A second-class ticket return on a weekend is 50% cheaper. Having a chat to the Conductor at Antwerp, a change of train is needed at Kortijk regardless of the direction you come in from.
Upon arrival at Ypres, the skies opened up and it turned out glorious. All along the way farms could be seen with small cemeteries with carefully placed headstones to honour those who had fallen in the area.
This well-known British war monument of WWI was built in classic style after a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield. This gate displays the names of 54,896 soldiers missing in action. Every evening at 8 pm the Last Post is sounded. See www.lastpost.be
I was fortunate enough to secure the last seat with Salient Tours as all others were booked out. However not disappointed, this tour gave us an insight into where the battle lines were being fought along the ridge just on the outskirts of Ypres. Our guide informed us how the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the cemeteries and even today there are remains still being found in surrounding fields.
The Bayernwald Trenches are a carefully restored section of an original German trench system dating from 1916. The reconstruction was carried out in the original trench section under archaeological conditions.
The trench system allows visitors to walk through a significant area of German trenches, which include the following features:
◾trench sides made of woven wickerwork branches
◾stone and reinforced concrete dugouts
◾mine shaft “Berta 4” (secured and covered)
New Zealand troops of 2nd and 3rd (Rifle) brigades left their trenches and advanced towards the ridge in front of them, on which lay the ruins of Messines village. Australian and British troops on either side of them did the same. Following hard behind a meticulously planned sequence of standing and creeping barrages, these troops crossed no man’s land in minutes.