Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope you all had a grand day. We drove down to see our Grandkids..
Belgium was the second leg of our trip. It is a lovely country, we enjoyed the food, the sights, the history and the chocolate. And I discovered Advocatt the wonderful drink which is very unique. Yellow, egg nog flavoured, and great with whipped cream and I bet would be delicious in chocolate cups.
We visited three cities. We stayed in Gent/Ghent and took day trips to Antwerp and Bruges. I wanted to see where my aunt had served in WWII and it was eye opening. Not what I found but what I did not find. It took me a while to understand the history that made Belgians not willing to to talk about WWII. First we tried to find in Antwerp the marker for the theater that was bombed and hundreds of people died. We could not find the marker. We had the address but could not find the marker. I had contacted some history group there and they told me about the marker but could not help me with the location of the hospital. When we got there I asked the tourist folks for some help and they could not help at all.
We did go and search out some sights with no luck. At some point I realized that I had seen no memorials to WWII. Finally towards the end of our day in Antwerp I found one plaque to the Canadian Division #3 which was the force that Aunt Pat was friends with so many people. About that time we had a long discussion about the lack of statues or walls with names of the dead in any of the cities we had visited. Belgium was one of the first countries taken by the Germans and they had a resistance movement but others just went along with being taken over. Basically saving their lives but not fighting things. They probably did not have an army or if so it would have been small. We decided that they just don’t like to talk about that part of their history.
But aside from not finding what I had come to find and acknowledging that I need to return and actually to talk to some folks. There must be some historians who have studied that period and know it.
Belgium is a place you can put on your places to go list. It is wonderful there. The folks are wonderful and friendly and helpful. Good food was had, good coffee, desserts, hotels, shops etc. Just really enjoyed it there.