17.03.2016 - 18.03.2016 15 °C
Im back! And no, I havent given up on this blog, Ive just been extremely busy. As you will be able to see, I have had a great time exploring Belgium with my amazing new friends and Italy back in April. I am absolutely enjoying my exchange and I am taking everything as it comes! I am not entirely sure if these posts are in order and I can't remember in detail exactly what I did but I think I'll let the pictures tell the story.
I am attempting to cast my mind back many months ago when I was given the opportunity with my school to visit Ypres and Zonnebeke which are cities in the west of Belgium. These cities are located along the Western Front where ANZAC troops fought in WWI. This trip was for history and geography class and we had one day exploring and doing activities in each subject. On the first day, my group did a geography task which I couldn't really understand as I hadn't been following the lessons, being at language class a lot. We also got to walk through some sand dunes and visit the beach. Later that night we went to a service at the Menin Gate which is an arch that has the names of fallen soldiers lining the wall.
The next day was history and we went to visit several different cemeteries, many of which honoured Australian soldiers who lost their lives. Most of the sites remembered lost soldiers of the Allied forces but we also visited a cemetery dedicated to the Germans that also fought there. One of the most genuine aspects of the experience was being able to walk through an actual recreated trench and see where the soldiers would have lived during WWI. It was astonishing to see how little space they had and the information plaques explained how quite often the trenches would fill with water. Although the educational part was in Dutch, everything I was able to understand was overall quite harrowing.