During a river cruise through Belgium and the Netherlands, I arranged a 3-hour tour of the Diksmuide area to visit the region from which my ancestors came. We'd corresponded with Miguel by email and worked out the plan.
Miguel was there waiting with the minivan when I got off the train from Ghent and we coordinated the final details. One detail I hadn't noted earlier was that I wanted to try to find the 19th century graves of some of my ancestors. Miguel suspected they hadn't survived the Great War, and quickly called a friend who shortly confirmed that none existed in the villages. Miguel's knowledge and contacts kept us from wasting time looking for graves that didn't exist.
We visited the little village of my ancestors, and then Miguel gave me a great and very informative tour of the area, stopping at various points to give me insights and point out details that I suspect few would know. I'm a retired US Army colonel with a lifelong love of military history, and I had done my homework on the local history, so I can tell you that the Miguel was extremely well versed on not only the history of the area but also the bigger historical context. He was also very well prepared, with photos, maps, and documents at the ready on his iPad.
He took me on a tour of the Trench of Death, where again he provided a detailed and thorough commentary. At the end, he read a poignant passage written by one of the Belgian soldiers that really brought the harrowing experiences of the defenders into perspective.
He used the three hours effectively and efficiently, and, when he dropped me off at the train station, I knew that I'd gotten more than my money's worth. I'd heartily recommend him to anyone. He was personable and knowledgeable, and made my tour an unforgettable experience.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.