Monday, 29 September 2014

A picnic ambush

In the Languedoc-Roussillon area, as we crossed the Montagnes Noires we stopped for a picnic at one of those loops of old road which had been left after the road had been straightened. In that desolate curve we were ambushed by history. 

 First of all there was the road itself. The surface was the ancient pavé. Treacherously slippery in the wet, it must have made negotiating the hairpin bends quite exciting.

And in amongst the bushes I found a stone commemorating a 1944 battle where a group of 150 of the Franc Corps de la Montagne Noire ambushed a 1,000 strong column of the retreating German Army and inflicted losses on them with only one soldier wounded on their side.

Just when I thought I had exhausted the interests of this abandoned corner I came across this modern monument.  Apparently we were crossing the Green Meridian. This was an imaginary line drawn from the Paris Meridian (which is like the Greenwich Meridian but nowhere near as important despite what the French might tell you) northwards to Dunkirk and southwards to Barcelona in Spain.

La Meridienne Verte was inaugurated in 2000 and along it, trees are being planted to make a green line across France from top to bottom. This was the French way of celebrating the millennium.

We built The Dome.

No comments:

Post a Comment