Sanctuary Wood

Our second day visiting the World War 1 sites saw us drive back towards Ypres but this time follow signs for Sanctuary Wood. This is a fascinating place. More than one hundred years after the first shots were fired in this terrible conflict, you can still see the trenches, shells and muddy craters in one…

The Menin Gate

At 8pm every night since 1928 – with the exception of the German occupation in World War 2 – buglers from the fire brigade of Ypres have stopped the traffic and performed a simple act of remembrance at the Menin Gate. It is their tribute to those who gave their lives in World War 1…

Around Ypres

Ypres is pretty and civilised, a charming little place whose streets are peppered with smart little bars, patisseries and boutiques. A century ago it was all so different. I read somewhere this was “Britain’s cockpit of war,” apt words. Too close to the Channel ports to relinquish and almost impossible to prize from the Germans…

In Flanders Fields….

“In Flanders Fields the poppies grow, between the crosses row on row…..” the most famous poem about World War 1 was written by Canadian surgeon Major John McCrae in response to what he saw at Ypres. Bright red poppies grow wild here, apparently you can still see them blooming every spring around the little Belgian…

Exploring Ostende

In need of coffee and a little break from our journey on the coast tram we clambered off in Ostende. Just a quick stop was my plan, nothing much to see here, it would be a bland and nondescript port town. Wrong on all counts. We spent more than half a day at this remarkably…

The Belgian Coast

Blue skies, hot and sunny weather,¬†what could be better¬†than a day at the coast? Beaches and Belgium, you wouldn’t necessarily associate one with the other, however we found golden sands galore and a perfect family day out. A couple of days later in the week were set aside for war museums and sights, we figured…

Evening Time in Bruges

One of our favourite things to do, wherever we go, is to stroll around in the evenings and after dark. No exception to that in Bruges, night-time was (almost) the best time for me. The day-tripper tourists had all gone, the streets were empty and exploring was such a pleasure. Markt, the main square still…