I mentioned in my last blog that we had a very long drive to Brugge and another late night settling in. Our apartment was near the centre of the town, less than a 10 minute walk to the city square and in one of the old streets of Brugge. The apartments around us are charming and full of character. Here are a few photos of those just opposite us. In the first photo you can see our black car in the distance parked on the left side:

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Our apartment, although it has character on the outside is unfortunately recently renovated with a very modern style. It’s nice have a modern apartment but it would have been fabulous to have an apartment in the style of the old buildings around us. The beds are comfortable, the internet is fast; however there are a couple of less desirable aspects. The first – it is spread over three levels and the stairways are steep between them with limited handrails – not very good for me hobbling around on crutches! The other minor point is the cobble stoned road we are on is very busy and even at 11pm it is quite noisy.

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The three days after our arrival, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we stayed home in the mornings for school/work. In the afternoon on Wednesday we walked down to the central square and began exploring Brugge.

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On Thursday afternoon I drove to a toy shop for Daniel who is on a continual hunt for G.I.Joe. Then on Friday afternoon we went to Oosterde beach.

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Our weekend was spent about 1.5 hours away from Brugge where we went to visit and stay with people we met in France earlier in the year. We had a wonderful time with them and Daniel and Amy enjoyed playing with other kids. On the Saturday Patrick took us on a tour to Antwerp. We walked around for a few hours so I was tired by the end of the day and my foot was sore.

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I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the Antwerp city; there were swarms of people everywhere, all out enjoying wandering around in the hot sun.

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It also happened to be the anniversary of Belgium’s liberation from the Germanys so there was a real festive mood. The police marching band was performing and there were old military vehicles around the place.

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The next day, Sunday, we went to a nearby rural community which was holding a flower parade. This wouldn’t usually get my attention but I had looked on the related website and thought the floats were incredible. Boy it was hot! We sat for several hours in the boiling hot sun, over 30 degrees.

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After the flower parade we went back to our friend’s house for dinner and then we had to leave as I had 1.5 hours to drive to get home. It was sad to say goodbye, we really enjoyed their company and the food was great, particularly the pastries filled with a type of cream custard.

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The trip home was stressful and even with our navigation system I was able to take a few incorrect turn offs at roundabouts which delayed us getting home until fairly late.

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Monday morning I caught up with some jobs and then we went for our final walk around the city to the other side of the square where there were some picturesque canals. At the start of our walk we stocked up on Belgium chocolate which we planned to eat when we found a place to sit alongside a canal. Unfortunately by the time we got to it my chocolate was one big sticky mess, it still tasted good but I really needed a spoon!

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Brugge was as pretty as I had remembered it and we were pleased we had spent a week there.

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(Week 29B/30A: Tuesday, 4 September 2012 – Tuesday, 11 September 2012)