November 10, 2003

Ceremony at Vimy...
Yesterday, November 9th, I went to the memorial service at Vimy Ridge (near Arras). I took the train to Arras from Lille with a Canadian guy named Carter, who was staying at the youth hostel in Lille. Franc (a French guy who is a friend of the Canadian guides) gave us a lift up to the site. There were tons of Canadians there, who were living all over France and Europe. I met up with Kyla, (the girl that I met last weekend in Arras) and met some of the other Candian guides.
The service was really amazing. I can't really describe it. Just imagine hearing the last post played on the memorial to the soldiers (specifically the Canadian ones) that died during the Great War. Then hearing a lone bagpiper playing in the breeze. After the ceremony, there was a short ceremony at the Moroccan memorial, which is also at Vimy Ridge.
We all headed down to the town of Vimy for a reception. I said hi to the lady at the consulate that helped me after my little incident with the French police. I also tried some black caviar, which was rather fishy and salty, yet tasted pretty good.
We then headed back up to the site, and Stephanie gave us a tour of the tunnels, and briefly explained the trench systems.
A bunch of us headed down to the infamous "Canadian house" in Arras for dinner. The house is where the ten (that's right, 10) Canadian Vimy guides live. I say infamous because even some of the American assistants in Lille, who have not visited Arras, have heard about the house. Anyway, we ordered in 10 large pizzas, then did a chocolate fondu for dessert! All in all, I had an amazing day in Arras.
There's some CBC coverage on Vimy that you can check out if you want more info on the site and on the battle.

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