1. From Bruges: City of Bruges & Flanders Fields
In Bruges you will enjoy the view of the peaceful Lake of Love and the picturesque Beguinage. Your guide will explain the stories and secrets behind the city’s history from the Viking period until the end of the Middle Ages. Catch many of the highlights of Bruges: the Basilica of the Holly blood of Jesus, the Belfry tower, our Lady’s Church, Saint John’s hospital and enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals. After a short lunch break you willl leave for Flanders Fields. Your expert guide will lead you throughout the visit to help you understand the events that led to the first world war and how the catastrophe developed. Visit Passchendaele battlefield and the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world where British, Australian and Canadian soldiers were laid to rest. Close by is Polygone where every year Anzac Day is celebrated at dawn. Then visit the Monument of the ‘Brooding Soldier’, which commemorates the sacrifice of 2,000 Canadian soldiers during the first German gas attack. Next, your coach will take you to Essex Farm. This was the dressing station where Dr. John McCrae wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields.’ After a set lunch in the outskirts of Ypres, drive to France to visit the awesome Vimy Memorial, museum and trenches. If time allows, you will also visit close to Ypres Hill 60 where Australian diggers detonated great underground mines. At 8:00 PM, you attend the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate, a daily tribute to all Commonwealth soldiers and officers that were missing after battle. The tour offers ample opportunity for reflection and to take pictures.