1st day: Brussels
After your arrival in Brussels, you will take a short tour of the city, and then visit the Royal Museum of the Army and of Military History. The "EXPO" says here: “14-18, it’s our history!“ and explains the influence of the First World War on the development of the 20th and 21st centuries around the world. You will continue to your hotel in Ghent.
2nd day: Audenarde, Waregem and Ypres
Today you will drive to West Flanders, which was influenced more than any other region by World War I. You will stop along the journey in Audenarde at the American Monument and at the Flanders Field American cemetery and Memorial in Waregem, which is the only American cemetery in Belgium. You will then see the American Monument on Mount Kemmel, dedicated to the troops who fought here in 1918. You will visit Ypres in the afternoon, and take a historic city tour focusing on the First World War. Further, you will see Cloth Hall, which today houses an interesting museum called "In Flanders Fields," which connects personal histories to that of the History of those times. You will see Menin Gate, where the Last Post takes place every evening to honor the fallen. Then you will drive to your hotel on the Flemish coast.
3rd day: Diksmuide and Poperinge
You will drive to Diksmuide after breakfast, where you will visit the Yser Tower. This tower, the Crypt and the Gate of Peace together form what is known as the European Peace domain. You will find the Death Trench nearby, which is a network of underground routes and trenches stretching over more than a kilometer. This was one of the most dangerous Belgian locations on the Western Front. You will visit the "Every Man's Club" in the afternoon, the Talbot House in Poperinge. This famous soldier's club on the Western Front showed another side of the times. Piano music and a cup of tea in the old canteen give you an authentic view of the times. On your way back, you will be able to visit the nearby Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, the largest of the hospital cemeteries.
4th Day: Return or further travel to France?
SPECIAL TOPICS 100 years since the start of the First World War
We will celebrate one of the saddest chapters in world history in the next four years: West Flanders was the scene of the bloodiest battles of the First World War from 1914-18. This is the occasion to delve into this history. Many exhibitions and informative events will focus on this subject of world history. A trip to these sites should emphasize the importance of peace and understanding.
Copyright Program and Pictures: © APPINA TRAVEL GmbH