Monday, October 27, 2008

France to Bastogne, Belgium to Arnhem, Netherlands

9-29-08 Verdun to Arnhem

Valerie put out a nice breakfast of assorted breads, croissants, jams, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate and OJ.
This was our last stay in France until we hit Paris. We take our time to eat and head out for the 1 ½ hour drive to our next visit in Bastogne, Belgium.

Bastogne was the Battle of the Bulge in WW2, where the Americans single handedly protected the border town of Bastogne, pushing back the Germans. American troop losses and wounded were high, but the battle was pivotal in stopping the Germans counter attack in their bid to re-take Belgium. The troops were led by Generals Eisenhower and Patton. We went to the museum in Bastogne which included an audio guide to explain the battle and positions. Displays included uniforms, supplies, weapons, artillery, medical and large dioramas with vehicles and scenes of the actual battles. The museum was very informative and we learned just how important the Americans were in the fight against the Nazis.

Today's photos.

Back in the car for the 3 ½ drive to Arnhem Netherlands. Stopped at a rest stop for gas and lunch at a cafeteria. Terry had salad bar, bread and ├ęclair, and I had a big bowl of veggie soup and bread - not too bad. Arrived in Arnhem about 4pm, to cloudy skies and cold wind. We check in and Margot, our hostess is just delightful, friendly and helpful. The B&B is right across the street from the town’s large park, we have a great view from our 3rd story room. Most Dutch homes are narrow and 3-4 stories tall, with very narrow, steep stairs. We settle in for a bit until 6pm and walk the few blocks to old town for dinner. I was intriqued by a small resto called Pinocchio, the menu looked good, so we went in. Instantly we noticed the whole ceiling was covered solid with hanging wine bottles, and of course Pinocchios everywhere in paintings and knick knacks, very fun atmosphere. The menu had Italian and local specialty dinners which I would have tried, but it would have been way too much food. Terry got a spinach fettucine pasta with salmon and cream sauce, I got chicken penne with mushrooms, fresh mozzarella chunks, pine nuts, and cream sauce – excellent!

Arnhem street

On our walk back to the B&B, it started to drizzle. Watch a little of the depressing Europe CNN news and all the financial fiascos going on at home. Seeing it from the Europeon perspective here, they are shaking in their boots too.

Today was interesting because we drove from France, a little bit into Belgium, and then the Netherlands. The roads, languages and signage changed dramatically each time. The Netherlands looks very modern, contemporary in the buildings, the highway lighting & signage and the artistic sound breaks along the highways. And yet, next to a new building, would be a cow pasteur and fields

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