As we're on a mission to literally see all of Belgium before the borders reopen and we can safely travel abroad again, we're spending most of our weekends venturing out of Brussels to see what else there is to do.
Next on the list was Ypres in western Belgium, a massively important place historically speaking as a key point on the western front during WWI. Emphasis is heavily placed on honouring what happened here, with a number of military cemeteries, war memorials and museums based here.
Aside from the fact that we got on the wrong train and then the train back was cancelled, meaning it took us a whopping five hours to get to Ypres from Brussels - and another three hours back! - we found Ypres to be moving and humbling.
Here are three spots you should visit when you visit Ypres:
1. In Flanders Fields Museum
Named for the famous WWI poem penned by Canadian John McCrae, the In Flanders Fields Museum is an exceptional museum in the heart of Ypres offering a highly detailed and informative exhibition on WWI and the role Ypres played. Artefacts and remnants of the war are preserved and displayed alongside explanations in four languages (E/D/G/F).
2. Menin Gate
Menin Gate, just down the road from the museum, is an awe-inspiring structure. Featuring the names of over 54,000 soldiers of the British Empire who died at Ypres but without burial (meaning there were thousands more who died here but who's bodies were identified and buried), this monument is astonishing.
Every evening at 8pm (which we didn't get to experience), the Last Post is played by bugle here, a tradition held almost continuously since 1928.
3. Ramparts Cemetery
Along the riverfront from Menin Gate lies one of the many military cemeteries of Ypres. Ramparts Cemetery is home to 198 bodies, 5 of which are unknown. Soliders from various countries of the Commonwealth lay here - from New Zealand to Wales and the United Kingdom to Australia. The cemetery lies over old dug-outs used during the war.