Blogs from Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium, Europe

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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres July 14th 2018

Saturday. Clare and the family offered to take care of Logan whilst we took the tram into the city. After a lovely breakfast of Danish pastries, Clare walked with us to the metro station, she had given us an itinerary and instructions on using the public transport. The trains run every two minutes, in another 12 minutes we were at Torvehallen food halls, we enjoyed the sights and smells of fish, meat, vegetables, fruit and spices all beautifully displayed, there were a few free samples on offer too. On the other side of the street was a flea market, selling a good assortment of vintage and antique items, luckily everything we liked was too big to fit into our limited storage space. We continued into the centre where we had lunch in a square close to ... read more
floating homes - budget end
floating homes - budget end
Floating Home - top end, Les, will you buy me one?

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres May 20th 2018

It has been a busy three days as we drove from Paris to Belgium and then back to France to visit the World War 1 cemeteries and memorials. Ypres (pronounced e- pers) is about a 2 hours drive from Paris and we finally had some more seasonable weather, although there was still a chill in the air. Our 2 night stay in Ypres included the ceremony at the Menin Gate and a tour next day of some of the war memorials in the North Salient (Salient in this context is a military term for section). The guided tour included memorials/cemeteries at Essex Farm, St Julien, Langemark (a German Cemetery), Hill 62 and Passchendale, the largest Allied Cemetery of the war. The Menin Gate Ceremony has been held every day since 1928 (except for the German Occupation ... read more
Canadian Monument at St. Julien
Canadian Memorial at Paschendaale
Tyne Cot Cemetery

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres September 7th 2017

So after a night in Alice House, 3 stories and lots of stairs! It was off to have a look at Ypres. Walking through the square past the cathedral and the men setting up for the music festival on the weekend, we were glad that Mieke had advised us of it, more on that later. Ypres is a cool little place, very orientated towards tourists but at the same time the buildings are spectacular. Walking to the Menin Gate it just hits you in its immense size. It is a memorial to the Ypres and Commonwealth soldiers of WW1 who died and have no known grave. Their names are engraved on the walls of the gate. Nearly 55,000 names are engraved on the walls. It takes you aback just looking at name after name, and what ... read more
Chez Marie
Just a Vickers in the window
Menin Gate

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres September 6th 2017

Up early for the train back to London Waterloo Station, hopefully it will be more time efficient and easier than the way down. Linda made us some bacon sandwiches for the train ride, much appreciated, and it was off to Wool Station for the ride back. Train was on time and off we went. 10 minutes late into Waterloo, not too bad considering the trip down. Off to the tube station for the last time to St Pancras International Station, turns out on the noisiest tube we have been on. Too much grease we think. Arriving at St Pancras with lots of time to spare we found quite possibly the biggest coffee's I have ever seen, I think they are classed as 'bucket' size. Grabbing some snacks for the Eurostar and off to departures where we ... read more
Eurostar to Calais
Calais station - not what I expected
Notre Dame - Calais

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres August 12th 2017

I visited this town because P&O provided a bus there from the port of Zeebrugge. Normally the ferry runs daily from Hull but the Pride of Bruges was out of action so Pride of York was going on alternate days. Only 7 people got on the bus with the rest of the foot passengers heading to Bruges on two other buses. The fare was a good deal for a single traveler and even cheaper for two as it included a cabin and the bus. Food onboard is pricey so it is wise to take a picnic for an evening meal. I read up on what to do and decided that with 6 hours at most the Menon Gate and Flanders Museum, In Flanders Fields would be my priorities. As it happened, the bus driver got lost ... read more
IN Flanders Fields
Museum interactive band

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres June 15th 2017

Just a quiet day for a walk around Ypres. Though Ieper is the official name, the city's French name, Ypres is most commonly used in English. During the First World War, Ypres was the center of Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces. During the war it was nicknamed "Wipers", as its name was difficult for English-speaking British Imperial forces to pronounce. Ypres is an ancient town, known to have been raided by the Romans in the first century BC. It is first mentioned by name in 1066 and is probably named after the river Ieperlee on the banks of which it was founded. During the Middle Ages, it was a prosperous Flemish city with a population of 40,000 in 1200 AD and renowned for its linen trade with England (mentioned in the Canterbury Tales). ... read more
St Martin's Cathedral
walkway up to the church
St Martin's Cathedral

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres June 12th 2017

Took off from Ramsden Heath this morning at 8:30am. Got to the chunnel at around 10:00am. Our ticket was for the 11:50am crossing. We walked around a bit, had a sandwich and then headed off for the train. Once in France, we shopped at the wine store in Calais, France. After spending about 175 euros on wine ;-) we headed off for our Belgium destination. After looking at the map of our current location, the France and Belgium border is the road right outside our front door. We're off to Antwerp tomorrow so I'll have more adventures from there. Bye, for now.... read more
Picture of horse on the hill
IMG_1491
IMG_1492

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres April 12th 2017

We spent 3 days in this charming town: Ypres in French, Ieper in Flemish. I have heard that the British pronounced it "Wipers"! We like the Grote Markt, the main square, where there is always some activity going on, ie. markets, musical concerts, street drama, demonstrations. Most of the town was destroyed in the First World War. Buildings, such as the Cloth Hall and the Cathedral, were reconstructed to their original state--an amazing accomplishment. We attended the Last Post twice at the Menin Gate. This moving ceremony has been performed by buglers every evening at 8pm, since 1927* when the Gate was inaugurated as a memorial to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient area during WW1 and were never found. Their names are engraved on the walls. *For the years during ... read more

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres June 7th 2016

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. ... read more
White cliffs of Etretat
Etretat village
Patience

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres September 21st 2015

Belgian Battle Fields Passchendele and Polygon Wood Scene of overwhelming loss of life in the First World War – 1914 to 18. There were 3 major battles in this area. By the time the 3rd battle too place in 1917 German forces had cemented themselves into a strong defensive position. It was in this 3rd attempt to oust the German forces that the 5th Division of the Australian Army won high accolades for successfully clearing the Polygon Wood area of German forces. A tall memorial to the 5th Australian Division now stands in the Polygon Wood cemetery There are numerous memorials and cemeteries in this part of the world. In the Ypres area ( of which Passhendele/ Polygon Wood is just a part ) has over 150 military WW1 cemeteries. The largest of these is Tyne ... read more
 Australian 5th Div Passchendaele Belgium  (2)
Aust 5th Div Cemetry & Mem Passchendaele Belgium (1)
Aust 5th Div Cem & Mem Passchendaele Belgium (4)




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