Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 4 - Picardie - Orientation

Day 4 was spent looking around the Picardie area.

The idea was to get orientated and to get into the Anzac spirit by learning more of the history of the Great War. This area was on the Western Front during the war that involved nearly 10% of the then Australian population. Many of the Anzacs though they were coming to an adventure only to find hardship. 2/3rds of them would either come back injured or not at all. The area is dotted with their graves.

First we went to Albert (pronounced "Albear"). On the way we stopped at a war cemetery and quickly became aware of the loss of life by the sheer number of headstones.

There is some pride that rises within you as an Aussie in france seeing the Anzac symbol on so many headstones.
At Albert we went to the tunnel museum an underground museum showing life in the trenches. A reminder that these green lush fields and quaint villages were once a battlefield of mud, trenches and broken bodies.

The French, EU and Aussie flags fly together at the entrance to the museum.

The Tunnel Museum
Old battlefields now lush farmland.
Next we went to Villers Bretonneux the town which celebrates Anzac day. On April 25th 1918 the Australian Infantry took back and held a hill just outside the town. The locals have remembered this event each year since. In fact the site was dedicated in the same year as the start of the second world war. We could not go to the memorial on this day (April 24th) as the roads were blocked to prepare for the following day's events.

Villers Bretonneux prepares to welcome Aussie pilgrims for Anzac day

Villers Bretonneux a sister town to Robinvale Victoria
On the way out of town we stopped at the Adelaide Cemetery.

This plaque says it all

From there we went to do a recon on where we will meet the bus predawn the following morning. On the way we stopped at the Glisy airport to see the locals make the most of the fantastic weather.

Back in Amiens we went to the Cathedral. What an amazing building. We were told you can fit 2 Notre Dames inside. The exquisit detail is awe inspiring and a great example of how architecture can influence the soul. This building encourages reverence and awe. There is no way to represent the building adequately with photos.
Take the time to look at the detail

The preacher reads from that golden pulpit.

And who should be getting a guided tour but Senator Bob Carr  - Australia's Foreign Minister

Ok so now were are hungry and the suggestion is made to get crepes. Check on google and volla! a creperie is suggested near the canal.
Hmmm what to have? Skip mains and go straight to dessert.

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