Monday, April 8, 2013

Mont Sainte Victoire


Sorry it's taken me so long to write! Yesterday I climbed Mont Sainte Victoire just outside of Aix. The hike took about 5 hours total with a small break for lunch. It was an incredibly beautiful day and a beautiful mountain. Everyone we came across was extremely kind and most people said Bonjour! as we passed, contrary to their usual unfriendlyness. There were many older people on the trail one couple we saw on the summit must have been about 80 years old.  There were also a lot of dogs and children which makes me think that families just go up the mountain for an afternoon hike and lunch.

 Lake Bimont at the base of the mountain

Today I went to a small lecture in the afternoon with a special guest speaker who was part of the French Resistance from 1940-1944 during World War II. His name is Monsieur Jacques Dodeman and he used to forge identification documents in Toulouse when he was 14. He bought cardboard for the backs of the cards and stamped the cards with stamps from different towns that already been destroyed so the owner could not easily be questioned. People needed new identification cards after Germany had occupied France in 1940 for many different reasons including if they were Jewish or if they were a boy over 18 since they could deported to Germany for work. He talked of a young man named "Fri-Fri" who stayed in his apartment from time to time and would leave at night to bomb different buildings that the Germans were using in Toulouse. Later M. Dodeman discovered that Fri-Fri was working for the "special operations unit" that Churchill had secretly put together. M. Dodeman said that he forged maybe about 500 identification cards over those four years and he hopes that maybe he saved a few lives. It was a beautiful lecture and I feel so lucky to be in France and hear from him first hand.



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