November 25, 2003

Beaujolais and Arras...
Last Thursday was the first day for the new beaujolais. The arrival of Beaujolais is celebrated as the first wine of the year (in this case 2003). As usual, it wasn't a good wine. I think that it's just another reason for the French to celebrate!
I went down to Arras again this weekend. I met up with Kyla's parents at the car rental place, then we headed down to the Vimy memorial. In the evening, we went to M. Devloo's place for dinner. He's an old French guy (about 80), who picks Canadians up from the Vimy train station and drives them to the monument. He visited Canada this past summer, and his story was published in a lot of newspapers. I spent the night in the Canadian house in Arras.
The next morning I met up with Kyla's parents again, and we headed to Beaumont-Hamel, a site where the Newfoundlanders fought and lost many men during the First World War. I met some of the Canadian guides there, that I had met at previous occasions at the Arras house.
Then we headed to the Ulster Tower, and Thiepval. Thiepval is a memorial to over 73,000 missing British soldiers from the war. It's an amazing site. Next we headed to a German cemetary at Fricourt, before going to Lochnagar. Lochnagar is a giant crater that was blown up under the German lines. Lastly we visited a giant French cemetary at Rancourt.
While waiting for the train from Albert to Lille, I ran into Patricia, one of the Vimy guides, who was going to spend the night with the Beaumont-Hamel guides in Albert. She invited me to wait at the house for my train, which was great because I had to wait for 1.5 hours in the freezing cold train station.

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