Well day 3 of our holiday has arrived. The girls were up early, 07:30 just so they could go out and get us all fresh croissants and pain au chocolat from the local boulongerie. All I had to do was leave the money out for them and wait for the call for breakfast, can’t be bad.
Well following breakfast our eldest daughter Keziah chose our day trip today, we are going to visit Ypres just across the border into Belgium. She had been there before as part of a school trip and loved it so much, she wanted to show the whole family.
We decided to stop on route at an Abbey that was said to have spectacular views looking down across the valley from where it stood.
Its true it did, although the weather was a little overcast to show the scene off at its best. It did however give me a chance to try out my new lens again.
In the group of cows you can just see at the right of the above photograph was a lone horse.
I couldn’t get him to smile for the camera but then he probably didn't know I was there at the top of the hill photographing him.
The Mounts de Cats abbey is near the town of Godewaersvelde in the Flanders region of France. The monastery founded in 1650 by the Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony, although it is now run by Trappists monks known in the region for their cheese making.
Unfortunately we had arrived on a morning when the monastery was closed to the public. We could have waited until the afternoon to visit but that would mean missing out on our visit to Ypres. So we had an early lunch looking out across the valley, before heading across the border into Belgium.
Upon arriving in Ypres (sometimes spelt Ieper) you can’t help but marvel at the Cloth Hall that dominates the ‘ rote Markt’ Town square.
The Cloth Hall that stands today is a complete replica of the original 13th century building, known to be one of the largest commercial buildings of the middle ages. This replica was built following the complete destruction of the original building by Artillery fire during the First world war, where all of Ypres was flattened to the ground.
The Cloth hall is now home to the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ of which the entrance is in the above photo. We will leave the inside of the museum to another post.
Looking around the square there was lots of restaurants or Brasseries with their colourful awnings and outdoor seating areas.
There was so many of them we just had to stop for afternoon coffee!
The Brasserie we visited had these great ceiling decorations.
Looking out across the square whilst we enjoyed our drinks, I was amazed to think that everything you could see had only been built since the end of the first world war.
The architecture looked so much older.
But then I suppose that was the idea.
There is a wonderful fountain so I just had to try and get my daughters wet…
Well as we were in Belgium and they are famous for… ‘chocolate’ we thought we had better find some.
It wasn’t hard, there are a number of chocolate shops around the town centre.
Well upon entering the shop and seeing the large display of chocolate before us…
and with having a family who all seem to appreciate good chocolate, we left the shop considerably lighter in the wallet and probably a few pounds heavier.
One of the events Ypres is famous for is the Last Post played by the Ypres fire brigade every night under the Menin Gate.
The Menin Gate was constructed in 1927 and designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. It stands as a memorial to all those who fell, officers and soldiers, of the commonwealth forces, who died in the Ypres Salient area and who have no known graves, between 1914 and 15th August, 1917.
The Menin gate as you can see is a main thoroughfare into the centre of Ypres, but even so, every night no matter the weather, the road is closed at 8pm and the last post is sounded by the men of the Ypres Fire brigade.
They sound it as a mark of honour to all those from around the world who lost their lives in defence of the town.
A poignant ceremony follows including the laying of poppy wreaths in remembrance to those fallen.
Our day in Ypres draws to a close with lots to think about and many happy memories.
Tomorrow on my blog is header challenge with this weeks theme being ‘Macro’ chosen by imac so I will return to France after that, but still come and see me and my fellow headbangers, imac, Tom-fishing guy, Gailsman and Lanny attempt to create a header and post on the theme macro.Technorati Tags: France,Ypres,Belgium,Abbey,Flanders,Ieper,photo,architecture,fountain,chocolate,Menin,Gate,memorial,soldiers,ceremony,remembrance,monastery