Kristof is a gentle fella, but has a weak spot for pretty much everything that has anything to do with either the first or second world war.
Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk (IMDB) made him want to visit the city of Dunkirk, and see some of the locations the movie was shot for himself.
Dunkirk played a key role in one of the most memorable events of WWII. I don’t want to spoil it for the people that haven’t seen the movie, but the evacuation of troops locked in by the German forces closing in, was quite the feat.
Dunkirk is pretty close to the Belgian border, but we decided to leave the car at home (the motorcycle too… it was too cold anyway). We opted to go by train. We hopped on the Thalys train from Brussels to Lille, and took a taxi from Lille to Dunkirk. We booked a room at the Hotel Borel, a 4 star accomodiation near the city centre.
Upon arrival we dumped our stuff at said hotel, and made our way to the beachfront for some fresh air. We walked the entire seawall gazing into the grey skies, and green seas on one side, and little bars, bistro’s and shops on the other side. We came across numerous signs that displayed various events and information about Operation Dynamo, the operaction depicted in the movie Dunkirk.
We also kept our eyes peeled for menu’s that had any vegan options available, but were a little bummed out by the lack of anything even remotely vegan. We understand that the market may be small for our diet of choice, but no options whatsoever… we weren’t really expected.
Luckily Stefanie always has quite the supply of snacks on her, so we obviously didn’t have to rely too heavily on finding a restaurant. We did however find a recommendation on our Happy Cow app, for the next day. Sweet!
On day two we were lucky enough to get a exclusive tour in Fort Des Dunes.
The fort played a key role during Operation Dynamo in WWII. Operation Dynamo evacuated 338.000 allied soldiers. We were a part of the first guided tour in English, and the whole organisation and touristic exploitation of the Fort is pretty new. They are still on a learning curve, but every beginning is difficult. We did get a lot of wonderful information and we’re sure that this hidden gem will become a very interesting and informative attraction very soon.
If you are interested in WWII history we can also recommend a visit to the Atlantikwall at Raversyde (more info, click here!). Their exposition and guided tours (and audio tours) are available in multiple languages, and can give you a more complete experience. Located about an hour drive from Dunkirk, along the Belgian shore, near Ostend.
We went for a meal in the city centre.
Oponopono restaurant had several veggie options.
There was one vegan burger: the “Steak au legumes”. It’s a vegetable burger with parsnip puree, red onion and fries. Pretty good! Friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere.
Afterwards we went for a stroll in the city centre, but the cold was a little too much at times. We went back to the hotel for a warm and cosy evening in our hotel room.
In the morning we checked out. A taxi brought us back to Lille, where the Thalys train awaited us to take us home.
If you want to share your war tips with Kristof? Let us know here!