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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres
August 9th 2014
Published: December 19th 2014
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Hi everyone



One of the highlights of the summer occurred two weeks ago, when I took a day trip, along with Saman, Matt and Jenna over the channel to Flanders. And best of all....the ferry was free!

Having underwhelming service on the Christmas Ferry out to Lille back in December, we complained and were awarded free, unrestricted ferry tickets for 2014.



The day trip turned into a weekend for me, as I left work straight to London, staying at Matt's on Friday night before the early start on Saturday. Leaving at 5:30am we blasted out the #choons as we made our way down to Dover. As the weekend was the first day of the summer holidays it was absolutely packed, and we ended up spending the whole journey across the channel in the restaurant queuing for breakfast.



After this energy boost, we got back in the car, entertaining the other passengers with our singing and dancing as we entered the French roads, making our way over to the Belgian border, and our first city of the day - Ypres. Being Kevin I had sussed out the sights, prices, and car parking arrangements for us all, and we headed straight to the centre of town before the Market closed down. After this we headed over to the Menin Gate, the commemorative arch to Commonwealth soldiers without graves during the First World War.



Whilst there, and going up the stairs to the elevated gardens we found Tony Robinson from Time Team doing filming for a TV show! So we stayed around for a while to watch him fluff his lines before heading back down for a photo shot of us by the arch, before heading back round the City Moat, and back into the centre for Waffles and finally to visit a Commonwealth cemetery, which was immaculate.



Leaving Ypres, we headed to the south to a restored trench system known as "Bayernwald". After racing to the local village to get tickets before closing we entered the site, and had a wander inside them to get a feel for how soldiers had to spend their time, including seeing some of the dugouts where soldiers would have slept.



After this morning of history, we headed back into France, towards Dunkirk for a bit of beach relaxation. Whilst the weather wasn't the sunniest, it was still a warm day and the beach in Dunkirk was lovely and sandy.



After a few games we hired a quadracycle and caused carnage along the promenade, screaming, shouting, driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, and getting clothing caught in the thing!



The last thing before heading home was a 'lovely' French meal, where we were reacquainted with the stinky cheese of 6 months ago. All I can say is that the food wasn't great.....





Kevin.

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