Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ieper or Ypres

We are off this afternoon to Hull, from where we will spend the night eating in Langans on a P&O ferry, then gently snoozing in a cabin en route to Zeebrugge. We return overnight on Sunday.

We should have been in Ieper for Remembrance Day last year, but due to the NHS attempting to finish off my mother-in-law posted here, we had to postpone that trip. If you have not visited Ieper you really must. It is one of the most evocative cities in the world. The playing of the Last Post by volunteer buglers from the Last Post Association, every night under the Menin Gate, brings a lump to your throat no matter how many times you attend.

Tomorrow our mate Paul Nuttall, who is a researcher in Brussels for the ID Group, will be joining us in Ieper for a hearty meal of Flemish stew in Vivaldi on the Grote Markt, no doubt washed down with fine Belgian beers. We will spend the rest of our trip visiting the many local First World War sights.

Flanders really does bring home the cruelty of war, and the incredible sacrifices of our forefathers. We must never forget.

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