Archive for August, 2011

8 mile round trip ,Margaret 6600 Bastogne, Ligne 163 , bois de la paix, wood of Peace , Belguim,

Posted in Belguim, bois de la paix, Ligne 163, Margaret 6600 Bastogne, wood of Peace with tags , , , , , , , on August 31, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

Note from Dad This was a warm day at around 25 , humid , 8 miles aprox .

Start of the Church at Margaret 6600 Bastogne,

small commemorative plaque

most of the roads are called Margaret , so they put a sign up telling where to find the house numbers

off we go !

can you see the flock of birds – they were very noisy !

the electricity line was full of the birds !

we passed a lot of cows !

Evie and me have sun cream on already

Leo also has sun cream on but he does not like it being put on ,

Evie in the woods – this is peace woods

there is lots of woods around here,

a sign telling you about a path !

can you see the wind turbine?

we found a old trailer on the railway

This the railway line looking towards the memorial for 101st airborne divsion

an old bridge – I spent time here while we were having a picnic looking at lizards they were too fast to photograph, they were black in colour

look what hopped onto Leo’s push chair

a green grasshopper

its on me !

off we go , we saw lots of people on bikes

Leo is sitting up most of the time in the pushchair

after such a long walk Leo is asleep with his sun hat on him !

Ths old station can you see the sunflower ?
next to it is the memorial to the 101st Airborne division we saw last time

we found a beetle in the grass

Evie held it too !

he 4,000 trees making up this wood were planted for the 50t

these are some of the solders names who came back

the beetle is still on me !

some of the trees that make up the woods

a rest – this was a long way – we now have just done 6 miles ,

we are running about – still

Evie on road from the peace woods back to Margaret  its about another 2 miles from here 😦

Ligne 164, Bastogne to Wiltz, Belgium to Luxembourg

Posted in Bastogne to Wiltz, Belgium, Ligne 164, Luxembourg, old railway, railway tunnels with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

we crossed from Belgium to Luxembourg , we went through 3 tunnels !

164 Railway was a railway that Bastogne Nord Kautenbach Luxembourg covenant through Benonchamps. The course consists of four tunnels on Luxembourg territory.
The section between North Bastogne  and Benonchamps opened on July 18, 1887, the division up to the border on September 22, 1887. The Luxembourg section was opened two times, section Wiltz – Kautenbach on June 1, 1888 and Section line – Wiltz on July 1, 1888. The operation of the equipment line was done with Luxembourg.
On October 8, 1950 rode the last train from North to Bastogne Benonchamps. On school grounds until 23 September 1967 is still two pairs train from Luxembourg to Bastogne Nord but these have never been mentioned in the timetable. In 1967 this section was closed. 
Benonchamps between Wiltz and the trains as usual by the book until September 23, 1967 although the section was closed in 1965.
Now the line is broken up Wiltz, since she’s still in use until Kautenbach and since 1991, this section also electrified. From North of Bastogne town is now a bike path built. The tunnels are still accessible and enlightened, but even during the summer it can seriously cold in and between the tunnels.

taken from

Old station building can you see the platform remains?

the start of our walk was this sign , a long way to go from Paris to Moscow !!!!!!!!!!!!!
our walk was based on

the old railway track is great !

we came across a old goods yard
note from dad : used for the old border

some old cottages !

the first tunnel

Leo is very happy !

hmm I wonder what this was for – we find out later by using GPS and seeing where we are !

The path turned from concrete to asphalt

can you see the lights ? so we can see our way !

the tunnel is cool,
note from Dad : in the PDF file in French is mentioned to be aware of the wind and temperature’s found in the tunnel

out the other side

this sign is in french and mum says – reduced light !

name of the tunnel -Tussen Tunnels there are three of them ! but we couldn’t go too far today !

another tunnel, Evie feels the cold wind !

can you see the ferns growing in the light ?

looking back at the tunnel !

me and Evie

Leo is looking at mum

racing into the next tunnel !

in the middle of the tunnel

into the next tunnel

going back !

Evie is looking for bugs and leaves !

Leo is  happy and awake 🙂

can you see the bug – Evie spotted it ,Its on a nettle so we could not pick it up !!

Dad climbed this !

These are old tool marks when they were making the tunnels

start of  stalactites

Leo is still happy and awake

Old station building – this is in Luxembourg

This is a old station

we found a old mine tunnel ! -it had around 12 inches of water in it so we couldn’t go in it
another time with equipment !

can you see the tunnel ?

running down the hill from the mine

This is the border !

can you see the border ? I am in Luxembourg and Belgium, Evie is in Belgium,
the concrete paths are Belgium and the tarmac is Luxembourg . – its a long name !,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1280&bih=699&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x479545b9ca212147:0x64db60f602d392ef,Luxembourg&gl=uk&ei=QShhTqPNEYPpOYaO1TQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=4&sqi=2&ved=0CEsQ8gEwAw

Leo fell asleep

a gas main !

The sign warns of cars in German and French !

back to where we started !

It was great being able to stand between the two countries
I did this once before

Remembering Granddad who died ,28th August 2008,

Posted in Bastogne, Belgium, Bolton, Georges Scholtus, Grandad, Saint Peter’s church Bastogne, William Nigel Minion with tags , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

We visited this church in Bastogne, so that we could say a prayer, light a candle and remember my Granddad.

Saint Peter’s church carries the markings of different eras. The first altar, the remarkable baptismal fonts made from chalk from the river Meuse and the massive tower are products of Roman art. The other parts of the building can be identified with the flourishing Gothic period. Saint Peter’s church is worthy of note for its admirable multicolored ceiling rafters, which is presumed to have been painted by a local artist in 1536.
The church was restored on many occasions, notably after the 1940-1945 war. Another point to note is that the building has a very beautiful “crown of light” (16th century) and an impressive pulpit, work of Jean-Georges Scholtus, born in Bastogne, who was the greatest sculptor of Luxembourg in the 18th century.

taken from’Eglise-Saint-Pierre-de-Bastogne-1959.html

this is a beautiful stained glass window

inside the church it is nice and peaceful

a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus

An elaborate pulpit designed by Georges Scholtus – see above

A shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes

We lit the candles here in the shrine for Granddad.

Leo is enjoying looking at the candles.

The ceiling is painted beautifully and is amazing this has survived almost 500 years!

This blog post was about remembering my Granddad who I miss very much, I loved his lovely smile and he was such a happy person.
William Nigel Minion  born 24/04/1944 born in Bolton
passed away peacefully at home on the  28th August 2008

Margaret 6600 Bastogne, bois de la paix, wood of Peace , Belguim,

Posted in American Army, Belgium, bois de la paix, Margaret 6600 Bastogne, Second World War, second world war memorial, wood of Peace with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

This is the village we are staying in , its called  Magaret near Bastogne,

Team Cherry at Mageret
While the main force is under pressure in Longvilly forward elements of Team Cherry engage Mageret to reopen the road to Bastogne. But the road leading into the village is soon blocked by the wrecks of a destroyed Sherman tank and two half tracks (the Sherman was heading the column and shot down by a German PAK that had just been set up). At about 1500 a small patrol consisting of 18 infantrymen, two medium tanks and a 105mm. assault gun are sent out against the village, moving cross country north of the road. Although one of the Sherman tanks gets stuck in the bad terrain, draws fire and has to return to the column, the rest of the patrol is able to move on. They enter the northeast part of the village but although they can make out some German tanks and infantry they are in no strength to engage the enemy.

Another group of 40 men accompanied by a section of medium tanks is sent against the southern part of Mageret but as the tanks have difficulties with the rough terrain south of the road no real progress is made. The infantry consists of stragglers from Longvilly and is reluctant to move without the accompanying tanks.

The scattered remains of Team Cherry manage to conquer three houses at the northeastern edge of Mageret where they are stuck. Suffering more and more losses to the German attackers, they are finally (at 0030, 20th December) released to withdraw towards Bizory. Under the covering fire of the paratroopers they manage to make their way to Foy and finally to Bastogne.

taken from

Barn as part of the building , people lived on one side of the house

This is the front of the same house ,

This is a Sherman tank turret ,

the back of the turret

the church had to be rebuilt after the battle

can you see the old tractors ?

old school building

one of  the buidings shows battle scars ?

looking at old bullet holes

this shows another old

This is where we are staying

It is full of wood and lots of interesting old objects

This is the view from my room !

Leo’s Cot

Leo was very tired after his trip !

we walked to the peace woods,


The Wood of Peace is laid out to recreate the UNICEF emblem: a mother and child, symbol of human tenderness. This design is only visible from the air

The 4,000 trees making up this wood were planted for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. They were dedicated to the American veterans who fought in the Ardennes, Belgian combatants and all the civilians and military who died in the winter of 1944-45. Every veteran who returned to Bastogne in 1994 chose a tree, which will always bear his name. The Wood of Peace is laid out to recreate the UNICEF emblem: a mother and child, symbol of human tenderness. This design is only visible from the air. The trees on the site are mostly service trees, birches, beech trees and oaks.
these are some of the people whose names are next to the trees

some of the divisions who are commemorated in this wood

some of the civilian groups involved

note from dad :apologies to people we missed but there are over 4000 trees and a lot of name plates,

101st Airborne memorial , Ligne 163,Bois des Corbeaux,Bizory

Posted in 101st Airborne memorial, Bizory, Bois des Corbeaux, Ligne 163, second world war memorial with tags , , , , on August 28, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

start of the walk

some of the markers we found

old bridge

the railway is very straight but uphill slightly

along the forest track

we found some old war war 2 foxholes near a old bridge

you can just make out the shape

these were two uniform to be natural and they had some small shell holes near them as well !

like a secret forest path

back down to the start

can you see the sunflowers ?

old station building

Netherlands to Belgium , via Antwerp and Liege

Posted in Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium, E213 road, E25 road, Liege, Luik, Netherlands with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

European route E 25 is a north-south European route from Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands to Palermo in Italy which includes ferry crossings from Genoa to Bastia (Corsica), from Bonifacio to Porto Torres (Sardinia) and from Cagliari to Palermo (Sicily).
It passes through the following cities: Hoek van Holland – Rotterdam – Utrecht – Eindhoven – Maastricht – Liège – Bastogne – Arlon – Luxembourg – Metz – Saint-Avold – Strasbourg – Mulhouse – Basel – Olten – Berne – Lausanne – Geneva – Mont Blanc Tunnel – Aosta – Ivrea – Vercelli – Alessandria – Genoa … Bastia – Porto Vecchio – Bonifacio … Porto Torres – Sassari – Cagliari … Palermo.

our route ! we used this from Liege to Bastogne,

we are into Belgium,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1020&bih=662&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x47c17d64edf39797:0x47ebf2b439e60ff2,Belgi%C3%AB&gl=be&ei=PV9dTreCLsudOvfVrd8C&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=5&ved=0CFAQ8gEwBA

in the middle of the motorway was a railway line !

cranes for unloading goods at Antwerp / Antwerpen

This is a oil pipeline

we are going to Liege ,
note from Dad  this is Luik in Flemish ! name changes are common where different languages are involved !,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1020&bih=626&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x47c3f68ebfc3887d:0x3eaf448482a88ab8,Antwerpen&gl=be&ei=YmBdTrmHBcOfOqLH5c4C&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=8&sqi=2&ved=0CFUQ8gEwBw

we passed a lot of wind turbines

The name changes to Liege in the French speaking part of Belgium

we will put a video of the road tunnel in Liege later, Dad says the Internet bandwidth wont allow it to be uploaded.

middleburg historic town , Zeeland, Netherlands

Posted in Abdijtoren de Lange Jan, Netherlands, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Abdij, Zeeland with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill


taken from

this shows the old  defence’s  and shape of the city of Middleburg

a movie about the capture of Middleburg from the second world war

one of the old streets

isn’t it beautiful ?

can you see the long chimney ?

old camper van from Germany
my dad said this was the split screen

we went into the abbey
(Local Name: Onze Lieve Vrouwe Abdij) On the northeast side of the inner ring stands Onze Lieve Vrouwe Abdij, the Abbey of Our Lady. In 1150 White Canons of the Norbertine order (named after St Norbert of Xanten, who founded the order at Prémontré in France: hence the alternative name Premonstratensian) established themselves in the Carolingian stronghold of Middelburg. In the 16th century the abbey consisted of a picturesque and many-towered complex of buildings laid out round a cloister, including the canons’ lodgings, to which were later added a refectory and chapterhouse (now the Provincial Library), a second courtyard, two churches and a tower

taken from

this is the water pump in the middle of the herb garden

look at the patterns on the roof –

Halfords in NL
we used to go to the one in Prague

the abbey tower

Abdijtoren de Lange Jan

we went for some frites or chips !

(Local Name: Stadhuis) In the Markt stands the Town Hall (Stadhuis), one of the most beautiful Gothic secular buildings in the Netherlands, built between 1452 and 1458 by members of the Keldermans family. Between 1506 and 1520 a Meat Hall (meat market) and a tower were added, and in 1670 and 1780-84 there were further additions in neo-classical style. The Town Hall was almost completely destroyed in the 1940 bombing, but after the war was rebuilt in the original style. On the facade of 1512- 13, most of which survived the bombing, are figures of 25 Counts and Countesses of Zeeland and Holland, under canopies surmounted by fabulous animals. The windows and doors are closed by red and white shutters – a common
practice in the Middle Ages, when windows were not glazed.

some sayings

another saying

red and white door to match the shutters

old Volvo

a horse drawn carriage

the grand house -can you see the name in Dutch ?

lots of pictures

this shop made and restored furniture handles

can you see the boy ?

1620 on this old gate ?

this was near to the old gate ?

me and Evie on a trampoline , can you see the abbey tower ?
Abdijtoren de Lange Jan




Golden trumpet

we are not sure -it is marked 1940 and has Jewish writing on it

part of the Abbey

This building is marked 1582

this house tilts to the left can you see ?

me and Evie on a playground !

This is where the scouts are based

Old city walls

can you see the two doors ?

looks like someone made old barrels

can you see the house is bent on the right hand side – i hope it doesn’t fall down !

1620 on the wall ?

can you see the heads ?

This is a old water tower

we ate some cakes from this shop outside was a stone picture

this is the canal which protects the city

where we stayed in Holland

Leo having his coat put on

I slept in here with Leo !

we watched some Dutch television ! it was in English with Dutch words at the bottom!

De Hollandsche FARM, the dutch farm ,Goes,Netherlands

Posted in De Hollandsche FARM, Goes, Netherlands, the dutch farm with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

I am taking a look at the boats

Leo is awake for this photo

me and Evie on the raft , Evie isnt much use at pulling the raft !

at long last a Hill !

me and Evie on the Zip wire

a moon and stars seat

this rope bridge was very long !

This is fun !

me mum and Evie

I just love this !

Leo on a baby swing !

I climb to the top of this

can you see me ?
this site allows you to find the word in Dutch and how it is said

there was a petting zoo – we washed our hands afterwards


the word is Dutch is Paard
the word is dutch is Varken

this is its baby called a piglet

the word in dutch is Geit

the dutch word for Guinea pig is proefkonijn

these are insect houses

links for Goes

Zienkzee, the monument town ,Zeeland, Netherlands, Zeeland Bridge

Posted in Netherlands, Zeeland, Zeeland bridge, Zienkzee with tags , , , on August 24, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill


Historic town on the Oosterschelde in Zeeland with 568 monuments, -medieval street pattern and the oldest active carillon in the Netherlands.  Zierikzee, with circa11,000 inhabitants, the administrative seat of the municipality of Schouwen-Duiveland .

route taken 

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one of the smaller bridge closed for small craft -we had to stop here , this is a German car in front it has the letter d on the registration plate

crossing the bridge without stopping !

one of the bridges into Zienkzee

we will take a look at this tower later

one of the old entrances to the old city

can you see the old doors and where the portcullis used to be ?

Evie in the doorway to the old city 

looking back can you see the two towers ?

This is a tradional shape of a old dutch house

Windmill !

another type of old house 

the name for a windmill in dutch is Molen
this is a working mill and they are making flour
it is called the hope
this is flour delivery van , you can buy flour from the shop next to the mill , it was very noisy they didnt seem to be using wind power !
This was a very narrow house ,
i recognised this
can you see the word for pharmacy
can you see the green cross ?
this means you can get first aid from this to treat cuts
can you see the date – anno means year
a old ships anchor
This area is historic Saint Jacobs residences, locally known as the St Jacobshofje

we watched the fountain can you see the frogs ?
we saw some old dutch ships
an old buoy
one of the owners let us look at his boat , this is in the old cargo hold
This is the boat we went on
we do not know what the wooden peices are on the side of the boat are for ? but this is the boat  we went on 
another old building lots today !
another city gate
one of the old bridges which could be raised to allow the boats in and out

this was very beautiful doorway 

lots of tiles !
can you see the old tiles in the door way?
This might have had a statue – the bricks are smaller than the ones in england
royal crest ?
this is the Zierikzee Carillon
lots of shutters on this building !
the carillon clock tower 
town hall door way
old water pump
this was build of stone as well
Venetian masks in a travel agency I have been to Venice , it was a 4 hour drive from Prague !

can you see the year ?
he tower is called The Sint Lieven Monster toren. Short “De dikke Toren”. Inside the tower is a little museum and you can also clim the +/- 178 stairs to see a beautifull view of Zierikzee. (and beyond)
When Zierikzee was located at the open sea, they wanted to build the highest tower of the Netherlands. This way all the sailors, ships and boats knew where to go. During the construction the money run out, after a few years they managed to build a top. The size of the tower is now 1/8 of his actual size.

Read more:

inside the tower was a exhibition about dutch lighthouses
the word for lighthouses is Vuurtorens
This doorway had the date 1468 on it

The display had different types of lighthouses found in Netherlands 

having fun ! i love being on holiday !
driving past the city tower gates
Zeeland Bridge in the rain it rained a lot , but it rains a lot on winter hill so i Dont mind !
we are stopped -my dad took the photos ! can you see the bridge is up it let the boat through – the boat had a very tall mast
this is the  tower in Zienkzee
we are stopped see the speed 0 kmh !
I collected three bowls of mussels again !you have to try and get the big ones there are lots of oysters as well here and its low tide and very muddy but dont tell mum  !

De Zwaan windmill ,Oosterscheldekering dam , Zeeland bridge ,Kattendijke and mussel hunting

Posted in De Zwaan windmill, Kattendijke, Netherlands, Oosterscheldekering dam, Zeeland, Zeeland bridge with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by jakeofwinterhill

The nine kilometre-long Oosterscheldekering (kering meaning barrier) was initially designed, and partly built, as a closed dam, but after public protest huge sluice-gate-type doors were installed in the remaining four kilometres. These doors are normally open, but can be closed under adverse weather conditions. In this way the saltwater marine life behind the dam is preserved and fishing can continue, while the land behind the dam is safe from the water

Note from Jakes dad :yes you drive over 9 km of dam , plus a man made island in the middle see the videos below , apologies about the  rain but the afternoon became bright and humid !!

the island in the middle

De Zwaan this means the swan

a pumpkin farm display ! I took this from the car !

a old water fountan at Zienkzee, we did not have time to walk round this today !

Zeeland Bridge

The Zeeland Bridge (Dutch: Zeelandbrug) is the longest bridge in the Netherlands. The bridge spans the Oosterschelde estuary. It connects the islands of Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland in the province of Zeeland.
The Zeeland Bridge was built between 1963 and 1965. At the time of its completion, it was the longest bridge of Europe. It has a total length of 5,022 metres, and consists of 48 spans of 95 metres, 2 spans of 72.5 metres and a movable bridge with a width of 40 metres.

the bridge

going onto the bridge

showing us driving the bridge
Note from Dad: there is a very long average speed limit on this bridge !!! 80 KMH


there is a British soldier buried here

Corporal Donald Thomson died on 14 January 1945 and was 21 years old.
His body was found in the fields between Kattendijke and Wemeldinge .
He served in the Royal Marines Commando Engineer.
What more do we know this soldier?
After having obtained information from the Church and the War Committee, we know that at the age of 2 his parents lost in a car accident. His mother was Janet Williams.
Donald Thomson was brought up by Aunt Sarah and Aunt Hannah Woods.
There was a while ago from Kattendijke telephone contact with the aunts.
They were delighted to hear that Donald is buried.
The aunts were already at his age and now deceased.
How to Donald Thomson was killed is not clear.
In that period, according to our data, no fighting occurred.

lots of nice houses

a lovely church !

the Pastorie for the church

Dutch post box run by TNT

Leo fell asleep
note from dad
It was very stormy in the morning but 27C and 85% humid  in the afternoon  making walking very tiring for the children ,

we walked from the village to a place to see some birds,

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Note from dad is is a cycle path  yes they follow the same rules as the road !

place we watched some birds,

a place with a thatched roof

mussel collecting , you can see oysters , i dont like oysters !

a lot of Belgium people stopped off here to dive and collect mussels and oysters !

mmmmm… three plates we collected ,

I like mussels !