Well, I slept well last night. I hope everyone did as well.
We loaded our bus and headed to Natzweiller-Struthof yesterday morning. This camp was built as a labor camp for prisoners to dig the granite out of the ground. It was sdesigned for 1500 people and at one ppoint housed at the same time almost 15000 people. It was ugly. It was also the prison that French Resistance were sent. Most of them were killed immediately upon entering the gates. Since it is in Alsace, it is built on the side of a mountain. Everyday the prisoners would be required to walk the steps to the top for roll call, regardless of the weather.
Most of the kids did very well here. All were respectful. It gave them a lot to reflect upon and for many - it made the stuff they learn in history class a reality. One day, I would love to teach a class on the Holocaust. History should always be remembered so that it does not repeat itself.
Afterwards, we headed to Straussbourg - the capital of the Alsace. It was nice to hear German again. We walked through the beautiful streets full of Fachwerkhaeser and cobbletsones. We ate lunch at a cute little cafe that served sandwiches. They called them sandwiches. Actually they were two very large pieces of sourdough with everything you wanted inside - including the fries! We then walked through Le Petite France and the kids were amazed to see the loch for the boats in work. Straussbourg is surrounded by a canal. After seeing the city towers, we went into the cathedral. What an amazing structure! They had an astronomical clock the size of my house. I have never seen stained glass as beautiful and the organ was a masterpiece. The ammount of engineering it took to create this enormous structure astounds me. Some of the kids walkled the 400 stepsto seet he top. Captain went with them this time and I stayed below with the others.
We then hopped the bus back to Nancy where almost everyone promptly fell asleep.
Captain, Joy, Ian and I topped our night with a wonderful dinner and the city light show. Yesterday was the National French Music Festival so everywhere you go you would here music - some was a bit strange to hear in the venue - like Indi Rock - A Foreign Leion Band and Sister Christian.
Today we head off to Verdun to learn about the war and the roll the smaller villages played. We will finish the day in Paris with a river cruise of the Seine.
We will be staying in Hotel de Campionelle, so hopefully I will be able to send more then.
I must rush, so pictures will come later.
See everyone soon.