In Flanders Fields

After watching the German national canoe water polo team thrash us 5-2 (what other result could there be?), we took a wander around the ramparts of Ypres. By the Lille gate is a small war cemetry where we came across the grave of one M. Patrick, which was a bit sobering. Further round the ramparts was a photography exhibition ‘celebrating’ 100 years of the International Peace Bureau and the Nobel prize, though you wouldn’t know they’d had much success as a group given the pictures on display – everything from the Vietnam war to the massacre in Srebrenica.

So feeling totally in the holiday mood by that stage, we went into the centre of Ypres and found the tourist information and some maps of the local area. There are numbered cycle routes everywhere, but we didn’t know where they led. Armed with a map, we have just completed a 20 mile tour of various war graves, including Sanctuary Hill and Hill 62. We then ended up in the Paschendaele memorial park watching a combined troupe of Belgian and Canadian dancers acting out the war in interpretive dance. The park is beautiful and worth a visit.

Tired by that stage, we took the direct route back, but even on the more significant roads the Belgians have segregated bike tracks and even dedicated routes round roundabouts where cyclists get right of way!! And when not on cycle paths, it is all on quiet country lanes through fields of -what else could it be – Brussel sprouts! 010013015

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