Day 9 - Tuesday 15th May
Early morning walk along the wall around part of the old town. It is a massive brick built wall with a wide moat outside it. It used to go all around the old town but now only part of the East & South walls remain. It is wide on the top with bike & pedestrian paths. The Menin Gate is to the North of the East wall & the main road from the East goes through at that point.
After the walk we upped & drove out to Zonnebeke to visit the Passchendale Museum there. The most expensive museum so far at €9 each but it was one of the nicest & most interesting. The audio tour took us through the tour of the exhibits on the first floor of an old mansion & then we descended down into the mock up of the underground tunnels & rooms as they were in the war. After that we got to wander through about 100yds of reconstructed trenches outside followed by more tunnels back under the main house. Very informative & excellently done.
Lunch was cheese & biscuits back in the Motorhome in the car park before we walked the mile & a bit to the TyneCot cemetery. Apparently the largest British cemetery from the war & it was certainly big. It was a lovely sunny afternoon on which to see the sad sight of so many gravestones. A large proportion of the stones mark the graves of unknown soldiers. The centre piece amongst the graves was built on top of a German bunker & two more concrete bunkers stand amongst amongst the graves.
Then it was back to the museum where we spent a couple more hours wandering the grounds to see the outside exhibits before we left at 5pm to head the 50 miles across to the coast to Dunkirk. We were due to come home Saturday but having done all that we set out to do I have rebooked us on the ferry tomorrow instead. We have seen so many cemeteries & Museums we are a bit overwhelmed by all the numbers & facts. So much to try & take in, it’s all mind blowing. We need time to absorb & reflect on everything now.
After a rest we headed North West back to the ferry terminal in Dunkirk. When we got there I changed the ferry time, once again, & booked us on the 4am ferry. We have to check in at 3am so it was an early to bed night for us. Fortunately we can stay on the car park by the ticket office so only a short drive to the ferry in the morning.
Miles today - 55
Total miles - 894