Village of Azincourt

In a way there is probably not that much that would set Azincourt apart from the multitude of small villages scattered across the French countryside, and probably even less of a reason why anybody would take their time turning off their journey to pass through it (let along getting stuck behind a combine harvester), except for one thing – around six hundred years a lot of French blood was spilt on the fields thereabout. … More Village of Azincourt

Ypres & the Fields of Flanders

I have had this desire to travel to Ypres for quite a while, and no doubt it had a lot to do with my passion for history, and in particular World War I history. One of the reasons that Ypres (actually probably the only reason) is that it was the sight of a number of battles that raged near the end of the war, and also because of an iconic picture of soldiers marching along wooden boards through a skeletal forest across a muddy terrain that had been blasted to smithereens. … More Ypres & the Fields of Flanders

A 17th Century Church

The building in which the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam meets is one of those old style churches with a steeple, but the thing is that it is actually one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam. The building itself dates back to around 1490, but there was a church on this site going back even earlier to 1390 but that one was apparently burnt down. … More A 17th Century Church

Antwerp or Anvers

There was a movie that I saw back in the 90s where the opening was set in Antwerp. There was a group of conservative Jews with their black hats, black suits, long beards, and those cool curley bits down the side, walking into what appeared to be a diamond shop. They were buzzed in, and walked into the room, and all of the sudden the guns were out and they were screaming for everybody to get down on the floor. … More Antwerp or Anvers

Party in Amsterdam

There is a pretty good reason why I always seem to land up in Amsterdam, however as it turned out the only time I visited a coffeeshop this time was to see if they actually sold coffee. The answer was a short, and rather sharp, no and if I really wanted a coffee there was a Starbucks down the road. The thing is that since I’m in Amsterdam the last place that I wanted to visit to have a coffee was Starbucks – it’s sort of like living in Melbourne and drinking only Hudson’s coffee. … More Party in Amsterdam

Arnhem – The Bridge Too Far

Okay, here is the second place that I visited because of a bridge despite the fact that I wrote a post that has effectively trashed a really famous bridge back in Australia. Well, I guess the difference is that this particular bridge has a story behind it where as the bride back in Australia really isn’t all that flash (and as I have mentioned isn’t all that colourful either, unlike the one in the United States). … More Arnhem – The Bridge Too Far

Wandering Westphalia

Having studied Modern European History in High School and university I have been somewhat attracted to various regions of Germany, such as the Rhineland and the Palatinate, that I had read about so often. Mind you, in the days before Google Maps, and in fact in the days before Google, when you had to actually go and look for information physically in the library, many of these places simply existed as names. Even on my first trip to Europe I was only vaguely aware where certain cities and states were located (and was somewhat surprised to discover that our train stopped off in Hannover on our way from Berlin to Amsterdam). … More Wandering Westphalia