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Heart of Belgium and Holland: Menin Gate part of tour?

Because the Rick Steves' Company doesn't have enough of my money after guiding me through Paris, I've decided to make another contribution to his wealth by taking the Heart of Belgium and Holland 11 Day tour in 2017 (if it's still offered at that time). I see from the itinerary that Day 3 offers the following:

Day 3: Flanders Fields and Beautiful Bruges

Today we'll meet our driver and board our bus for the short drive to the WWI battlefields around Ypres. Half a million soldiers were killed here, making it one of the deadliest — and today the most hallowed — stretches of land along the Western Front. With the aid of a local expert, we'll tour the monuments, visit a thought-provoking museum, and see "the fields where poppies grow."

Does anyone know if the Menin Gate is one of the landmarks visited on this leg of the tour?

Thanks!

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
500 posts

My tour was 2012. We did a drive through the Menin Gate, I believe it's the same today. As much as I wished we'd stopped, the time spent ar Flanders Fields and time to reflect at the sites and memorials made up for this. Hopefully you'll have the same quide who has first hand stories to share from his family's involvement in WW1,
It's a wonderful tour, enjoy!

Posted by
31271 posts

Mike,

I just checked my trip notes from the Belgium & Holland tour that I took a few years ago. Our group only stopped at the Menin Gate briefly to drop-off our local Guide, but didn't tour there. That day covered a lot of very interesting WW-I sites, and I don't think there would have been time to make a stop at the Menin Gate. The lunch at Varlet Farm was exceptional. Jacques, our local guide was outstanding and had an incredible amount of knowledge on the history.

Of course, the tour Itineraries are fine-tuned on a regular basis, so perhaps Menin Gate has been added?

Posted by
4572 posts

Mike, our experience was the same as Diane and Ken's. We dropped off the local guide, then drove through the gate. It's a very busy, very emotional day.

Posted by
377 posts

If the people who replied to this thread were anymore awesome, they'd be the subjects of a Michael Bay film called "Rick Steves' Travel Forum Members: ****ING AWESOME!" and a lot of things would blow up gloriously.

Thanks for everyone who replied, your knowledge and good humor are always appreciated.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
815 posts

mike - I can let you know in a month or so. I am going on that tour april 27. Count down has begun! lol

Kim

Posted by
4572 posts

Kim, it's a great tour. You should expect a great time. Beer, chocolate, art, and history. What more could you want?

I did an extremely similar tour of Flanders Fields in June 2014. The company is Quasimodo Tours, and I discovered them through a Rick Steves Guidebook. The Menin Gate was one of our rest stops and we had 30-45 minutes to explore that and the surrounding neighborhood.