8. World War I Battlefields & War Museum of Meaux Day Tour
Travel back to the dark days of World War I, and visit the battlefields of Aisne and Marne on the Western Front. During the tour, you will learn about important campaigns, such as the 1st Battle of Marne, which changed the course of the war.
Following your transfer from Paris, start at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to pay tribute to the American troops who fought in the area. See the graves of 2,289 soldiers that lost their lives in the vicinity and Marne Valley in the summer of 1918. Go inside the Memorial Chapel to read the 1,060 names of the missing soldiers.
Continue to Bois Belleau, where the Marines deadliest battle took place in June 1918, cementing their reputation in modern history. A lot of soldiers lost their lives in their efforts to stop the Germans from reaching Paris, and while successful, the human cost was horrendous. Gather your thoughts as you walk through the woods, and see traces of trenches and shell holes, and the remains of ruined buildings.
Next, go to the Côte 204 Monument at Chateau-Thierry, erected as a mark of friendship between France and the United States, and to commemorate the achievements of the American forces of World War I. Enjoy views of the Champagne vineyards in the Marne Valley below.
After lunch (own expense), head to Meaux to learn more World War I history at the Museum of the Great War, inaugurated in November 2011 to commemorate the Armistice. Take time to discover more than 50 000 exhibits that provide a greater understanding of the conflict as it impacted the world.