Driving to Ypres
It was a hazy/foggy day again in Northern France. I headed to the coast for a couple of reasons. I was hoping to view the Channel from the coast and look across to Britain. That didn’t work. I did however stop at Wimereux Cemetery to pay my respects to John McCrae. There are two great war poems that I know by heart, both created by Canadian Military Officers. High Flight was done by officer in the RCAF during World War II and In Flanders Fields was done by MrCrae in WWI. He died due to illness and was buried in the cemetery along with many war casualties that were treated behind the lines. There is a significant number of German Graves there, I presume prisoners that were receiving treatment at the hospital. There are also the first female war casualties I saw; Nursing Sisters and Canteen staff caught in bombing raids.
In a mild diversion from the WWI flavor I stopped at Cite d Europe, which is an industrial, shopping, and travel complex that has grown up around the channel tunnel.
Arriving in Ieper (Ypres), I got to see the Saturday Market in the square. Unfortunately it was just wrapping up when I got here.
Then did a walking tour of Ieper. The Cloth Hall of the main square is an imposing building. Completely rebuilt (along with the rest of the town) after the Great War. there is a model of the town after the war. There is barely anything over 4 feet tall in the entire town. Looking at the town now that seems completely amazing. The buildings look like they have been this way for hundreds of years. There is a small church call St George’s that has been the repository of plaques and dedications from almost every Commonwealth unit.
Tonight I will take in the Last Post at the Menin Gate .