We left by 9.15am to drive to Brugge in Belgium. On the way we went to Bayeux to see the Bayeux Tapestry and the Cathedral.
The tapestry was very clever, 70 metres of pictures depicting the story of William the Conqueror. The audio was interesting but a little rushed. All the people seemed very tall and skinny, but I think the embroiderers were just trying to squeeze as many people on as they could in the space they had.
We also went onto the Cathedral which was impressive. We’d been told to go see it from an American man who’d studied it’s architecture and said it was one of his favourites. It certainly was stunning in its grandeur and decoration.
After Bayeux we travelled on and late in the day ended up at Dunkirk. We really wanted to see the war graves from World War II, but we got lost and ended up going the wrong way. We did find some first World War graves but by the time we’d worked out where to go it was too late to turn back.
So we stopped where we were and looked at the beach, which was pretty nice. Then we drove onto Brugge and after finding our route closed by road works, figured a way though all the rich homes’ suburb to our house, in the middle of town.
The house was pretty cool…very old outside, very new inside. The stairs were pretty scary, but we got use to them. Bit difficult for Peter with his walking stick,, but he managed with a lot of help (ie all of us running up and down the stairs to get things for him – we got a bit fitter).
To counteract any good effects from all the running up and down the stairs we found the chocolate shop near the centre of town. Delicious!
Other highlights included:
Walking around the old town, eating chocolate in the square.
Watching the horses – it cost so much for the horse, but then you had to pay what “you felt it was worth” for the tour guide at the end. The kids thought we should just pay for the horse and leave the tour guide behind.
Finding the canals. Eating chocolate by the canals. Watching a street artist. Kids watched a bit too close and almost knocked the poor guy over.
Spending our wedding anniversary at Oosterde beach then going out for pasta and chocolate…
Special anniversary pancakes for breakfast
These things were all great, but the best place for eating chocolate in Belgium, I have to say was at Patrick and Annemie’s home in Antwerpen! We had met them earlier on our trip in France, and they’d invited us to visit. So we did! It was a wonderful weekend of great conversation, food, wine, chocolate and Belgium Beer. And the stairs were comfortable and easy! It was a true holiday from our holiday.
Interestingly, I found out from Patrick that when they eat chocolate and cheese, they always eat bread with it, so that they don’t eat too much. They only eat it at meal times (and not as they walk around sightseeing as I was doing, oops!) I couldn’t quite get into eating bread with chocolate, but probably just at meals is a good idea.
Patrick took us for an excellent walking tour of Antwerpen.
Tintin is from Belgium..
Would you buy a $500 handbag hanging from tentacles??
What’s all the fuss about going to a zoo Daniel?– we did take you…to the entrance…
We saw a police band performing for Victory Day. They played the theme song to the Smurfs and everyone cheered – apparently the police are nicknamed Smurfs in Belgium.
Also for Victory Day Commemoration we walked past a lot of army vehicles on display.
The best thing (besides the talking and eating) we did with Patrick and Annemie was going to a flower parade, where all the floats were covered in flowers. They were stunning and incredible – you have to see it to appreciate it, but here are some shots to give you a general idea:
The kids loved playing with Robbe and Jolien – they all got on really well. Daniel had a chance to buy a GI Joe Steel Crusher APV, so he was doubly delighted.
We were a bit sad when we got back to our flat by ourselves again. We ran out of chocolate about then too..
Tune in next time so I can tell you about my dieting efforts..
(Week 29B/30A: Tuesday, 4 September 2012 – Tuesday, 11 September 2012)