Day 9…Friday 17th June

We had had our last day in Europe so it was time to head home. No without a few pit stops on the way though!IMG_5557IMG_5561Another gem from my ‘100 wonders of the world’ book is the Atomium, which we passed on our way out of Brussels. Located on the Heysel Plateau, this towering structure was built in 1958 as part of Brussels World Fair and is now a museum with escalators joining the atoms and views over the city. It was closed as we exited the city but considering how much I loved Brussels, I’m sure we will be back.IMG_5563IMG_5598We stopped in Ypres, France to visit the Flanders Field Museum. When I was in year 11 at school, I was lucky enough to come here as part of a school trip. The building itself was just as beautiful as I recall, but the exhibition for some reason seemed a lot smaller. Probably because I was a kid back then. Still, it was full of information and exhibits dedicated to WWI.IMG_5566IMG_5567IMG_5568IMG_5569IMG_5571IMG_5572IMG_5573IMG_5574IMG_5575There were stories from people who were in the war, poems, information about those who served and it was all really interesting and really moving. Again, most museums like this one, that depict dark times in the country’s history, people really respect the museums and peruse in a quiet, respectful manner. It’s quite humbling.IMG_5601I love the architecture!!!!!! Just around the corner from the museum is the Menin Gate, another memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Battle of Ypres.IMG_5602IMG_5592IMG_5593IMG_5594IMG_5595IMG_5596IMG_5597Opened in 1927, there are over 54,000 names who are remembered on the memorial. They also play the last post here every day too. This is exactly how I remember it from the Battlefield’s Tour from school. By now, we were hungry due to lack of breakfast so I suggested stopping in Dunkirk for lunch. We did that and found nowhere, so we continued to a very cute little city called Boulogne. The only downside was that it was full of English schoolchildren. IMG_5604IMG_5608IMG_5611IMG_5609We parked near the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne and headed into the city. The basilica itself was impressive. Opened in 1875 with a neoclassical look, this is one of many impressive churches in this ‘seaside’ city. I say it’s cute and quaint but this city is actually a major fishing port on the northern coast of France. Still, we located an archway, passed under it and found ourselves on a very cute, stone cobbled street, with restaurants and wine shops lining the pavements.IMG_5606IMG_5607We found a delicious restaurant that served amazing steak and chips, washed down with a bottle of Bordeaux. It was a fantastic end to a whirlwind tour through Europe. We had been lucky enough to visit;

  • France
  • Monaco
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Czech Republic
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • Belgium

Whilst it might have seemed like we spent five minutes in each place, we managed to see so much and learnt so much from everywhere we went and we really did only scratch the surface. We had the best time. Yes we did argue a bit, there was a lot of driving, but there is so much to see on the way and between countries and cities, that the driving time just seems like nothing.

After we had dinner, we headed to the ferry port back at Dieppe and boarded the ferry home. This time, we had a cabin so we could get some sleep as we were arriving back in the early hours of the morning and I had a flight to the Dominican Republic to catch.

Until next time…