We left Belgium behind and moved on towards the Netherlands- Holland. Although we were moving at a fast pace (compared to our usual wandering) our target was Scandinavia before the harsh winters came down from the Arctic. Situated among endless forests and 5km away from Arnhem, Oosterbeek was our first stop. The campsite was the best yet as it was reasonably priced and each pitch came with it’s very own shower block and toilet and it was more or less situated in the middle of nowhere.
The woman who was in charge of maintenance seemed amused yet confused as to why we were here as a destination of a year trip around Europe. We enjoyed several days here and took the opportunity the relatively flat and amazing bike paths gave us and visited the Arnhem Oosterbeek Airborne war cemetery, the Airborne museum and Doorwerth castle.
The cemetery was established in 1945 and is home to 1759 graves from the Second World War.
Most of the men buried here were Allied servicemen killed in the Battle of Arnhem(an Allied attempt to cross the River Rhine in 1944, or in the liberation of the city the following year). The soldiers buried here are mainly British(1392 graves) but there were also Polish, Canadian,Dutch, Australian and New Zealanders.
The cemetery was like any other cemetery but it seemed to hold more respect, silence and had a stronger melancholic feel than the usual.
Each grave was exactly the same, the only difference being that each had their own emblem of the soldiers religion and their names, if they had one engraved, otherwise it was simply “A Soldier of the War”.
Even though they weren’t unique or distinguished amongst them it showed that they were all respected in the same manner despite their rank or nationality. It made me wonder (once again) why the people of this world are not equal and why we are judged based on Religion, Nationality and wealth when in the end, when it’s all over, none of those things actually matter; as we can see here in this cemetery. The museum was very visual and my five year old brother even seemed to enjoy the tense atmosphere(he earlier planted some flowers on an unmarked grave which was very moving).
Doorwerth castle is a medieval castle built between 1402 and 1560 (changing and enlarging).
However the first mention of a castle on these grounds was in 1260 (probably wooden). Since most medieval castles in their country are more or less the same I would recommend you to visit one (If you enjoy that sort of thing) whether that be Doorwerth castle or any other! It was a beautiful castle surrounded by a moat along with fantastic views of a typical Dutch landscape.