wend.ca | travel geek

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Belgium

Very few original, intact WW1 trenches still exist

Evidence of the Great War is still visible on the landscape in Western Europe. More than a billion shells were launched during the war and farmers/construction workers still frequently find ordinance or gas canisters (bomb disposal experts get calls daily)…. Continue Reading →

Beautiful Photos of Brugge’s Canals

Brugge’s prime and strategic location on the North Sea has ensured that the area was inhabited long before recorded history… and made sure that every European invading force came to the city in an attempt to conquer and control its… Continue Reading →

Little Details, Brugge

This is my second Easter spent in Brugge. The first was in 2011… when the Tour de Flanders (La Ronde) was still in Brugge. This time around it was La Niña’s choice to visit the city and explore. For this… Continue Reading →

Finding Frank… at the Menin Road South Cemetery, Ypres

In 1916, Menin Road was the route that Allied troops took from Ypres to the front line. Today, the front line is gone but the road still exists (Menenstraat) and if you leave Ypres from the Menin Gate, it’s a… Continue Reading →

So many cemeteries… so much death…

The overwhelming thing about touring the countryside in Belgium and France is the sheer number of cemeteries in a relatively small amount of space. Some are on the side of the road, some are hidden behind bushes and trees, and… Continue Reading →

Langemarck Cemetery and the first gas attack

The focus of our visit to France and Belgium has been on finding our relatives who died in the Great War and honouring those who died in the Allied forces. However, with this post I want to point out that… Continue Reading →

Last Post in Ypres, Belgium

We remember our war dead once a year on Nov 11th. The people of Ypres remember OUR war dead EVERY DAY and have done so since 1928; specifically, those who fell while defending Ypres. It’s humbling and I will admit… Continue Reading →

The Sick Children of Alijn’s Hofje

It seems that in Dutch, there are dozens of words that can be used to describe a house that takes in the poor or destitute: beguinage, hofje, goedhuis, Godshuizen. Each one has a subtle meaning (depending on who is supported)… Continue Reading →

Where Angels Wear Gas Masks and Monks Make Beer

The monks of the Augustijnen Monastery in Ghent (Sint Stefanus) are poly-skilled; along with the religious portion of their job, they are also highly skilled in making specialty beer and have done so since 1295. The Abbey beer that Augustijnen… Continue Reading →

Some yummy food… and then back to Paris!

The food in Beligum is amazing; but, the thing that really stands out is the culture and mindset that sits behind it. I was given one insight that has since changed my entire perspective around food. In NA, we tend… Continue Reading →

Sint-Niklaaskerk

Built between 1220-1250, Saint Nicolas was built in honour of the patron saint of sailors, merchants, and children. Funding for the church came from the first two: sailors and merchants. Typical to Belgium, it was build using blue-grey Scheldt rock… Continue Reading →

Heaven and Hell

In Patershol, an area in Ghent known for it’s tiny streets, old buildings, and great restaurants, you’ll find two buildings that the people of Ghent call “heaven and hell.” I’m not sure the reasoning behind the naming, they were pointed… Continue Reading →

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