21st November – Brugge

21 11 2011

We decided to have another night at Calais as we had never really seen much of the town, it always seems to be that people arrive at Calais and then get off to their destination as soon as possible without actually taking in any of the town itself, except maybe for the wine warehouses. Calais has a massive beach which is kept very clean and gives great views of the massive ferries coming from and leaving for the UK.

Calais Beach

Jack loves the beach, he can run for ages and as the sand is quite deep he gets a good workout, he also loves to dig! Our day in Calais consisted of a really good walk along the beach and then back into the suburbs and back to the aire, we must have been gone for about three hours in all and predictably on the way back we stopped off at the butchers and bought our dinner, pork mince wrapped in veal, a very easy and relaxing day.

Lorna & Jack

Saturday morning came and we packed up and made our way to Brugge which was around an hour and a quarter away. We had already investigated a camp site there which was just out of the city centre so we phoned, booked in and set off. The drive there was very easy, very flat and also very misty so we had virtually no view of the countryside at all unfortunately but when we started to approach the city we could immediately see that it was a very pretty place with a wide canal running in between the road we were on and the city walls. We found the camp site very easily and were soon parked up and settled in next to two other British motorhomes.

When we were in Monsaraz in Portugal in early 2010 we met a couple, Jeff and Marie-Jeanne, who we spent a couple of days with, they lived in Brugge and had invited us to come to see them. We had had contact with them once in the meantime and still had their number so we phoned them up hoping to maybe see them whilst we were in the city. They were very excited to hear from us and instead of arranging something for the next few days they offered to come and pick us up that evening and take us to theirs for drinks and a sandwich. At 7pm they arrived, drove us to theirs and we had a great evening catching up, eating seemingly endless supplies of food and drinking. They looked after us! They had offered to take us around the city of Brugge and show us the sights the next day so in the morning they came to pick all three of us up and took us into town.

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Brugge has to be the prettiest city I have been to, canals run through the centre which carry tourists in big boats but there is also the option to see the sights in horse drawn carriages which trundle through the cobbled streets, we walked. The buildings are wonderful, the town hall, the Belfry, the main church which is the tallest stone built building in Belgium, the quiet area where the nuns used to live, the bustling main streets and the numerous bridges, just a really pretty place to be.

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As usual, Jack got his usual attention whilst out on the streets but for slightly different reasons. We had already seen greyhounds being walked around so were a little taken aback when people were still pointing and smiling at him, this was until Jeff explained that his coat was the same colours as one of the football teams in Brugge who were playing the other Brugge based team later in the day, a big local derby. Luckily we were inadvertently showing support for the more popular team. Funny.

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As we had Jack with us, Jeff and Marie-Jeanne had arranged for us to eat at their nephews equine centre which was just out the city centre, Jack was allowed in and it was really appreciated that they thought of him when planning the day. We ate pasta whilst watching horses trot about in a training area which was very pleasant. After this we went to the other side of Brugge where the streets are narrower and the houses are smaller and there are less tourists, we walked around for a while before stopping off for a coffee and then finally returning to the motorhome for a few hours before going back to our friends house for evening food and drinks.

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They really looked after us again and being able to see all of the places that we did and hear about some of the history of the place was really a big bonus for us. All of my photos here were taken on my HTC Desire, more on my Flickr stream which is linked on the right hand side of this page.

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On Monday we just had a quiet day on the site, walking Jack, writing blogs and, later in the day a bit of shopping in the local shops and supemarkets. Tuesday we have a lunch of moules frites planned somewhere in the city as a thank you to our hosts for looking after us so very very well.

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