"In Flanders Fields...." Ieper by karma_kola
Ieper Travel Guide: 525 reviews and 1,543 photos
Our trip to Ypres was a day trip. A short one hour drive from Bergen-op-zoom, Netherlands.
If you do plan to visit Ypres, please brace yourself for the chilling horrors of war.
"In Flander's Fields" Museum and the CEMETERIES OF THE YPRES SALIENT are two places that you must visit.
The first thing that you need to do is, buy the guide maps from the tourist office. Also, since I am going to recommend the Ypres Salient cycle/car route, it makes sense to also get some flowers or one of those small crosses with red poppies on them to put on the graves.
The maps have the entire 84 km route mapped out. The 84 km route includes all the places of interest in and around the area. There are also shorter routes that you can take. You can drive around or rent bikes. It’s a winding scenic route through the villages. The route maps provide all the details and information about each of the places of interest.
The route has war memorials, cemeteries and the trenches. It’s a poignant and very sad trip. Its real people, buried so faraway from home. When you visit the cemeteries, you will see a lot of messages left at the grave by families who have finally traced a lost brother or father or uncle after years of research.
The other place that you must visit is the "In Flander's Fields" Museum. It’s hi-tech and not just another collection of art, memorabilia and relics. It’s an interactive live museum.
When you enter, and pay the entry charge, they give you a swipe card, different for men and women. There are swipe machines at strategic locations all over the museum and you need the card to access them. The idea is novel.
With the card you are given an identity of a real person during the war and in the course of the visit to the museum you read about his or her life and what happened to them before, during and after the war. If they survived, or not.
The museum has photographs, postcards, letters, guns and lots more. It also has old movies of the war. The most impressive was the recreation of the trenches. It’s very real.
You need at least 3 hours for a through visit of the museum and its well worth the money as well as the time. Check for special days when they have discounts on the entry fee. It was 300 Belgian francs per person in October of 2001.
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