Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yesterday ...

Thiepval Memorial, France, originally uploaded by - di.

It was one of those sublime days, and driving home just before 11pm, I realised that life is all about people and connecting. If money comes along at the same time, well that's lovely but I think it has to be more about the people you meet along the way.

We left home at 8am and drove through Belgium, heading for the French border following signs that led us towards Mons, Valenciennes, Cambrai, Bapaume, Pys, Grandcourt and finally, Thiepval Memorial near Albert.

We sold our car a few months ago. It was behaving badly and it's so very expensive to run a car here in the flatlands. We order a rental whenever we need one but can get most places by plane, train and tram.

The beauty of renting is that if they don't have the class of car you want (usually the cheapest with us) they upgrade. We were upgraded two levels this time and picked up a space-wagon, completely electronic, with a card for the ignition and buttons for everything.

We had fun with this new borrowed toy.

The Thiepval Memorial is a solemn place. A massive memorial in the middle of French countryside, listing the names of the 73,357 missing soldiers in that area Thanks Van.

There are hundreds of Commonwealth war cemeteries all over France and Belgium - a sobering sight as we traveled, as they reveal the sites of old battlefield hospitals - places where the dead were buried nearby because there was no way to get the boys home.

The death toll for WW1 leaves you wondering how anyone has had the stomach for wars since.

We wandered the memorial, impressed by the beauty of the silent, solemn place and tried to create a photo essay that captured it all for a New Zealand friend who lost his uncle way back then in that war.

Here's one of the series. I wanted to see how it looked with a film grain filter over it ...


Manictastic said...

Renting sounds like a good plan, certainly if you get upgraded. (wonders how much upgrade he would need to get to drive a Rolls or a Bentley)

Di Mackey said...

We'd booked a Corsa, Manic ;) I don't think we were going to get the 27,000 upgrades for the Rolls.

furiousBall said...

hey no problem, thank you for introducing me to that piece of history :)