Belgium - August 2008

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend we visited Ypres and Bruges in Belgium with Steve & Jenny Walker. We stayed at a very rural B&B surrounded by fields of maize near Wijtschate, 10km from Ypres. The owners of Muscari were very welcoming and most interested in the Se7ens! The photos below show the various places we visited over the weekend.

En route to our B&B we passed this unusual haystack!
We drove into Ypres for dinner on our first evening and took this photo of the Cloth Hall in Grote Markt
This is Tyne Cot Memorial in Passchendaele where there are 11,952 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated
The Memorial also bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker
The Memorial is built around two German blockhouses which were used as advanced dressing stations
We found two casualties listed in the memorial register with our family name and we also located them on the memorial. This has prompted us to check our family tree to see if we are related
We spent a day in Ypres and completed the Ramparts Walk which starts at the Menin Gate.
The memorial commemorates those from most of the Commonwealth nations who died in Ypres Salient in the First World War
The memorial lists more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known and was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield
A strange group of sculptures on the Ramparts Walk
The Ramparts Cemetery holds 198 Commonwealth graves and was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield
A memorial close to Grote Markt
The Cloth Hall was built in the 13th century and demonstrated the wealth and power held by the merchants of the town. The main fašade is 125m long and the belfry 70m high with a carillon with 49 bells
Architecture in Grote Markt
We returned to the Menin Gate for the Last Post which has taken place every day at 8pm since 1928
On the evening that we were there, the guard of honour was formed by the City of London Police
Unfortunately not a clear photo, but the Last Post was sounded by three buglers
An intriguing night time shadow of the tower
This was the view from our bedroom window
You can just make out the driveway to the property
En route to Bruges, we visited the Yorkshire Trench and Dugout which was at the time a front line position
This is the view that a sniper would have had from the trench
The Provincial court is the best example of how Bruges was renovated in neo-gothic style during the second half of the 19th century.
Reconstructions of medieval-style houses in the Markt
The Old Civil Registry
The Lion of Flanders and the Bear of Bruges
Our boat trip started from this picturesque jetty


On the way home we programmed the shortest route into the satnav and this picked up some 'interesting' roads. This one, although clearly unmade, actually had a proper street sign, so being the adventurous sorts we trusted the satnav!