I’ve been in a trance, not fully comprehending this place. The landscape seems all too familiar to belong to a northern island of Europe. Fields of tall grass contained by weathered and low fencing are partnered with patches of bright canola plantings, yellow paint strokes against the palette of rolling hills of browns and greens. Sheep speckled this canvas, alongside cozy neighborhoods of close townhouses, canals with low and long boats for moving produce easily from one place to the next, and community gardens depicted by an organic manifestation of huts and raised beds for their plants and tools.
The train lurches to a stop and we get off, with a gust of wind from the force of a neighboring train disillusioning our group as we followed our leader to the new attraction.
This was our journey to Bletchley Park, the location where the Enigma Code was foiled and British men and women were frantically deciphering messages to foil the enemy’s plans. Originally an estate owned by a wealthy family, it was soon targeted as the perfect location for an operation like the WRNs… etc. The tour exposed a lifestyle of high-intensity, young women working in poor, flickering lighting conditions in bare galley-like cabins, a countdown until the current message and encryption are meaningless, and creative engineering in countering the technology of the enemy.
As a relatively unknown phenomenon, this site presented a new narrative of the men and women who fought the war with other tools and means of attack, by predetermining the actions of the Nazis and other enemies and forever altering the course of history.