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Remember the Fallen

War site trips are excellent opportunities to not only understand what took places on those sites but to also experience them and pay respects for the fallen. For us at Expat Club, these trips are very special. Every single one of the war site trips we host has proven to be an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience. Here are 6 war sites we believe are a must for every traveller. 

Châteaux de la Loire: 5 Exceptional Castles Worth a Visit

The Loire Valley is often called the Cradle of the French or the Garden of France. This comes from the many vineyards and orchards in the area. Located 200km South from Paris, it’s also well known for the incredibly high number of castles! Here are five  exceptional castles worth a visit

Trip review: D-Day 75th Anniversary

After every trip I organise and host I ask myself the question what could have been done better. For our recent D-Day trip to Normandy I certainly have some (very) small points for improvement for a next edition (see 2020 trip). But overall I can look back to a successful and deeply impressive project. We got so much more than I had hoped for, despite that traffic on the small hedged-border Normandy coastal roads sometimes threw a spanner in the works. With a long Pentecostal weekend ahead, we departed on Friday evening towards our first destination in Upper Normandy, Le Havre with its harbour. The city was not part of the D-Day offence, but it was part of the larger Operation Overlord. Being at the end of the Seine river, it was an essential stronghold for the Germans and a key objective ...

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Our 3 favorite movie and TV biopics

75 years ago today, tens of thousands of soldiers of the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy.  D-Day was a turning point in the Second World War. It was a pivotal moment to defeat the Nazi regime 11 months and 1 day later. The significance of this military operation has been epitomized in countless movie and TV productions. Here are 3 notable examples The Longest Day (1962) IMDB One could say this movie was the first ever large-scale, massive movie production tackling this subject. The Longest Day boasted an all-star ensemble cast from multiple countries, and its production meticulously looked at every detail with the help of military consultants. The film follows the Normandy landings from the perspective of both Allied and Axis forces. It’s shot in a documentary drama s...

Monet’s Magical Gardens

There are few places in France as magical as Giverny, a quaint village that lies just 80 km from Paris. Claude Monet, the father of Impressionism, discovered this gateway to Normandy as he glanced out of a train window back in 1883. On 26 May, Expat Club travellers got a chance to discover it, too. It was an early start for the weary travellers as we headed down the highway from Brussels. Sitting on our comfortable and roomy luxury coach, we got inspired for the visit with a 90-minute documentary about Monet that showcased his life through letters he wrote. Soon, the rolling green hills of the French countryside greeted us as we neared Giverny.  By lunchtime, we had arrived! We walked down stone streets, past charming slate-roof buildings and homes, to LesNymphéas, French for the water lil...

Opal Coast: Winding roads and windy skies

Traveling with Expat Club is always an adventure, and our trip to the Opal Coast was no exception. We left the grey skies and pelting rain of Brussels behind as we drove west to the northern coast of France. Skies cleared, but brisk winds accompanied us on our full-day foray to France. Dunkirk Our first stop was the port city of Dunkirk, a city steeped in history. Towering over the city is Tour du Leughenaer, or “the liar’s tower.” Erected in 1450 and converted to a lighthouse around 1793, it’s the city’s oldest building. Legend says false lighthouse signals lured ships into areas where they were grounded and then looted. We had time to walk through the maritime city, visiting the active market, having a coffee and fresh croissant, or viewing spectacular churches like the Gothic-style Sain...