Ypres has been my base for the last couple of days. An amazing town with a lot of great people and food. Even though the town has an old European feel to it with the buildings, basically every building is less than 90 years old. This is a result of the town being almost completely flattened in WW1.

I took a tour with Salient Tours. It was an excellent tour with very knowledgable and passionate staff.  The first stop of the tour saw us visit Essex Farm, which was the site of a WW1 dressing station.  It is here that John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields. The added emotion came when the guide asked one of the group members to recite the poem as we stood beside the memorial. I am sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the group.

We then visited two cemeteries, a Commonwealth one and a German one. We also visited the Canadian Memorial of the Brooding Soldier at Vancouver Corner ( the site of the first gas attack.

We also visited a trench system of the Allies. It was interesting to see just how close the 2 front lines were; less than 25 meters.

In the British trenches near Ypres.

Top of the Cloth Hall tower in Ypres. This was completely destroyed in the war and then rebuilt
John McCrae Memorial at Essex Farm.

Part of the German cemetery at Langemark. This is a mass grave with thousands of bodies buried here. Over 44 000 in the whole cemetery.

More of the British trench system. The gravel path signifies the network of tunnels and rooms that made up the network. The German front linr was about 20 feet from the right side of the photo.

Cloth Hall in Ypres

Wreaths on the steps at the Menen Gate in Ypres

Menen gate

Memorial inside the dressing station. The one used by John McCrae was on this site but was replaced with concrete later in the war.
Canadian Memorial of the Brooding Soldier at Vancouver Corner. The trees around are Canadian cedar trees and soil from each province and territory in canada make up the ground around the site.

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