Just below Ypres you cycle through the Heuvelland, which stretches along the French border. You start your route in the middle of the rolling landscape of the Ypres Salient at De Palingbeek, a stream that flows into the Oude Vaart. The Palingbeek is part of a vast domain that bears the same name - one of the most important natural areas of the region, with many plant and animal species. You cannot ignore the First World War in this region. Ypres was besieged on three sides during that terrible time, a front that became infamous as the'Ypres Salient\\\', the Ypres Salient. Domain De Palingbeek and its surroundings turned into a large battlefield, where thousands of soldiers lost their lives. The landscape still preserves the deep scars in the form of bunkers and cemeteries. Everywhere you come across graveyards of the Allies, the rows of white tombstones still make a crushing impression. Further along the route, in Kemmel, is the beautiful castle'De Warande\\\'. Here, too, the dark history of WWI resurfaces. Kemmel Castle originally stood northeast of the village, on Reningelststraat, and in December 1914 a cemetery was laid out on the north side of the castle grounds. It remained in use until March 1918, when French and Commonwealth troops had to surrender the village after heavy fighting. The cemetery was recaptured later that year, but in the meantime it - along with the buildings of the castle - had been largely destroyed. The castle was not rebuilt, but a new castle in Neo-Renaissance style was built by the Bruneel family (de la Warande was added later), a distinguished family in Kemmel. Today the town hall is located here - perhaps a somewhat grandiose housing for such a small town, but after a merger of a number of smaller ones, this was an excellent location for all those combined municipal authorities. The then empty castle in Kemmel offered a solution. The former banquet hall is now furnished as a council and wedding hall - a wonderful place for a wedding ceremony!