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We had a wonderful long day with Rod,certainly learnt heaps. Loads of time for photographs,reflection,toliet stops,conversation and a fresh tasty lunch all provided. Bus comfortable and warm. Especially loved the last post on the trip home very emotional. For Aussie it was certainly meaningful.Would highly recommend this tour for all ages . Thanks again.
Our tour was with Battleground Tours, We were collected from our Arras accommodation by our guide Denis in a comfortable 8 seater van. The mid-May weather was overcast with rainy periods which helped set the scene for the day. Being the only passengers in the van gave my wife and I Denis's full attention and we were able to range over a whole range of subjects during the driving between sites. As befits the nature of the the static battlefields of WWI we had frequent stops at the cemeteries, trenches, emplacements and memorials including the 1914 Christmas truce soccer match, criss-crossing the battle-lines throughout the day. As the day drew to a close we arrived at Ypres, had dinner and then attended the Menin Gate ceremony at 8pm. Following this Denis drove us home, thus completing a very interesting and enjoyable 12 hour day packed with memories.
We both felt that Denis' commentaries on the events and actions that influenced the course of the war were very even-handed and fair.
Our only suggestion would be for the provision on an individual basis, of a map, A-4 sized, showing both the route and sites for the day, and also with battle lines, possibly several to show the various advances and retreats, very similar to the cast bronze maps displayed at some of the sites, to aid in understanding and orientation. The maps as shown on Googlemaps, with topography would be a very useful starting point for this, since much of the actions were related to the taking of high ground or crossing rivers. If they were laminated it would be so much the better since they could be marked up with marker pens.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Gregory P Australia
My wife and I had a fantastic tour. Rod the owner of the business and our guide was a great host. His wealth of knowledge, military background and obvious compassion to those who had falllen provided us with a better understanding of the war. The commitment by the city of Ypres with the daily Menin Gate ceremony and playing of the Last Post will be a lasting memory. We were joined on the tour by two other Australians who laid wreaths on the Menin Gate and this was very moving. Rod and his vehicle were both extremely well presented and we highly recommend this tour to others.
Martha K USA
Having a private guide is the way to go, and Jackie was a fantastic guide. She was able to personalize the tour for us as Americans while explaining all the historical events of this region. The museums we visited are excellent. The Last Post ceremony is unbelievably moving dare you to experience and stay dry-eyed. A long day, but worth the effort -- you'll learn a lot.
it was excellent--Denis,the tour guide was informative ,and helpful--He helped my husband track down his relative,who had sadly died at the Third Battle of Ypres--the Ceremony at the Menin Gate was very moving--we had thought originally that it was expensive 400 euro for 2 for a Day trip--but afterwards agreed that it was worth every penny--and we have recommended this tour Company ,to several friends already
The tour was well organised and informative. Denise the tour guide was excellent.
Great tour by people with not only an exhaustive knowledge of the location and history but an obvious passion and commitment to sharing that history and the stories of those who fought and died here.
Rod's military background and family connections add another dimension to the tour that few could possibly match.
Certainly highly recommended, comfortable vehicle, pleasant lunch, local knowledge - fantastic day.
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