Visiting the Benelux countries

Visited the Benelux countries. My wife, Ann, and I just returned from two weeks visiting Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. We did the Trafalgar bus tour of about 50 people- one third from the United States, one third from Canada, and one third from Australia. They were a very congenial and friendly group. We had a great tour guide, Jeanine, a native of Belgium, and a top notch driver, Rudy, also from Belgium.

We started in Amsterdam. Toured the house of Anne Frank. I had read so much about the young Jewish girl and her family hiding out from the Nazi for nearly two years before they were discovered, arrested, and taken to the death camps.

To go through the house, climb the stairs, view the cots, stoves, pictures, clothing, etc. was very sobering and moving. I highly recommend it to anyone who can travel to Europe.

Visited the Kerkenhof Gardens in Amsterdam and enjoyed the ultimate spring feeling, the wonderful works of art, the surprising gardens and the many flower shows.

Went to the Floriade, the  World Horticultural Expo at Venlo – The Netherlands. Traveled to Luxembourg, the Scheckel ancestral home, and went inside the Norte Dame Cathedral. The two week Octave was in process. Every parish in Luxembourg organizes a pilgrimage to the Church.

Ann and I visited Junglinster, a small village about 8 miles northeast of Luxembourg City. Went inside the Church where my great grandfather, Peter Scheckel, was baptized in 1828. Walked through both the old and new cemeteries.

Bastogne and the war memorial to the men who fought in the Battle of the Bulge was our next stop. When to the American Cemetery, 5000 soldiers interred there along with Gen George Patton.

Traveled into Belgium. At Bruges, we saw Michelangelo’s  Madonna and Child. We walked through some of the trenches from WWI, toured Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and saw where Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.

Good traveling companions, great food, beautiful sights, wonderful tour.

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