Verdun, Old Men and Me! — 14 Comments

  1. Wonderful Katie. . . You’ve just taken me on a wonderful travel day and made me want to go again.
    We also love cities waking. We always get up with the street cleaners in Paris several mornings a week. It’s such a great time. It’s what afternoon naps are for.

  2. This is a place my Dad, the old historian, wanted to visit. I would like to go one day, kind of in his memory.

  3. I just love that cheese trolley, I can almost feel the smell here in Italy. And the cheese melting in my mouth. Oh I better start with dinner now…

  4. What a perfect post! I drooled over the cheese, was delighted at the pictures of the sights, and laughed my butt off at you being the siren for old men! :):) Hmm, what perfume do you wear? Listen, once I was Buckingham Fountain in Chicago with my husband, and an old drunk guy did the same thing with me. I didn’t know what to feel, flattered or harrassed! He would not leave me alone!

  5. Oh, come on — that guy is a cutie! I thoroughly enjoyed your story. Man, Verdun has seen some hard times, hasn’t it? Your dinner has my mouth watering . . .

  6. Hey, when the old men stop looking, that’s when we should be worried! The cheese looks amazing and the rest of your dinner sounds divine.

  7. What a wonderful trip that was~even the little old man sounded interesting, in his own way. I think he just wanted a friendly face to talk to and you were that special person!The cheese cart, to die for! It all looks delicious. I commend you on restraining yourself from photographing at dinner time~And I bet it was a gorgeous presentation,deserving a photo. I get too carried away sometimes and i know It is distracting to others.

  8. Took a military history tour of Verdun. We didn’t eat there, but at a resto in the country north of there, after the tour.
    It was a very, very sad place (the battlefield and trenches and fortifications, not the town), and it was cold, even though it was summer. We walked about the trenches and heard about farmers digging up bones and bombs to this day and imagined the hell that place was. Walking through the fortifications was like walking through one of the circles of hell. The meal afterward was exceptionally good, possibly because it represented life and growth, after the impressions of despair and hopelessness (augmented by fog) in the morning.
    Thanks for the post and for reminding us that life always succeeds murder and death and hate and politics, and that Verdun survives and prospers as a place for people to LIVE.

  9. Tanna, We were up early in Barcelona (which rarely sleeps) on a Christmas morning and had the whole city to ourselves…it was eerie…and cool!
    Meredith, do go! It’s so filled with history you would love it – for your dad!
    Ilva, the problem with cheese trolleys like that is trying to choose..then stop choosing!
    Sher. always flattered, always, always (harrassed is just too stressful)
    Lisa, he was kind of cute…and he smiled right after I took that picture!
    Lydia, I started worrying when the young men stopped looking…then I moved to Andorra and ALL The Spanish men look ALL of the time…it’s rather reaffirming LOL Now, I’m in France…..
    Jann, it wasn’t so much my restraint as mon mari’s evil eye…
    TikiPundit, There are a lot of places like that here. We visit and tour whenever we get the chance. With constant pysical reminders everywhere it’s understandable why Europeans are a bit reluctant to engage in aggression… they experienced it on their own doorstep too often!
    Did you know that the symbolic poppy (almost) always appears the spring following a battle?

  10. Part of the process that goes into making good cheese involves having an old man hold it between his buttocks out in the heat for a couple of days, which explains the odd looks and spicy aroma.
    This actually brings back two terrible memories of my life in France. The first involves a big old pervert in braces gloating and being obscene towards the little boy that I was, who promptly cycled away. The second was in Corsica one summer, where friends thought it would be so funny to hide some Camembert in my shoes under the soles.
    Moral of the story: when old men behave strangely and soft cheese is served at dinner, their brows will twitch with delight. (Extract from my upcoming book “The Frenchman’s Naughty Love Affair with Cheese”).

  11. Sounds like you had a great trip. I love old men – well that sounds a little weird, but you know what I mean…I really miss my grandfather – we had a very close bond and now whenever I have encounters with old men like this one you had it reminds me of him and I always wonder if he set it up!

  12. Mdx, not nice to make me laugh when I am drinking…. I’m never going to look at old French men the same…or cheese trolleys. Do send me an autographed copy of your book!
    JennDZ, we had a lovely trip! As to the old men….