An early start to beat the heat, and only a short cruise into Ypres (nowadays known as leper). Much was downhill, and reservations about using a busy road were dissipated as it had a dedicated bike lane… way out in the countryside. No wonder the Belgians are great cyclists. Unfortunately there was no coffee, so breakfast was a desperation energy drink from a vending machine in the middle of a town, and a far from desperate pain du chocolate from the bakery opposite.
After a scenic, and unintended, tour of the ramparts, we arrived at the campsite at 1000. Camino Karma surfaced again, and instead of tenting in the heat, there was a cabin available, and being vacant, we didn’t have to wait until 1600 to move in. Yay! Straight to the cold showers to cool off.
Ypres is a beautiful town – completely rebuilt in the 1920s after being devastated in WW1. Maybe you’ve seen the aerial photos taken in 1918. The Ypres museum located in the Cloth Hall is well worth a couple of hours. We also spent time at the Menin Gate, built to commentate the 55, 000 allied soldiers who remained missing following the battles of the Ypres Salient. There are an additional 40,000 graves for those whose bodies were found but never identified – usually listed as ‘Known only unto God”. These are contained in the Commonwealth cemeteries that dot the region. After 15 August 1917, the missing were listed at Tyne Cot cemetery, where another 35,000 missing are listed.
DMM: The sheer volume of names inscribed on the Menin Memorial.
Daily kms: 22