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Belgium: History and War

Posted by on July 22, 2014
Brugge 2

Brugge, Belgium

We got out of Brussels early and headed for Brugge; about and hour away. This is where we should have went in the first place instead of Brussels. Absolutely gorgeous. Brugge is also know as the Venice of the North, and once you see it you’ll know why. As soon as you enter the centre you are transported back in time. As you wander the streets and turn the corners, the place seems to just go on and on. Canal tours and horse drawn carriages a very popular here.

We visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood which is a 12th century chapel which houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood which we were able to see.

A few other facts about Belgium you may not know….It is illegal not to have at least 5 euros on you at all time for emergency. They speak either Dutch or French….depending where you are. There are over 800 different beers made there….not bad for such a small country.

We finished of here at a small cafe and then headed toward Passchendaele. Once we arrive we needed to find a place to stay for the night and stopped in the Passchendaele Pub for a coffee and to ask if there were any hotels around. Great coffee…..no hotels. The owners were super helpful and phoned around to some B&B’s in the area and we were able to find one not far away. Before we left the pub, the owners gave us notes, a map, and a bunch of other information on the area. They were fantastic. We head to the B&B and were greeted again with open arms in a sense. The owners who did not have any room in there regular bed & breakfast took us down the street to “The Loft” where they are letting us stay for the night. You have to see this place to believe it. We basically have our own house along with a small farm area with miniature horses, potbellied pigs, rabbits, bird, dog, and more. Post-card perfect. 🙂

We unloaded our luggage and headed to Ypers for “The Last Post.”  This is done here at the Menin Gate, at 8:00 sharp, every night, since November 11th, 1929. The only time The Last Post was not held here is during the 2nd World War where the daily ceremony was moved to England; it returned once the war was over. Lucky for us, the night we were here a Canadian battalion touring through Europe was here taking part in the ceremony. At the end they loudly sang our national anthem and were applauded by hundreds as the left. What a great experience.

We went into Ypers and had dinner, then headed back to our “home for the night.” We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.

Brugge 1

Brugge, Belgium

Holy Blood

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Menin Gate

The Menin Gate

Ieper

Ypers

Wreath

Canada – Menin Gate

 

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