Flight of the Earls in 1607 – A summary of the Earl’s journey from Rathmullan to Rome

It would take the Earls roughly 8 months to travel from Rathmullan in Ireland to Rome in Italy. During their epic journey, they spent 21 days at sea and traveled overland for about 50 days. They also rested for 3 months in Leuven, 3 weeks in Milan and for shorter periods in Arras, Binche, Halle … Continue reading Flight of the Earls in 1607 – A summary of the Earl’s journey from Rathmullan to Rome

A summary of the 2019 Tour – All roads lead to (and from) Rome

The main aim of the 2019 Tour de Travoy was to cycle from Rathmullan in Ireland to Rome in Italy. On the way, I passed through France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy just like the Earls over 400 years ago. The Earls traveled about 2,500 km from the time they landed in France to arriving some 7 … Continue reading A summary of the 2019 Tour – All roads lead to (and from) Rome

Cycling from Belgium to Lorraine before arriving in Alsace in time for Stage 5 of the 2019 Tour de France (2019 Days 19-23 Bastogne to Colmar)

Having made it to Belgium, my original plan was to stay there for the opening stages of the Tour de France. But I was already 3 days ahead of schedule which meant I had 4 days to wait for the opening stage on Saturday July 6th in Brussels. Instead, I worked out I had time … Continue reading Cycling from Belgium to Lorraine before arriving in Alsace in time for Stage 5 of the 2019 Tour de France (2019 Days 19-23 Bastogne to Colmar)

Flight of the Earls (Part 5.2) – Following the Earls from Bastogne to Nancy where they get to dine with the Duke of Lorraine

From Bastogne, the Earls could have traveled south via Luxembourg and Metz, both cities that were predominately Catholic and therefore, technically allies of the Spanish Netherlands. But for some reason, the instead chose a much hillier route via Longwy and Filieres in the Duchy of Lorraine.. This almost certainly was because the territory around Metz … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 5.2) – Following the Earls from Bastogne to Nancy where they get to dine with the Duke of Lorraine

Cycling through the Ardennes to Bastogne where the Battle of the Bulge took place in 1944 (Days 16 -18 Brussels to Bastogne)

Today's featured photo shows a US Army  tank on a plinth in Place General McAuliffe in Bastogne city centre. This Sherman tank was just one of hundreds that fought against the German Army during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. The main aim of the German attack was to capture Brussels and Antwerp … Continue reading Cycling through the Ardennes to Bastogne where the Battle of the Bulge took place in 1944 (Days 16 -18 Brussels to Bastogne)

Flight of the Earls (Part 5A) – Following the Earls through the Ardennes from Leuven to Bastogne after they reluctantly agree to go to Rome

After returning from their trip to Antwerp. the Earls would spend another 2 weeks in Leuven before then setting out for Rome. It is clear from the letters the Earls wrote to Madrid in December 1607 that the Earls did not feel welcome in the Spanish Netherlands perhaps because their presence jeopardized the peace negotiations … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 5A) – Following the Earls through the Ardennes from Leuven to Bastogne after they reluctantly agree to go to Rome

Flight of the Earls (Part 4B) – The Earls travel to Antwerp where they inspect the Spanish fortifications and visit the Irish College

In February 1608, the Earls spent five days traveling from Leuven to Antwerp and back to Leuven. Personally, I believe this to have been a trial run for their trip to Rome later that month. It had become obvious in January 1608 that the Earls were not welcome in Flanders as their presence jeopardized the … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 4B) – The Earls travel to Antwerp where they inspect the Spanish fortifications and visit the Irish College

Flight of the Earls (Part 4A) – Following the Earls to Leuven where they were to spend Christmas after being ordered not to travel to Spain

The day after attending a lavish dinner with Marquis Spinola in Brussels, the Earls traveled about 35 km from their lodgings in Halle to the university city of Leuven. No doubt this destination was agreed at the dinner with Marquis Spinola and Leuven almost certainly chosen due to the presence of an Irish College there. … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 4A) – Following the Earls to Leuven where they were to spend Christmas after being ordered not to travel to Spain

Cycling through Belgium to the site of the Battle of Waterloo before going to the site of many a modern day battle at the EU Parliament building in Brussels (2019 Days 12-16 Tournai to Brussels)

Today's featured photo shows the Lion Mound at the site of the Battle of Waterloo, 10 km south of Brussels. The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 was one of the most famous battles ever and Napoleon's defeat here changed the future of Europe in the 19th century. So perhaps it is fitting that the future … Continue reading Cycling through Belgium to the site of the Battle of Waterloo before going to the site of many a modern day battle at the EU Parliament building in Brussels (2019 Days 12-16 Tournai to Brussels)

Flight of the Earls (Part 3J) – Following the Earls to Brussels where they attend a lavish dinner hosted by Marquis Spinola, the commander of the Spanish army in Flanders

After returning to Halle from the Royal Palace in Binche, the Earls then traveled to Brussels to attend a lavish dinner hosted by Marquis Ambrogio Spinola, the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Army in Flanders. The Earls had first met the Marquis a week earlier, the day after arriving in Halle from Tournai. The Marquis had … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 3J) – Following the Earls to Brussels where they attend a lavish dinner hosted by Marquis Spinola, the commander of the Spanish army in Flanders

Flight of the Earls (Part 3H) – Following the Earls to the Royal Palace in Binche where they meet up with the Archduke and Archduchess of the Spanish Netherlands

Itis quite interesting that at no stage did the Earls ever seek a meeting with the Royal family as they made their way through Flanders. Instead, they first traveled to Halle to meet up with Henry O'Neill, commander of the O'Neill Regiment in the Spanish Army and were then visited there a few days later … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 3H) – Following the Earls to the Royal Palace in Binche where they meet up with the Archduke and Archduchess of the Spanish Netherlands

Flight of the Earls (Part 3G) – Following the Earls to Halle where they meet with Henry O’Neill, the commander of the O’Neill Regiment in the Spanish Army in Flanders

The Earls may have traveled 200 km from Rouen to Arras in only 3 days but the much shorter distance from Arras to Brussels would take them over 2 weeks. They stopped for a few days in Arras, Douai and Tournai to take in the sights but also may have deliberately slowed down to allow … Continue reading Flight of the Earls (Part 3G) – Following the Earls to Halle where they meet with Henry O’Neill, the commander of the O’Neill Regiment in the Spanish Army in Flanders