Depart from your Brussels hotel in a luxurious, air-conditioned vehicle and listen as your guide sets the historical scene of the tour. Hear of Canada’s important role in WWI before arriving at the poignant Canadian National Vimy Memorial, a soul-stirring sculpture that acknowledges the horror of trench warfare.
Next, pay your respects to fallen Commonwealth soldiers at the Messines Ridge British Cemetery and Irish Peace Park; marvel at the glittering Pool of Peace, a bomb crater filled with water, and absorb the verdant splendor of the countryside from a vertiginous vantage point atop Hill 62. Hear of how the serene surrounding forest was once a bloody battleground, and then continue to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the world’s largest Commonwealth military cemetery.
On arrival, gaze at endless rows of graves that memorialize the 13,000 soldiers buried on site. Take a moment of quiet reflection at the St Julien Memorial and listen to how the sculpture commemorates those killed in an initial gas attack. Visit the Essex Farm Cemetery to see what inspired John McCrae to pen his pivotal poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’, and explore the interesting exhibition of the eponymous museum.
Venture to the quaint town of Ypres to revitalize with a traditional dinner (own expense) and then head to the Menin Gate Memorial to witness the moving Last Post memorial service, which takes place every evening to honor those killed in the war.
After the ceremony, return to your vehicle and relax during the journey back to Brussels.