Cracking nights kip and now time to move to our next stop, Bruges. Not far just 50 kilometres along the N369 and then E40. The motorways in Belgium are free and we are so glad because the Belgium A roads are dreadful. The roads are made in small sections and then plonked together, so the whole journey consists of constant little bumps and an awful dada dada noise. Drives you nuts and even Mac n Tosh are not impressed…disturbs their puppy snooze.
A few kilometres from Bruges centre and we hit road works. No diversion sign and no help from Marg the GPS. We did a few shuffles and a left, a right and round a few roundabouts to finally hit another road work and a dead end. Grrr. Bruges was not providing a driving friendly centre! Eventually, we arrived at the aire, which is located just off the ring road. As you approach there are 2 aires and 1 coach park, all of which are barriered. The aire to the right is slightly bigger and next to a little marina. Mac n Tosh were pleased with today’s spot as it came with cute bunny rabbits, which provided them with endless fascination. They wanted to play chase but the bunnies just wanted to bounce around.
With the sun shining bright, loads of water and electricity we decided to do a clean. We had a weeks worth of clothes to wash and today was a perfect drying day. The van was not dirty but we like to keep it clean and tidy. We agreed to get stuck in and have everything done in an hour. That way, we could then leave the clothes to dry whilst we tootled off and admired the highlights of Bruges.
We pulled out the Brompton’s and plonked Mac n Tosh in the baskets and set off to the centre. They do love riding in the bike. With a few minutes we were bang in the centre of the Markt. Unlike so many European cities ruined by war, Bruges has remained untouched with its monumental buildings intact. The markt, A massive cobbled square and to the right, the Belfry, a symbol of Bruges’s civic pride. With a 47-bells that ring out over the city every quarter of an hour. The tower stands 272 feet high. Its lower section dates from around 1240, with the corner turrets added in the 14th century
the upper, octagonal section in the 15th century.
From the belfry, we cycle around to the Burg, a lovely public square with intricate and detailed buildings. Then to the basilica, the court house and the town hall. Bruges is not a city full of attractions but it is more of a meandering type of city. One where you window shop, soak up the cafe culture and admire the historic city as a whole. Bruges is famous for is lace and there are plenty souvenir shops selling the traditional table clothes and doilies. However, Craig was more attracted to a Belgium beers such as Straffe Hendrik and Brugs Tarwebier. Whilst, I fancied a nibble of Belgium chocolate and a freshly made waffle covered in melted chocolate. It certainly has a lovely feel to the place and the buildings add charm and character. There is no respite from the cobbled streets, so if you do visit Bruges made sure you skim the stilettos.
On the way back we cycled along the river. It was a pleasant little jaunt until Tosh decided to jump in to mid air and do a back flip to land on all fours on the river bank. Jeez Tosh you nearly gave me heart failure. Apparently, he wanted a wee!
Vin the motorhome was nice and toasty after a full afternoon of beaming sunshine. The clothes were nice and dry too. We kicked off our shoes and sat back to enjoy a nice cuppa in our cosy little motorhome.
Come night time and we plugged in our little heater to keep us cosy, well might as well make the most of the electricity!
Tonights sleep spot – Bruges city centre aire, €25 per day in season and €15 out of season. Includes electric, water, grey and black. Tree lined and well trimmed hedges to create small parking bays. Very clean and tidy and only 5 minutes walk to the centre.
GPS Coordinates N.051.196016 E.003.225546
Route: DIksmuide to Bruges
Weather high 20 and low 10, sunny. Nice and warm in the sun but blinking freezing in the shade.