Chateau Neercanne, Maastricht, and the Fog of War
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.
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.
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.
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.