Indiana University
Journalism Ernie Pyle

Travel Updates

Travel updates from the Ernie Pyle class visiting Europe during Spring Break 2008.
March 16, 2008
Gena Asher

Another long travel day, but we’re all home safe. That’s all to report for now – but I might post a bit more of a wrap-up of the entire trip tomorrow.

March 15, 2008
Gena Asher
Photo by Tim Street
Lizzy and Allison laugh while they wait for our walking tour of WWII Paris to begin, behind the Notre Dame Cathedral.

I’m going to keep the travel update rather brief tonight, as I’m short on time and two students have already written up entries about our activities today.

Our last day in Paris was great, spent partially in separate groups exploring the city, and spent partially in a great walking tour of WWII Paris. Our tour guide, Mike, an American, really knew how to talk to our group and was full of knowledge about WWII Paris, including interesting stories and quips about how Paris came to the brink of destruction many times, but was somehow always spared.

Indeed, Hitler had ordered it to be destroyed if the Allied Forces were going to seize it, but German General Dietrich Von Choltitz risked the life of himself and his family by sending a message to the Allied forces in August of 1944, urging them to take Paris as soon as possible. Von Choltitz wouldn’t voluntarily capitulate, but he knew that the sooner the Allies attacked, the greater the chance the city would have of surviving. Because of this – and a lot of luck – Paris survived. Von Choltitz was later awarded the Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honor by the French government, two of France’s highest honors – all for a Nazi general.

That was just one example of the many stories our guide shared with us, including lots of stories about the liberation day of Paris in August 1944.

As a side note, I took a small group of students to the Paris St.-Germain football match at Parc de Princes stadium tonight, and we had a great time.

We’re off early to Charles de Gaulle airport to begin our travel day home. We’re scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia at 3:55 p.m. tomorrow, so if you’re a parent of a student on the trip, you may start to expect phone calls about then, depending on cell phone batteries. Our flight to Indianapolis is scheduled to arrive at 8:26 p.m. We’ll be on US Airways.

Thanks for reading the blog(s). We’ll still post one or two things tomorrow before we wrap it all up.