the travel geek

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form."

Category: Europe

Édith Piaf, the Murder of Louis Leplée, and Montmartre

Near the beginning of the movie A Star is Born, you see Jackson Maine watching Ally as she sings the…

Charles Godefroy and the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe has always been a rallying point for soldiers both starting and ending major campaigns in war….

Discoveries triggered by sleeping effigies at Père Lachaise

There are numerous graves at Père Lachaise with sculpted effigies of people sitting, lounging or sleeping on top of their…

The brutality and confusion of Flanders Fields

If you Google “is Flanders Fields a real place,” the pre-baked Google response is American centric and falls flat of…

The Panthéon and Hoche

The Panthéon in Paris is King Louis XV’s great contribution to the world of cemeteries… sort of. The original intent…

Very few original, intact WW1 trenches still exist

Evidence of the Great War is still visible on the landscape in Western Europe. More than a billion shells were…

Beautiful Photos of Brugge’s Canals

Brugge’s prime and strategic location on the North Sea has ensured that the area was inhabited long before recorded history……

Little Details, Brugge

This is my second Easter spent in Brugge. The first was in 2011… when the Tour de Flanders (La Ronde)…

Finding Frank… at the Menin Road South Cemetery, Ypres

In 1916, Menin Road was the route that Allied troops took from Ypres to the front line. Today, the front…

Finding Joseph… at the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery in Souchez

Cabaret-Rouge is close to Vimy Ridge (France) and is one of a handful cemeteries we visited outside of Ypres and…

So many cemeteries… so much death…

The overwhelming thing about touring the countryside in Belgium and France is the sheer number of cemeteries in a relatively…

Langemarck Cemetery and the first gas attack

The focus of our visit to France and Belgium has been on finding our relatives who died in the Great…

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