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Bjorkdale News: Travel Club members experience France

Slo-pitch tournament and show and shine this weekend.
Bjorkdale Vimy Ridge - Group photo (Medium)
Nicole and Geoff Goldsowrthy, Meghan Vecchio, Gabriella Vecchio, Mark Van Hassert, James Van Hassert, Sherry Fredsburg, Trace Fredsberg, Nolan Horn and Eva Tsaprailis at Vimy Ridge Memorial, France.

BJORKDALE — The Bjorkdale Travel Club recently returned from a trip that took them to the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

They spent their first two days in Amsterdam and were able to see many highlights touring the bustling city. They toured a local cheese farmer’s operation, ate some local food, toured a Portuguese synagogue and took in a river cruise that showcased the beautiful architecture of the buildings and channels around the city.

From there the group travelled to Belgium where they were able to see one of the first Canadian war cemeteries. It was truly a moving experience for all the travellers. The immediate reality of the loss of life over war was palpable, the more cemeteries they toured. From there, they travelled to Antwerp where they toured around the city.

They were also able to travel to Brussels and see the city centre along with a few other tourist spots. They were able to take in the Passchendaele Museum where they could go underground in the trenches and dugouts that were used in the First World War.

They travelled to Ypres, Belgium where they experienced a “Last Post” ceremony at the Menin Gate that has happened every night since 1928 with the exception of 1940 and 1945 due to the Second World War.

They toured the largest commonwealth cemetery, Essex, which had more than 9,000 headstones and a wall of more than 30,000 missing soldiers who could not be found. They stopped where John McCrae, famously wrote, “In Flanders Field.” 

The following day, they traveled to Vimy Ridge and were in awe of the huge memorial that was erected for all the Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War. More than 100,000 Canadian soldiers fought here and it was a site that was well worth seeing.

Beamont-Hamel is the site where the Canadian Newfoundlanders fought in the Battle of the Somme. At Juno Beach they were able to stay a block away from Gold Beach. They toured Juno beach, where the Canadian military landed on D-day. We saw an underground German command post, toured all the beaches of Normandy.

The cliffs and the views on Omaha Beach as well as how well they have been able to preserve the German stations along these beaches was impressive.

From there, they travelled to Paris, where they toured the Latin quarter, saw Notre Dame Cathedral and toured the Les Invalids Army Museum, which housed the tomb of Napolean Bonaparte and other family. Paris was definitely the most lively city experienced. And of course, the group stopped at the famous Eiffel Tower. Also visited was the palace of Versailles and gardens and took in a river cruise later in the evening.

Overall there were few bumps on the trip with five adults and five youth kids having an  adventure they will remember this for a lifetime.

The Bjorkdale skating rink is hosting a slo-pitch tournament this Sunday, July 31. There are six teams entered with a food booth open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Valley In Bar is also hosting a car show and shine the same day. So. lot’s of action happening in Bjorkdale this Sunday. Come out and support the Bjorkdale Rink and check out the car show.


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