Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
559Trip End Ongoing
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Having travelled numerous times around the battlefields, we never get sick of seeing them, and as I had a spare weekend coming up, I had a look around and discovered another battlefield route, and as it was only 80ish Ks, we decided we would ride it, as for us, it is only a walk in the park !!!
Car, train, arrive in Calais, the weather was shit, it was hailing/sleeting, it was cold, so we drove on up to Ieper, parked the car, built the bikes and found a cafe as the weather was shit.
One coffee later, we hit the road as the sun was trying to shine through !!! We followed a route from an old book that we bought in 1998 called the Flanders Field, and got lost straight away as the signs were non-existent !!! The plan was to follow to the route for 40 odd Ks and then have lunch at the old cheese factory, but rain and more hail came, and once Lucy saw the signs for the factory, the route was thrown out the window !!!
So we stopped for lunch, and whilst there, the sun came out, so we finished up and moved on.
Now even though we were not far from Ieper, we had lost the route, so we followed some signs which eventually sent us back to town, so we grabbed the car, found our hotel, and settled down with some Flemish stew, frites and Belgium beer !!!
Day 1 GPS Link
After breakfast, we hauled our asses over to Duksmuide. We had never been there, but once in the town square, it was your typical Flemish square, so it felt similar to others that we had seen and it felt good.
A quick bit of history.
The Commonwealth nations didn't really fight in the West Flanders, so we knew none of the history. Basically, the locals fought, and at Nieuwpoort, the locks were opened, and this part of Belgium was flooded, and the rest is history.
On the road, it didn't take long for the memorials, to come. There was an old arch and tower at one, but we didn't go in as we didn't have as much sun as we would like, so we moved on. Not much further were more bunkers, paying ones, so once again we resisted going in as we had already decided that we would be coming back.
We passed various cemeteries including our first ever Belgium one, and not far from Nieuwpoort, we found a German one, so different to the one at Langemark, but in a typical WW1 style, serene, quiet, relaxing even.
Eventually, we made our way back into Diksmuide, and now we just have to wait until summer arrives !!! Still, it was a great scouting tour !!!
Day 2 GPS Link