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Ieper (or Ypres)

Ieper (or Ypres)

The first day of our holiday, and a convenient location en-route to our intended proper first destination of Le Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

An early-ish start and a long drive from the far end of England saw us arrive at the UK tunnel terminal with more than an hour before our crossing, but the tunnel was a bit chaotic so there was no chance of an earlier crossing. This in turn meant that we got to our apartment in Ypres barely in time to head out again.

(Side note: four of us, in an apartment that could comfortably sleep nine. We weren’t short of space, but it seemed odd that it had just one toilet and one bathroom, which became the bottlenecks.)

We intended to watch the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate; we hadn’t realised that 30th June is when the Irish (or maybe just Ulster?) regiments traditionally congregate there, and there also seemed to be a lot of Canadians, probably related to it being the eve of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. You could barely turn around for bumping in to somebody with a pipe or a drum.

As you can probably imagine, a very moving ceremony, although the laying of wreaths went on for a long time.

Once the ceremony was complete, we went to the centre of town to find some food, almost being chased by a full marching band, and there were groups of pipers and drummers around every corner. We didn’t see much of the town itself, but it certainly looks like it’s worth a longer visit.

 
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Posted by on Tuesday 5 July 2016 in Travel

 

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