Finally: le repos du guerrier

Trip Start Jul 07, 2009
Trip End Aug 02, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Ohio
Sunday, August 2, 2009

I was out of the hotel by 6:30 so I could be at the airport by 8:00 to have coffee with Rees Ellis who would drive down from Charleroi in Belgium meet me. Rees and his wife Fanny and Marjolaine and I have been friends since college in the early 80s and we enjoy getting together when we can. I arrived at the terminal early enough that I could check in and check my suitcase before he arrived. We met in the arrival area of terminal 2E, and found a place to have coffee and a croissant and caught up on all the news, both personal and professional. We talked for over two hours before it was time for me to clear immigration security for my flight home.

The flight left on time. Accumulated fatigue allowed me to sleep several hours on the way home which is the best way to fly over oceans where there's nothing much to see.

Marjolaine was at the airport to meet me on arrival, and what a joy it is to be reunited with my family after such a long absence. This was a varied but very successful trip, but I’ll be happy to be home. Before I can totally relax I have a short trip to Montreal for an open house (French) Sabbath this next weekend. Marjolaine will accompany me for that trip and that will be wonderful.

Thanks for following along on this trip!

My next long trip should start in late September when I will head to Europe for the annual Feast of Tabernacles. Our convention site this year is Normandy; our excursion schedule will include visits to the D-Day sites from June 1944.

Prior to the festival, I’ll be guiding a tour group on a historical tour of northern France and southern Belgium. We will be visiting among other sites:

-         Paris

         Belleau Wood, where American Marine and Army units distinguished themselves toward the end of WWI, stopping the German advance on Paris.

         Verdun, the bloodiest battle sector of WWI where up to 1,000,000 men were killed between 1916 and 1918.

         Bastogne in Belgium, where the US 101st airborne stopped the German advance during the Battle of the Bulge during the brutally cold Christmas season of 1944.

         Waterloo, where Napoleon’s last change effort to retake power in France was dashed by the closely run victory of the Duke of Wellington and Prussian Marshall Blucher.

         The ancient center of the city of Brussels

         The Hanseatic League city and textile center of Bruges, called (as a number of other cities are) the Venice of the north.

         Dunkirk on the coast of northern France, where between 26 May and 4 June, 1940 almost the entirety of the British army and a large part of the French army (1/3 of a million men in all) was rescued from certain destruction or capture by the Germans, and event which possibly changed the outcome of WWII.
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