Travelling to Belgium, and a day in the Trenches
16.05.2015 - 19.05.2015
We left Lake Windermere heading to Nottingham. It seems when Steve installed our Scala system to our new helmets he pinched the wires - eventually we lost communication. We rode 300kms in freezing cold windy conditions to get there - not stopping once !!! Steve was is front following the GPS and I had no choice but to follow - Not Happy !! Now let me tell you I was fairly sizzling in my helmet - I am still waiting for pay-back for that. I think it will have a lot to do with the Credit Card and a nice "compensation" purchase. After installing the new earphone we went on to Peterborough, then on to Folkestone on Sunday ready for our Monday morning crossing.
Crossing England to France is quite easy on the Euro Tunnell - here is Steve helping a fellow traveller with bike troubles of his own.
We arrived in France, rode the Motorway to Belgium in freezing windy conditions again, but at least we can communicate now !
Our B&B in Ypres (now known an Ieper) is lovely.
After touring the city yesterday we booked a tour of the Ypres Salient today.
The Menin Gate Memorial to 54,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War - no graves - bodies missing.
They have held a Last Post ceremony here every night at 8:00pm since 1928. Almost 30,000 times.
Flowers and wreaths from last nights ceremony.
So after a very good breakfast - real food at last - we set out for the Salient Tour.
First stop was the Book shop which is the starting point of our tour and also a mini museum run by a Canadian who came here just to photograph the war sites and stayed.
Hope you can read this one - its how to treat Syphillis - sounds extremely painful.
No wonder the shells caused so much harm - this is the inside showing all the schrapnel -
First stop on our tour was the Essex Farm Cemetery.
Grave of a 15yr old boy who lied about his age to get into the Army -
Second stop was the Yorkshire Trenches & Dug Out - an area preserved for historical purposes. It is a piece of land owned by the Council within an Industrial area - the rest of the trenches were destroyed or have factories built over them.
Next stop was the German Cemetery - 44,304 soldiers buried here, 24,917 are in a Mass Grave in the centre.
Bunkers where the Germans held their position and tried to take Ypres, white flag in the background represents the Front Line for the first Gas Attack.
There are also 2 British Soldiers buried here - recognizing where they died.
Next stop was the Canadian memorial -
Our guide found out from the gardeners here that the plants actually have significance - very interesting.
The fluffy green plants represent the Chlorine gas which was first used here by the Germans -
Spiky bush represents an explosion -
These bushes represent Grenades -
very clever gardener.
We also stopped at a farm where we viewed some bits and pieces picked up in the paddocks around here - farmers are still finding this stuff including leaking gas bombs and live explosives.
This unexploded shell was found in the last couple of days and placed here for collection by the bomb disposal squad - no hurry !!
Final stop was at the Tyne Cot Cemetery.
this soldier was from Hobart (so is Steve - might be a relative)
so many graves -
Objects are remains of 5 Australian Soldiers recovered in 2006
Back to Ieper we had lunch and a hot drinkj - it was very cold today but well worth doing.