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Beer, waffles, chocolate and frites. We must be in Belgium!!

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Crossing the border into Belgium the first thing that we notice is the roads are not so well maintained. They are doing some roadworks but don’t have signs forewarning of road blocks until you reach them and so we were redirected kilometres out of the way. This happened on the way to Ipers  [Ypres] but with some signs and our maps we got back on track. Our TomTom also took us through the town winding our way through narrow one way streets.

Our parking place for the night was to be along the canal on the outskirts of town but they have  placed no motorhome signs along this stretch of road. Nearby was a small campsite and for 15 euros with showers and good wifi we opted to stay there, luckily we got there early as by nightfall the place was full. Could be due to the tradition parking on the roadside being forbidden.

Our parking place for the night was denied so we opted for the camping area close by.

Our parking place for the night was denied so we opted for the camping area close by.

Ipers [Ypres]

It was a short walk into town where we walked through the streets visited the church and stopped at a chocolate shop where we bought a box of various selections, we would ration these over the next couple of weeks, very delicious. We had a restaurant recommended to us by an Australian who is a tour guide for the battlefields. He had given us good advice as the place was indeed excellent and Jenny and Lori chose the mussels and I had the Flemish stew along with a few beers, the first of many we tried in Belgium.

Town Hall at Ypres.

Town Hall at Ypres.

Chocolate shops were plentiful each with decorative window displays trying to lure you in. This one did and we bought a box.

Chocolate shops were plentiful each with decorative window displays trying to lure you in. This one did and we bought a box.

Buying chocolate in Belgium. You just have to do it.

Buying chocolate in Belgium. You just have to do it.

Artwork on the side of the cafe near the fish market.

Artwork on the side of the cafe near the fish market.

Dont take many photos of our food but this dinner was excellent.

Dont take many photos of our food but this dinner was excellent.

After dinner we walked to the Menin gates where they hold a ceremony includes the last post being played, this happens every night at 8.00pm and has been carried out since the First World War.

The crowds building up at the gates for the ceremony.

The crowds building up at the gates for the ceremony.

The ceremony takes place inside of the gate. The last post is played and wreathes were laid.

The ceremony takes place inside of the gate. The last post is played and wreathes were laid.

Brugge

In Brugge or Bruges we parked on the out skirts of the town in a place recommended to us by a Motorhome Fun member. There was plenty of space and not far from the city centre.

An old town gate we walked through on our way to the town.

An old town gate we walked through on our way to the town.

It was market day in the centre of town and we bought some lunch before joining a free walking tour. This took us to many interesting places that we would never have thought to go and the tour guide gave us some insight to the history of Brugge. After the tour we stopped at a café to enjoy some Belgium waffles and coffee, another thing ticked off our list.

Market day in the town square.

Market day in the town square.

Plenty of horse and carts driving through the town.

Plenty of horse and carts driving through the town.

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These faces looking at us from the shop window.

These faces looking at us from the shop window.

What the ??

What the ??

This lady was doing some lace work. Last time we were in Brugge back in 2002 she was sitting in the same place.

This lady was doing some lace work. Last time we were in Brugge back in 2002 she was sitting in the same place.

Always look up when walking, you never know what you will see.

Always look up when walking, you never know what you will see.

This was the old red light district street in Brugge.

This was the old red light district street in Brugge.

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Our tour guide told us that this is called the love bridge.

Our tour guide told us that this is called the love bridge.

Supposedly this is the most photographed site in the city.

Supposedly this is the most photographed site in the city.

The Basilica of the Precious Blood.

The Basilica of the Precious Blood.

The Basilica of the Precious Blood.

The Basilica of the Precious Blood.

In this church they have the relic which is said to be the actual blood of Jesus. I had a look at it but not much to see inside a glass and gold vessel.

In this church they have the relic which is said to be the actual blood of Jesus. I had a look at it but not much to see inside a glass and gold vessel.

This sign is to tell you not to wild urinate or you will get a fine.

This sign is to tell you not to wild urinate or you will get a fine.

An elegant door in Brugge.

An elegant door in Brugge.

These rusty looking tools are actually chocolate.

These rusty looking tools are actually chocolate.

Saw this in the stationary shop window.

Saw this in the stationary shop window.

Busker making bubbles in the town square. A bit hit with the kids.

Busker making bubbles in the town square. A bit hit with the kids.

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The tower on the town square.

The tower on the town square.

The tour guide gave everyone a free beer voucher and on the way back we stopped at a basement bar where we had a 5 beer tasting platter and then selected another one for the road. The 3 vouchers gave us 6 euros off the price of the 5 tasting beers. Back to the motorhome where we had a quiet night’s sleep except that at 2.30 in the morning across the canal a tractor was mowing the grass. It must have been the only time he could do it as the road was narrow and he could only do it when there was no traffic.

Off to the bar to get our free beer. which turned out to be a few more !.

Off to the bar to get our free beer. which turned out to be a few more ! Not free unfortunately.

On the way back to the motorhome we stopped off at the supermarket to do some shopping. This is a small section of the beer aisle.

On the way back to the motorhome we stopped off at the supermarket to do some shopping. This is a small section of the beer aisle.

At the checkout you can even buy a coldy for on the way home.

At the checkout you can even buy a coldy for on the way home.

Ghent

In Ghent the parking place I had sourced was closed so we drove closer in the centre, found a place and paid the 12 euros for parking, very expensive but it did save us some walking. The place was a bit disappointing as the roads were being dug up for new tram lines and many of the buildings had scaffolding over them for renovations.

Ghent

Ghent

The castle in Ghent.

The castle in Ghent.

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Statue in the cathedral.

Statue in the cathedral.

The Ghent altar piece (Adoration of the Lamb) is famous for many reasons one being that it has stolen many times, the last time during the Second World War by the Nazi’s. For a few euros you can view it and listen to the audio guide. It was worth the visit and the church was interesting as well.

The Ghent Altarpiece. We couldn't take a photo so this is courtesy of Google images.

The Ghent Altarpiece. We couldn’t take a photo so this is courtesy of Google images.

As our overnight parking spot was unavailable we drove north crossing the border into Holland where we stayed at a harbour alongside about 8 other motorhomes. A quiet place where you could watch the barges cruise along the canal.

In a few days in Belgium we managed to drink some great beer, taste the waffles, sample chocolate and had some frites [chips]. A good time had by all.

One Response so far.

  1. Izzy says:

    Athank you for the blog enjoyed reading.
    Waiting for my husband to retire next year so we venture out to Europe. Your visit may be a good place to start. Hubby and myself a bit nervous about travelling abroad.
    Thanks for the inspiration

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