European Scenes

Rounding out a photo story series on a wonderful 1987 trip highlighting a bus tour of Italy are some scenes encountered before and after that event.
Actually the last stage of the tour was an overnight stay at the delightful town of Arco on scenic Lake Garda, located in the northern Italian lake district. We only arrived at dusk so had little time to explore but enjoyed the views.
Our bus route to and from Italy took us through Switzerland, allowing us to marvel at its spectacular scenery but giving us few chances to take pictures.
Following the return to Lahr, we drove to Hoxter in Westphalia to visit our great friend Margaret Werthman, then mourning the death of her husband Bill. The town boasts its share of centuries old buildings, one of which displays the year it was built – 1540.
The German town of Baden featured a most unusual chess game, played in a town square using life size pieces.

A high point of our brief driving tour was discovering the site of the First World War Battle of Verdun along the Meuse River. The 10-month battle was the longest and bloodiest of the war, with 300 thousand French and German soldiers killed.
The most striking memorial of that war must be the Verdun Memorial Museum, which commemorates the deadly losses on both sides of the conflict.

In one part of the museum, a battlefield replica — complete with mud, shells, trenches, and WWI military equipment — is visible through the glass floor.

“On ne passe pas” (They shall not pass) is a slogan most famously used during the Battle of Verdun expressing the grim determination of the French in withstanding that powerful German offensive.

Winding up a most remarkable trip extending from southern Italy to northeastern France was a brief stopover in Luxembourg.

A small duchy surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany, it is mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, rocky gorges in the east and the Moselle river valley in the southeast.

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