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Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I have left this post till I came home from France so that I had time to think about how I would approach it.


On the day of 10th June 1944 all was peaceful in the little village of Oradour-sur-Glane.
The streets of this little village in the rural heart of the Dordogne Region of France were never busy with people and the war had waged for many years now without actually touching this quiet backwater.
What young men there were left in the village planned a soccer match for the next day and it was the topic of any chance conversations. The children of the village were all busy at their schoolwork in the village school.

Into the village on this bright Summer afternoon marched a band of 200 soldiers from Der F├╝hrer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen SS Panzer Division Das Reich.

They gathered together the occupants of this little village.
The men were separated from the women and children who were moved to the church.

Systematically the men were divided up into groups and marched to different barns in the village where they were machine gunned down as they stood and their bodies were then set alight.

Four men survived, wounded but still able to hide by covering themselves with the bodies of their friends and neighbours.

The church door was locked and all escape routes barred, then through the windows the women and children inside were shot and the church set on fire so that those inside who remained alive were burnt. Only one woman escaped through a small window behind the altar.

 642 villagers were massacred including 240 women and 205 children.

Those brave soldiers of the Waffen SS then went about systematically destroying the village, blowing up buildings and setting them alight before leaving a smoking ruin behind.

* photo from the Internet

When French President DeGaul visited the ruins of the village at the end of the war he ordered the village to be preserved as a War Memorial and so it stand today, exactly as the German soldiers left it, a harrowing example of the madness and cruelty of war.


The rusted car from which the Mayor of the village was dragged on that awful day sits there, an abandoned hulk.
Inside the buildings - shops and homes alike- are remnants of the lives of the people of Oradour.




                                           So many homes had sewing machines !

Charred, rusted and bent but still recognisable !

We visited Oradour-sur-Glane while we were staying in Sarlat.
It was an hour and a half drive away and I can tell you that the drive home was a quiet one as we all digested what we had seen. 

There is a large Memorial Centre that leads you to the entrance to the village - so ghostly quiet - and a modern new village constructed just up the road.

If you would like to read more about Oradour-sur-Glane and its horrific story try these:




Friday, October 9, 2015


First comes the pesky packing part. 
One suitcase of clean clothes,
one suitcase of stuff that didn't get washed !

Jam it all in. 
Who cares now we are on our way home ?

Then off we set to stroll the streets of the Marais district where we are beginning to feel right at home.

There's always something new to find around every corner.

Today we headed towards the well known Place des Voges which we have not visited before even though it is just down the end of the street ( sort of ).

Past lots of interesting shops 

and cafes

and through open gates 

we stumbled onto several lovely little gardens 

Like the Jardin de Anne Frank
Or this one

where people can be seen lingering in the warm sunshine eating lunch or reading,

soaking up those golden rays and storing their warmth against the cold times ahead.

The Place des Voges looked lovely in its Autumn colours, its beautiful buildings surrounding the square.

There were lots of people - young and old sitting in the sun and shade

and of course, an artist- dressed perfectly for the part - at work at his easel under the trees near the statue in the centre of the square.

We soaked it up,

storing the memories till we visit again.

Oh Paris, how will we ever settle back down to life in Brissy ?

Au Revoir ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Although the day started out cloudy we set out to explore a part of Paris we have never been to before.
We popped up out of the Metro and there was a wonderful food market right in front of us.

We had skipped breakfast hoping to enjoy a coffee and pastry in a little cafe somewhere but instead we opted for a punnet of blackberries and half a dozen black figs ( a new favourite since Sarlat ) and nibbled as we strolled along.

That's what is so special about this lovely city, there are hidden treasures all around.

A bit of research and we had set out to explore the area around the Canal St Matin.

The clouds began to lift as we walked along beside the canal.

Some sections are wider than others

and some surrounding streets are nicer than others

but the canal itself remains very pretty all the way, criss-crossed in many places by pretty iron bridges.

It really was a pretty walk with the trees just beginning to drop their leaves but many still retaining their green canopy.

The day had turned sunny and clear

giving us lots of wonderful photo opportunities

and to top it all off  we watched a tour boat move through a lock

a sight not experienced by many Aussies

Not our first experience but always interesting to watch.

Water level just right, the the gates open 

and onwards sails the tour boat ! 

Brilliant !

Another lovely day !