The Last Post?

29th May to 4th June 2017

Luxembourg and mini heatwave- unfortunately the campsite had many hidden charges

As we both sit contemplating our last weekend, writing our last post it seemed only fitting that our last stop before our ferry home on Tuesday was in Ypres, where the Last Post has a much deeper meaningful reason and nothing can quite prepare you for that sound each evening. I would defy anyone not to have tears in their eyes during this very moving nightly ceremony.

But for us Greygappers we have had tears in our eyes for most of the week as well as our journey ends and a new chapter begins. There were big financial tears on Tuesday when we were charged a huge amount checking out at Camping Nommerlayen. The weather In Luxembourg had been really hot for the Sunday and Monday with temperatures at mid-thirties and we had decided to have a swimming pool stop for those days and if we had known that on top of the non ASCI fee that the electricity was charged for on top and that there was also tourist tax per person, per night than I would have swallowed a lot more of the water in the 50 metre pool to make sure we got value for money. So our thoughts on Luxembourg although a short visit –mas or menos as the Spanish say.

Route to Bastogne. NiKi with Tommy the Tank

The rest of the week has been spent on an historical tour in Belgium with David’s head very firmly stuck in the past with the many war sites/memorials there are here. A truly wonderful museum in the town of Bastogne for the Battle of the Bulge, a visit to the Ardennes American military cemetery near Liege both being outstanding and again very high on the emotional

Ardennes American war cemetery. One of the so many graves in this country and each one so moving. Brave, brave young men

scale. We then stepped further back in time to the Battle of Waterloo at Waterloo just south of Brussels again very high on David’s list. For me I didn’t really need to see another museum on history especially as any love of history I might have had was firmly killed by a very very poor history teacher at secondary school. So whilst David took in the 4d interactive museum I walked the actual battlefield of Napoléon and Wellington now very lush farmland so time well spent for both of us.

Battle of Waterloo Museum- an excellent museum with 4d images

With the 1st June hitting us hard we made for the Ghent with high expectations. Lonely Planet calling it a smaller grittier version of Bruges where we have been a few times and have loved. Thankfully the weather although cooler than the start of the week has stayed with us and we managed a couple of lovely days wandering, meandering the photogenic canals and medieval towers.  We also took in the amazing Van Eycks masterpiece – The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in the St Baafs cathedral –truly a masterpiece.  David has also in the call of duty sampled a few Belgian beers but preferred to say on the lower alcohol level side, but up till this moment neither of us have sampled any Belgium chocolate although we have decided a box will be

A €7 boat trip which was worth the money for 50 minutes. No G&T included on the ticket though

coming back with us from here.  Chips- which are one of the national dishes of Belgium, we have sampled them twice and I can’t say there is anything outstanding about them, if anything almost a little bland but maybe you need a bigger field sample and unfortunately with no R in the month it’s not mussel season to go with the chips.

Ghent was also a treat for us as for the first time this year we were fortunate enough to meet up with family and on this occasion David’s nephew and his girlfriend. Our path home did not take us through the Netherlands but Kevin and Eveline made the journey from there to have dinner

Ghent and a young, fit Nolan with his Uncle Buck

with us on the Friday. It was a lovely evening and great to catch up with them and our restaurant of choice was an all you can eat rib shack. Now let’s think here- David, all you can eat, ribs. Uhm 4 portions later on David’s part he gave in with a sigh of relief coming from the restaurateurs.   

We left the free car park there on Saturday morning after a lovely chat with two young motorhomers starting out on their year long adventure. As now almost motorhomer veterans we were able to pass on some advice to them before we hit the road to Ypres. A lovely little site not

Me and NiKI sharing a near last drink. Well done that Elddis Encore 254, 17 months on the road together and never a cross word (not with the van anyway!!)

far from the Menin gate so we have been able to take advantage of seeing the ceremony each night and also to do some of our last cycles around the various memorials and poignant graves. Again it’s hard not to be moved by the huge loss of life’s sustained in this area by these brave courageous men. So leave the past to the past. NO, the past is the future and we should remember.

Ypres and the Menin Gate where the Last post is played every evening at 8pm to honour those ho fought and died in the Greta War
Tyne Cot cemetery. 11,000 young men are buried here and many more commemorated whose bodies were never found. Many buried but Known only unto God……

THE LAST POST – for Ypres never the Last Post, for us Yes the Last Post of our epic wonderful journey. Thankfully we have NiKi for another few weeks and we will continue to live in him while we do some work on our ‘brick’ home in our wonderful home city of London, so those tears of parting with our home are yet to be shared with you as we continue shorter updates with our ‘OMG we’re back’ blog.

The tears on Tuesday will be double edged- sadness for the end of the trip and also of joy as we make our way to see family and friends and start a new chapter.  Living the dream…………..

Our Route For Our Last Week!

11 Comments

  1. I can’t believe it was 17 months ago when we saw David in the car park at lakeside shopping centre just before you set off. What an adventure you have had!
    We were both in tears when we rolled off the ferry at the end of our trip, so I know a little of how you feel.
    It’s been wonderful following your adventure and I am just sorry that we never crossed paths. I am looking forward to your ‘return to normality’ updates, as we just couldn’t do it – other than to set ourselves up to travel all the time! Who knows, maybe you will feel the same.
    Enjoy a bath, unlimited showers, washing machines and space to stretch – not to mention fish and chips, Sunday roasts and real ale! Hope to see you in Blighty one day.
    Ju, J and Charlie
    Ourtour.co.uk

    • I’m with you on that Our Yours! I feel tearful for you both Karen and David. I was writing a piece for my book last week and recalling the final phase of our journey and the constant battle between chatting to family and friends on the phone and telling them how much I looked forward to seeing them and then hiding at the back of the van with years rolling down my cheeks at the thought of going home and not doing this again. I was completely overwhelmed when I got back and opened the front door. My legs went weak just at the size of the house, it was too much space! I honestly can’t say I feel settled a year later and all I dream about is travelling again. Why don’t you are what discount you could get on Niki and keep him just incase! I’m going to really miss my weekly read of your blog. It is my only connection to that life at the moment. Come and visit us soon x

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. We’ve enjoyed all the posts, particularly the foodie content. As we plan for a big trip later this year (5 days into early retirement and already stuck on what date it is!), we’ll refer to your site for inspiration. Enjoy the return to family and friends; how long before you’ll have itchy feet again? 😉

  3. How can it be 17 months since you set off and posted the first of your amazing photos & blogs in the pouring rain. I am so jealous of your adventure and admire your courage in taking the plunge and going for it. It Was so lovely to have spent a few days with you in beautiful Moraira. Can’t believe it was almost a year ago. I am heading back with the girls on Thursday and then again with Michael on the 20 June. I have no idea how you will deal with “normal” living after such an epic journey but good luck. Hope to see you both soon. xxx

  4. Wishing you all the very best for your next adventure! Big changes I’m sure but perhaps also of interest to those following your travels? Sometimes the adventures that can be found at home are just as exciting as the ones out in the big wide! Good Luck ☺️

  5. Thanks for sharing some of your travel experiences with us all.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs.

  6. Journeys End – a very moving play set in WW1. It would be a good read for you David.

    High charges and hidden taxes in Luxembourg – what a perfect metaphor for the RIP off European Union. Marvellous that we’ve triggered Article 50. Bet you’re looking forward to being back in England.

  7. I’m feeling quite emotional for you guys and I’ll be honest, not sure how you or I will react tomorrow when we meet up again. Can only feel pride and happiness for you on taking on this adventure. Your blogs have been enlightening and informative and I would have dearly loved to have shared some of those adventures with you. I am impressed at your resolve and discipline in writing them…..fantastic. As you say though, a wonderful chapter closes and another begins. We hope to be there and share some of them with you. Take care guys and see you soon. Love from Gary and Zoe. XXX

  8. Sadness and joy sometimes go hand in hand, don’t they? Ending such a wonderful trip, going back to family and friends. All mixed feelings … But you will cope! And I am happy to read there will be another blog! All the best to both of you. We will treasure all your information and use it on our travels in the future! Thanks again for it!

    • Chris and Peter we hope your adventures will be as much fun as ours. All made better meeting lovely people like yourselves. We are now attempting to get our new place ready to live in but hope to get posting stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*