarily the battlefields themselves, of the many cemeteries, we went to one of the more interesting ones was one of the Imperial German army cemeteries in I believe this was in this, the Battle of the sum, these German cemeteries are sort of much, much less traveled, there was nobody there, the crosses were very spartan, dark, thin steel crosses, and a very dramatic, very World War One, but very beautiful at the same time, just because of the contrast of say the sort of white memorials that the allied countries cemeteries have these were black steel crosses. And we were in one in one German cemetery in particular in rimando V. Ayers, adjacent to the battlefield with some and feature hundreds of these black steel crosses, very haunting, and we were walking along the grounds and in the back of the plot, were a few stone markers, not steel crossings, but stone markers, and lo and behold, they had to starve David on them. And sure enough, these were gravesites of Jewish German soldiers who fought and died side by side with Christian soldiers of the Imperial German army. It's just staggering to think that 15 years later, the family of these fallen Jewish older soldiers are subjected to Nazi fascism, the Holocaust. And then you think of the irony, when you book in this with the American Cemetery in Normandy, were 26 years later, the Jews fought side by side with their Christian brothers in the American army in the American armed forces as Jewish liberators of Europe. And so I just think that ironic bookend of that, the 26 years between the two cemeteries, the the inclusion of the Jewish soldiers in the World War, one cemetery for the Germans, and the Jewish soldiers for the American armed forces in Normandy. So that's something that I'll always remember. Yeah, the beauty of that, and the irony of it.


Lea Lane  28:46

Yes, it's a beautiful memory. I think we're all thankful to be here because of so many of those people who fought, we came out of the road trip not only enrich but informed and happy and close. So it worked out in part, because we worked to make it a good road trip. I really always will remember it with great fondness. Thank you so much, Cary, for sharing memories with us. And I will always remember our trip.


Cary Lane  29:14

Oh, and thank you and much love to you and Bill and thank you for a wonderful trip and congratulations on your podcast too. 


Lea Lane  29:22

Thank you so much.


Lea Lane  29:29

Thanks for sharing travel memories with us. My book, Places I Remember, is available on Amazon and in bookstores, in print, on Kindle, and I read the audio version. Please subscribe to this podcast and consider giving us a review. Until next time, join us wherever in the world we're going.

Planning a road trip
First day -- missing railroad car, and getting lost
Overnight in Lille--3 nights there
Ypres: the city and battlefields, memorials, cemetaries
Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
Bruges, Belgium--medieval buildings, canals, chocolate and frites -- and crowds
Amiens: floating gardens, cathedral, near monuments,cemetaries, battlefields of the Somme
Tyne Cot cemetary and now calm countryside; museum at Peronne
Rouen -- Joan of Arc, cathedral, and lunch at oldest inn in France
Short stop at Honfleur--prettiest port in Normandy
Bayeaux, and a weird lodging
We visit Omaha Beach, German fortifictions, the War Museum and American Cemetery
Seeing the Bayeaux tapestry, and driving to Paris on a holiday weekend
Last stop, Paris
Cary's favorite memory of the trip