This is the second post about our day trip through the Champagne-Ardenne region
in northeastern France. I introduced Reims and a few of its more popular sites in my last post.
You can read it here.
Andrae and I are both World War fanatics, so we were
really excited to visit the spot in Reims where the Third Reich
surrendered to the Allies in WWII.
On our first trip to France, we visited the D-Day beaches in Normandy,
which was a pretty emotional experience.
(I blogged about the trip on my travel blog, but I need to
repost it here, since I closed down that blog. )
Following D-Day, Eisenhower located his command center in a school in Reims.
I wonder if the school kids knew that some of the most important
decisions in the world at the time were taking place just a few feet away.
When Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, they met the Allies at what is now
the Musée de la Reddition:
While the building has been converted into a museum, the room where the signing took
place has been left exactly as it was the day they left.
There are a lot of sites like this, where it feels like life suddenly ended.
If you visit the Churchill War Rooms in London, you'll see calendars with the
days marked up to May 6, 1945, and any logbooks that had to do with
the logistics of war suddenly end.
A sense of relief still lingers like an old ghost.
|This flag was swiped off a Nazi car by a brave French kid.|
The next part of our route was unplanned. As it's name suggests,
this area is the hub of Champagne history and production in France,
and little old Épernay is just a few miles south of Reims.
To the land of bubbly we headed:
I adore the French sky; it's like Indiana, with better bread.
|"Tourists go this way."|
The signs in France are particularly difficult to decipher.
|"Don't mind me, I'm just a van in the way of your only decent shot in Épernay."|
Verdun and WW1