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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

My 1st visit to Ypres


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Well, firstly I must say that Ypres is a wonderful town, with nice people. The waitresses are a bit mardy, my companion observed, but nonetheless.

Our first night was spent mostly in the 12 Apostles where we got very drunk in a candlelit room. With us both being police officers it was nice way to let off steam without the fear of people knowing or bothering us. As a consequence we missed the Last Post, which left me a bit upset for the rest of the night.

The following day we coach tripped around the area. Our guide was Christof, who must be known to regulars. He was very passionate, and informative. His grandfather has worked for the CWGC all of his working life and had an encounter with Hitler at Langemarck during WW2. That said the day felt very touristy, as we were filled with info from Christof, who would veer off into his own life and experiences and this left little time to wander or reflect. This was most noticable at Tyne Cot.

We visited Sanctury Wood, Tyne Cot, the grave of 2 x VC recipient Chavesse, Langemarck, and the large crater formed by the mine which is surrounded by trees(the name escapes me at this time. The one that was delayed by 15 secs and killed 19 advancing Tommies). We then made our own way around Ypres and took in the Ramparts mini museum, which was very good and the Ramparts cemetary. We then went to the Menin Gate which was the most overwhelming part of the weekend. Several hundred people in pitch darkness whilst the Air Training Corp and a Canadian school laid wreaths.

Bit of a whirlwind day which the more I think about it the more I enjoyed. I hope to return under my own steam with a purpose.

On a social level they kept giving us the wrong steak, which will remain a funny memory. And the drains could do with a clean out. The pubs were good we went in the Old Bill, another in the far right corner as you look at the Cloth Hall and of course the 12 Apostles. With Stella Artois as standard and with a great breakfast at the Novotel an exhausting weekend was had.


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Glad you enjoyed your first visit, it's well worth thrying to go back yourself, as you can spend the time you want where you want. And by the way...


Why not??


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