Leave De Panes and travel 38 km north into Leper, better known to us as Ypres. It is located in West Flanders and was the centre of intense fighting in the First World War seeing numerous battles between the Allied Forces and Germany. The British troops nicknamed the city Wipers and many British and Allied troops never returned and are buried in several war cemeteries in the area. Stroll around the market place and main street and discover the many historic buildings, 3 main ones being Cloth Hall housed in the Flanders Field Museum with exhibits of equipment of war, Saint Martins Cathedral a fine example of history with the fountain which stands opposite and finally the Saint Georges Memorial Church.
At the top of Main Street stands the famous Menin Gate with Triumphal Arches in a barrel-vaulted passage, the starting point on the road to the front line and a memorial to the missing British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose bodies were not revovered. Every day at 20-00 hours the Last Post Ceremony is carried out by the Buglers from the local Fire Service. The yearly Remembrance Day Parade is attended by many countries with marching bands going through the area, ending for the ceremony at the Menin Gate a fine example of honour.
Resume the trip travel 78 km south to Gent located in the Flemish Region, a city formed in the middle ages and situated on the rivers Lys and Scheldt with a Port and a 10 day festival is held yearly. This city has much medieval architecture which an be viewed by strolling around the pedestrian free zones. Via the boat trips you can view all the magnificent houses on the river Leie banks and in the old city at Graslei. Points of interest are the Gothic 1023 Baafs Cathedral with many wonderful attractions, the Statue of Jacob located in the Friday Market and the 1180 Gravensteen Castle.
Resume the trip 58km northeast to Antwerpen with a large Port located in Flanders on the River Scheldt linked to the North Sea with origins form Gallo-Roman. Antwerpens River Scheldt banks contain modern high-rise architecture, then on the opposite side historical buildings can be seen. Visit the old town and explore the market place, known as Grote area and discover its many beauties like the 16th century City Hall and Guildhouses with the Giant Hand statue, plus the 1352 Cathedral of our Lady which over looks the river.
Main points of interest and oldest building Het Steen Castle with various statues, 1810 Royal Museum of Arts and the Antwerpen Central Rail Station an architectural monument itself.
Resume travel 92km southeast to Bruges part of West Flanders in the northwest as an economic importance due to the Port. Known as the Venice of the North because of the narrow street and canal boarders Take one of the canal trips explore the river side views of old architecture and stroll around the narrow streets and market place.
Many points of interest Ghent Castle, Gruuthouse Museum, City Hall, Church of our Lady, The Belfry and Saint Salvator’s Cathedral plus many more medieval buildings.