Chateau Neercanne, Maastricht, and the Fog of War

Our morning with Tauck began with a visit to the American World War II Cemetery in the Netherlands.

Our morning with Tauck began with a visit to the American World War II Cemetery in the Netherlands.

The river cruise portion of our journey through Belgium and the Netherlands aboard Tauck’s beautiful new ms Inspire is slowly drawing to a close. Today is our last full day aboard the river cruise ship before our nine-night Belgium & Holland in Spring itinerary concludes tomorrow with a guided visit to Brussels, Belgium and an overnight stay at the Hotel Amigo.

And They're Off! Guests aboard Tauck's ms Inspire board three coaches for a journey that will reconnect them with the ship in Maastricht. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

And They’re Off! Guests aboard Tauck’s ms Inspire board three coaches for a journey that will reconnect them with the ship in Maastricht. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Today, Tauck had designed a wonderfully ambitious day of touring for us in Belgium and the Netherlands, coupled with a brilliant Tauck Exclusive Event at the Chateau Neercanne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Maastricht. And our day began as our last had concluded, this time with a look at a memorial to the Second World War.

The skies were heavy with charcoal-coloured clouds by the time we got to the American Second World War cemetery near Maastricht. For the first time on this trip, the wind turned bitterly cold. The entire atmosphere seemed to only accent the bleak hopelessness of war.

The American World War II Cemetery in the Netherlands was our first stop today. It's scale is almost incomprehensible.  Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The American World War II Cemetery in the Netherlands was our first stop today. It’s scale is almost incomprehensible. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

At the foot if the cemetery is a reflecting pool, bordered by walls listing the names and homes of the dead that have no known grave. The pool is coloured jet black, and scarcely a reflection can be seen in the water.

The majority of the cemetery is situated higher up, and isn’t visible from the reflecting pool. This means that, as you climb the ten or so steps to the top, you’re confronted with an uncomfortable scene.

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Row after row of white crosses stretch for kilometres in each direction. With every one, a different name is accompanied by a different hometown. Many, however, have the same date if death, their graves reading like some horrifying calendar where rarely a day is skipped.

Our Tauck directors thoughtfully bought roses for each guest to lay in the grave of their choice.

Our Tauck Directors purchased roses for guests to lay at the grave of their choice. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Our Tauck Directors purchased roses for guests to lay at the grave of their choice. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

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Our Live Voyage Report from the maiden voyage of Tauck’s new ms Inspire continues tomorrow from land as we spend a day with Tauck in Brussels, Belgium at the Hotel Amigo! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

The post ms Inspire Live Voyage Report – Day 8 appeared first on From The Deck Chair.

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