2nd May - Ypres
Ypres is best known as the site of major battles of the First World War, the most famous being the Battle of Passchendaele from July—November 1917.
On that front during that period, British losses had amounted to more than 54,000 killed, wounded, and missing. The French lost at least 50,000 at Ypres, while the Belgians suffered more than 20,000 casualties at the Yser and Ypres.
I have visited Ypres many times and always pay my respects at the Menin Gate which is engraved with the names of nearly 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost on the field of battle but with no known graves
3rd May - Bruges
The Belgians invented french fries, not Americans. Locals understand
French but are offended when tourists assume that Bruges' native language is French, it is actually Flemish/Dutch! A must watch movie In Bruges
There are 19 windmills in Kinderdijk built as part of a larger water management system to prevent flooding. Today they symbolize Dutch water management and in 1997 they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4th May - Kaukenhof
We drove up to a small place called Monster along miles of embankments which had a sea of glass houses either side. In the evening we met up with Ray and Janice - old friends who treated us to the amazing Dutch hospitality. The following day, we went to Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, one of the world's largest flower gardens . From the official website, approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the gardens annually. Not the best pics in the world .. the colours and the bright sunshine made it a little difficult.
5th May - Vejle, Denmark
It would have been great to stay another day with Ray and Janice, but we had a tight schedule. So, after a stopover in Flensburg on the German - Danish border, we continued North and had a quick look round Vejle.
The apartment building is called The Wave, and the other building is the museum which holds a number of etchings by Rembrandt
5th May - Jelling, Denmark
We went further into Jutland and took the opportunity to look around Jelling, an impressive and significant archaeological Viking site in Denmark containing a series of important 10th century finds. Originally the royal home of the Gorm the Old, Jelling and the stones (called Denmark's Birth Certificate) remains a vital part of Denmark’s history, particularly as this Viking king was the first of the royal line which still rules the country today.
Gorm and his son, Harald I Bluetooth (yes, That Bluetooth), erected several monuments at Jelling including a pair of enormous grave mounds, which are the largest in Denmark. These are set within the outline of a stone ship structure and still incredibly well-preserved. Gorm was buried in the larger one, although the second one may not have been used.
There are also two runic stones at Jelling, the larger one thought to have been 'built' by Harald and the smaller by Gorm before him. The runic stones known as the Jelling Stones stand before Jelling Church or ‘Jelling Kirke’ which dates back to around 1100. Jelling Kirke was the third such church to have been built on the site, a former wooden version from 900 AD having been built by Harald who converted to Christianity. This conversion is also evidenced by a figure of Jesus on one of the stones.