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Old 06-20-2009, 07:10 PM   #46
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Thorsten and I packed up our bikes for an overnight ride to the Netherlands on Saturday morning, but we had a bunch of places along the way that we were going to stop at

His neighbor also had his race car out front, and I had to take a look at a very sweet, and I hear very quick little 320i.






Our first stop of morning was Gondelsheim, a village from Thorsten’s family history, where we visited his elderly Aunt, and Kathrin was also there working on maintaining the family gravesite. I think it is really cool the way they can plant flowers around the graves in many Europe, whereas here in Tucson you can’t even find a cemetery that will let you have an upright headstone these days. I have spent a lot of time doing hunting of long lost family members in cemeteries and I find them to be fascinating places. That’s not why I am visiting so many military ones this time, that’s something different to me, but we will see many along the way this trip.






Gondelsheim is a small remote village that is quiet and peaceful today, but Thorsten’s aunt told us stories of the closing days of World War II., when there was much death and destruction here. Not much was left of the place, and there is a cemetery right across the street from her house, a small one for German soldiers. This is her little house that is the same as it was when it was built in 1947. Only recently had she surrendered her rotary phone, and other than that all was still as it was. Fascinating home to visit and interesting tales being told within.






After a drink with Thorsten’s aunt, we wandered across the street to the small cemetery for soldiers killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Most of them had met their fate in December 44-March of 1945.


















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Old 06-20-2009, 07:18 PM   #47
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After that, we left Gondelsheim and headed out to look for dragons teeth. I wanted to see them, as I had often seen them in pictures, but despite all the time I have spent in Europe, I had never seen them in person. It was one of the big things I wanted to see finally, and we did not have to go far to find them. Here they are.......

























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Old 06-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #48
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We soon arrived in Belgium and the next place on today’s list, Malmedy, and the site of the Malmedy Massacre that took place at the Baugnez Crossroads on ate Year="1944" Day="17" Month="12">December 17, 1944ate>.

I had driven through here once 20 years ago, but had not found the exact spot. This time it was right there as we got into the area. There is a monument located at the spot today. It is a simple monument that has the names of the victims engraved in stone and incorporated into a wall that leads to a small chapel at the back.


















The roses that are planted there were donated by the rose growers of Tyler, Texas.


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Old 06-21-2009, 08:40 AM   #49
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Right next to the site is the new Baugnez 44 Historical Center.

http://www.baugnez44.be/en/history_battle_ardennes.php


We took a look inside, and it turned out to be very interesting museum. Here are some pics of what was inside. I give this one my recommendation for those interested in this kind of thing.





















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Old 06-21-2009, 08:44 AM   #50
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Afterwards we returned to the Baugnez Crossroads where there was a little Friterie, where we bought some pommes frites to keeps us going. It seemed just a bit gruesome to stop for a snack right next to where so many had been killed, but the fries were wonderful, and it gave us some time to discuss our next path. Our next destination was La Gleize.





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Old 06-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #51
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La Gleize is a small town near Stavelot, and Trois Ponts, other names that are so well known in the history of the Battle of the Bulge, it is the site of fantastic little museum called the December 44 Museum. One is greeted by a Royal Tiger Panzer Tank, that was going to be recycled, but a local resident traded a bottle of cognac for it to the GI’s preparing to haul it away. It sat there most of its life in a sorry state, but today it has been fixed up and preserved. What a fantastic thing to see.












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Old 06-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #52
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Inside were many interesting artifacts, I would recommend this museum highly also.













This is the tank the way it sat in 1945.


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Old 06-21-2009, 05:54 PM   #53
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Great photos... For all those who are interested, there's a great indie movie made with the Malmedy Massacre as a starting point.

It's called Saints and Soldiers.

http://www.saintsandsoldiers.com/
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:06 PM   #54
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This is the exact trip that I'm doing in September.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:17 PM   #55
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Awesome report as usual. Your photos of the memorials ,especially around Bastogne, are very moving. Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:30 PM   #56
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Thanks for the great pics and story.

Brings back old memories, my Father was in the American Army in the mid 50's and we visited many of these places while we lived in Metz France.

I have been back to Europe since, but never to that part of France.

The fortifications were much more visible 50 years ago
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #57
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Glad you all are enjoying it...I am going to try and get some more in soon.....it was a great trip and there will be more great pics coming up.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #58
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More at La Gleize......



















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Old 06-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #59
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Next we drove up to Eben-Emael, which was unfortunately not open at that time. It is actually open rarely, and scheduling ourselves in would have been difficult since we made no prior planning like this. I had arrived a couple weeks early for tour. This was May 30, 2009.




Still, I had a deep satisfaction just knowing that I was there having read so much about the place and often mentioning it during my history classes.
































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Old 06-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #60
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More at Eben-Emael.






and right across the street.....




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