Friday, September 13, 2013

Historical Contrast

When traveling I usually set out to have a good time, be flexible, and try to learn something along the way. On my recent trip to the UK , Northern Ireland, and France, it was often the contrasts that I was most struck by. Sharply incongruent images kept haunting my camera lens. A family style street festival just yards from a museum dedicated to the Titanic disaster and encompassing a memorial to the Lusitania.  Beaches famous for fierce fighting and massive loss of life are now strewn with running children spending the day by the sea with sunbathing parents. Photos of beautiful landscapes marred by barbed wire. A carousel at the site of more heroic deeds and loss of life. An idyllic country lane that leads to an underground hospital built by the Nazi occupiers using slave labor. I was fascinated by the honoring of the past combined with enjoying the present.

Memorial to the Lusitania

Irish rock band playing at the Regatta Festival (Think Mumford and Sons)

A family friendly atmosphere in Cobh (Cork, Ireland)

The Titanic Museum

 Arromanches-les-Bains (Gold Beach on D-Day)

At Normandy American Cemetery, Taps played and everyone paused...
As you walk up from the beach there's a reminder of where you are...

Below the cemetery, down a steep pathway lies Omaha Beach

Further down the beach older Americans, Canadians, and Brits spend time around memorials overlooking the site.
Walk down the steps toward the shore and young French families enjoy a relaxing holiday.

Strolling down a quiet lane on the island of Guernsey.

Just off the lane enclosed in an idyllic wood...

A German Underground Hospital.

The view from a German bunker at Pointe du Hoc.

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