Amazing, a couple of days ago it was still freezing, and last month people were skating on the canals. Like on the picture below, in the center of my hometown Weesp.
And now, spring suddenly exploded. On this Sunday morning I cycled to fortified Naarden in T-shirt ! On the news they said this was the hottest 8th of April ever.
The plan was to explore the woods around the fortress, searching for traces of WWI lines of defense.
Sure, they did build concrete bunkers too, and those are objects you simply can't miss. Standing as a rock, even when a 100 years old.
But most of the defenses were earthworks. Scooped out by thousands of mobilized soldiers.
Trenches between the shelters. Gun pits for the batteries. Mine galleries.
I thought most of all that surely must have been filled in by weather and nature. Simply fading away with time.
Well, that clearly was the case for a lot. But by far not all of it was gone !
Looking at old maps of comparable layouts I first noticed vague traces on the forest floor. Rapidly, once you know what you have to look for, outlines of trenches became more well-defined here and there.
At some places it's hard to know what was here exactly. Are these wide holes gun positions? Or is this a collapsed deep gallery ? But the setting certainly plays on the imagination.
What an awful lot of slaving and digging these people did around here !
Having no idea what lay ahead of them.
Just like us.