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A view across a beach to the water, but what is in focus is in the foreground: a twist of barbed wire

The Liberation Route Europe: WWII battlefields and more

If World War II interests you, the Liberation Route Europe is something you could easily build a European vacation around. It traces how the Allies advanced through Europe to retake it from the Germans. Click on any of the 10 countries listed on the Liberation Route’s website and you’ll find dozens of sites marked. The…

War graves in Belgium: Living among the dead

Belgium is without a doubt the best place to learn about World War I and to visit historical sites related to the war. It has a number of museums, most notably the In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres, and hundreds of cemeteries and monuments. In places, the scars are still visible of the relentless shelling…

How NOT to design a bathroom!

What’s wrong with this picture? We ate lunch yesterday at a café in Gent. Afterwards, I went inside to use the toilet, followed the signs upstairs, came around a corner, and saw this. Except it wasn’t quite this; there was a man standing at the urinal, making some very contented sounds while he peed. I…

In Flanders Fields Museum: A review

An effective museum doesn’t just display items drily in glass cases; an effective museum gives those items meaning to the people viewing them. It entertains, but it also makes visitors think. It gives the items an emotional weight. The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium, is one of the most effective museums I’ve ever…