Met up with our now familiar coach crew for a smooth sailing on the Pride of Canterbury, with most of us partaking of a Full English to set us up for the day ahead. A quick stop at the cash and carry to collect provisions and most importantly our regular guide Gary and we were off to Breda via a quick photo opportunity in the town, at a Panther Tank. The Novotel Breda was ideally situated midway between the points of interest for this tour, and also boasted a good bar and restaurant. (so good it was fully booked!)
An early start in order to take part in the Service of Remembrance at West Kapelle. This was an extremely well attended Service with representatives from the English, French and Belgian Governments, the Services and representatives from South Africa. The service continued at a second location a church/lighthouse to commemorate the civilians lost in the town and a third part on the headland at the landing point of 47/78 Commandos.
Lunch in the lovely town of Middelburg, with a brief opportunity to shop was followed by further exploration of the coast. A visit to the landing point at Uncle Beach led to a serendipitous meeting with the key holder of the bunker who opened the Walcheren Bunker for a private viewing.
Off to Arnhem. First, visit to the landing ground and drop zones around Ginkel Heath followed by a stop off at the Airborne Division Memorial at Heelsum which was constructed from an actual 6lb gun used at that site. Then onto the Hartenstein Airborne Museum which contained a basement diorama that was quite amazing. Lunch stop then looking at various sites around the Oosterbeck perimeter, Oosterbeck Church, positions held by the Border Regiment and the house where General Urquart hid. Finally onto Arnhem Bridge itself. Back to the hotel via Nijmegen bridge.
Stop off at Vergen-op-zoom Cemetery to pay respects to Royal Marines interred there before heading back to Calais. A final pit stop at the cash and carry and a chance to thank our guide Gary for an excellent few days on an enlightening tour. Another smooth crossing on the Pride of Burgundy and we were back. Thanks to the driver and crew of Eifions Coaches who always make us most welcome.