Continuing on with our Luxembourg long-weekend trip...following our time in Clervaux, Luxembourg (last post), we drove into Belgium on our way home to the Netherlands. It was a day full of sights, in 3 different countries!
After Clervaux, we stopped in Bastogne, Belgium, in the province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes. Doesn't that all sound absolutely romantic!
the church steeples, the roadside shrines....
...like this one! It's the biggest one we saw, just outside of Bastogne. It even had a love padlock!
Southern Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium are all heavily Roman Catholic areas of Europe,
in case I didn't mention it before.
Why Astrid wanted us to see Bastogne was because of the Mardasson Memorial...
in memory of the 76,890 American soldiers killed or wounded during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Germans had launched a surprise attack on the Allied forces in the forests of the Ardennes nearby.
It was one of America's costliest battles in WWII.
The memorial is from 1950, in the shape of a pentagram, listing the 48 contemporary states.
Notice how Astrid captured me above my namesake...and my state of birth!
(she also took the top and middle left images)
The Latin inscription on the center memorial stone says,
"The Belgian people remember their American liberators – 4th July 1946."
Remember how I have said before that Europe really thanks the Americans for their part in the World Wars?!
It felt appropriate to pass by St. Peter's Church (11th-16th c) as we left town.
Who was it that said "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars!" (Mark 13:7)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
After Bastogne, we drove 28 km to La Roche-en-ardenne, also located in the province of Luxembourg in Belgium. (It gets real confusing if you're not paying attention!) Astrid had been there many years earlier and wanted to see it again.
Along the way from Bastogne...notice the cyclists! This is Tour du France area.
It happens to be one of the most famous tourist spots in the Ardennes, a small town (5K pop.) lying beside the bend of the River Ourthe. In fact, Astrid said the town had become too touristy from how she remembered it. She didn't even want to stay.
But the town's medival castle rises above, from the 9th century, and was worth the stop.
This town, too, suffered severe damage during WWII.
And so it was appropriate, again. to visit another roadside chapel,
the Chapelle Sainte Marguerite, from 1600, nearby the medieval castle.
Our Granny Towanda (car) was proud to stand in front of her.
And at that point, we drove the highways back home!
That means in upcoming posts I will backtrack to what we did the previous days. To be continued....