After rising we went into town, where we discovered Belgians don’t have the kind of breakfast we have become accustomed to….waffles were the only thing likely but we settled for Ham, Cheese and Tomatoe toasted bagels that arrived slightly askew – One Cheese and Ham and one Cheese and Tomatoe! I guess that’s what happens when you don’t speak Flemish!
After breakfast we headed straight to Dozenham, where Vince has a relative buried, who was only 21 when he died. The cemetery was shielded from the road by a forest of trees and was a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. We found the grave without difficulty and spent a good half hour there. Vince signed the visitors book and we looked in the register that showed his relative.
We returned to the Jaeger Stadiom Campground and parked the bike. I spotted lots of people heading to town carrying fold up chairs so we took our Helinox chairs with us and we’re very glad we did! It was only 1.00pm and the parade didn’t start until three but people were already well in position along the route. We made our way to town centre and managed to get a spot right against a barrier and could see down the road to the Menin Gate. We had a bit of a wait and I spent our last 5 Euro cash on 2 diet cokes, Vince wanted to try the dried fish but the bank teller machine would not take our cards! We enjoyed the parade which lasted about two hours. We then went to the clock tower to watch the cat throwing (not real ones of course!). Thousands of people filled the square hoping to catch a toy cat thrown from the clock tower by a man dressed as a jester. Many people were dressed as cats, wearing cat ears, face painting and cool stockings that had black bottoms with cat faces just above the knee and at the back cat tails! It was cat madness! Many International tourist were there…particularly Asian people were celebrating this triennial event.
We then went and had dinner followed by going to see the burning of the witch. On our way home we arrived at the Menin Gate and again listened to the last post. We met an English couple, Angie and Steve, who have travelled to a lot of the WWI and WWII sites. The last post is played every night at 8.00pm and has done since the end of the war.