In October 1944 Aachen was the first big German city liberated by the American forces. The ‘Battle of the Hürtgen Forest’ stopped the Allied advance for several months. Several German and Dutch cities were damaged or destroyed. Today all of these cities have been reconstructed and invite tourists to come and visit. During a cycling tour, one can experience the beauty alongside the rivers that combine them. But the scars of the war are still visible in the countryside and a lot of places still commemorate these terrible times.
Start: Aachen central station | Excursion: Indemann lookout and the local opencast mining | Excursion: Lecture about The bombardment of the city of Düren | Visiting Jülich: Lecture about the destruction of the city on 16 November ‘44Day 2
Following the Rur River to Linnich | The Synagogue of Linnich | Cycling towards Roermond (NL) | Guided city tour in Roermond: Christoffel-Cathedral, Munsterplein, Memorial for the women who rebuilt the cityDay 3
Visit the memorial for the deportation of 3,000 boys and men on 30 December 1944 | Cycling towards the northern city, taking the ferry over the Maas |Listening to audio spots | Cycling towards Gennep | Mosaikplein | Excursion in Gennep | Museum of the city | Watching and discussing ’A Bridge Too Far’Day 4
Cycling towards Groesbeek | National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 | Canadian War Cemetery | Visiting the grave of ‘Big Canoe’ | Valkhofpark | Lecture about the ‘Battle for Nijmegen’ | Guided tour through the city centre | Listening to audio spotsDay 5
Trip to the ‘Lightscrossing’-bridge | Lecture: A memorial bridge commemorating 20 September 1944 | Cycling towards Elst | Memorial ‘De vlieger’ | Arnhem | Eusebiuskerk | City tour in Arnhem | Excursion: ‘Bridge at Arnhem’ and its museum | ‘One Bridge too far’ | Back to Aachen by Bus