Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - Caen to Ypres - If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium


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June 7th 2016
Published: June 8th 2016
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If you think that the Great Britain and France were not once geologically joined, you need only visit the cliffs at Etretat. These 100 meter chalk cliffs exactly mirror those at Dover in England. For artists, these dramatic escarpments have been the subject of paintings for centuries. I don't know what it is that draws people to landscapes such as these, but it certainly happens at Dover, the Coast Road in Australia, and here at Etretat. At the base of the cliffs in a small cover lies the lovely little resort town of Etretat. We amused ourself for a few minutes watching a golden retriever wait as patiently as a golden retriever can for the last bit of his mama's ice cream cone.

Ieper is one of those quaint Belgian towns with an historic market square. We watched the nightly memorial service at the Menin gate, where Ieper pays respect to the British soldiers who keep their town from being occupied by the Germans. It was too crowded to get a full appreciation of the event, but it takes place inside an enormous memorial gate inscribed with the names of some 55,000 British and Canadian officers and soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient (Ieper is the modern name of the town - Ypres is the French name I believe). I have not yet had the time to research just why there are so many whose remains were never identified.

We ended the day with dinner on the town square, complete with Flemish beef stew, steamed potatoes with shrimp, fried croquettes of various sorts, and, of course, good local beer.


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8th June 2016

Ossuaries
Buddy, ya'll should check these out if you have time: Verdun Ossuary, Douaumont Ossuary. Sedlec Bone Church Ossuary. This should be required viewing of all world leaders just to remind them of the real cost of a shooting war.

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