29th May to 4th June 2017
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!