Michael and Pam's Travels

Brugge, Belgium. 2016

Travelled : 52 kilometres from Veurne to Brugge, Belgium. 2016

Visited : Brugge and Damme

Stayed : Municipal Aire in Brugge, โ‚ฌ25 per night. All the usual services including electricity. N51.19566 E03.22568

A few more boats are moored on the canal in Veurne this evening. ย We have a chat to one guy from Queensland now working in Belgium, he has a Belgium wife and alternate between countries. ย We have another very quiet night in Veurne. ย It’s a cool evening (good for sleeping) but where not complaining.

It’s a relatively short drive to Brugge, but we want some diesel on our way. ย Fuel in Belgium is an issue. ย We have already stopped 2-3 times and tried to fill with both our foreign currency card and Australian MasterCard being rejected. ย So we stop at this huge servo just of the highway, Pam goes in to tries t pay with cash and they don’t take cash either. ย Belgium is a strange place when it comes to fuel stations. ย Eventually it accepts our fcc but only on the Premium Deisel about โ‚ฌ.12p above normal diesel price. Apparently cheap fuel is for locals with a Maestro Credit Card.

Full of fuel we roll into Brugge. ย There is only one Aire close to the Old City and it’s not cheap, but it is convenient especially if your cycling. ย Just to clarify Brugge like all Belgium town and cities is spelt two or sometimes three different ways. ย In this case it’s Brugge or Bruges.

 

 

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View of the canal adjoining our digs in Brugge. The Aire is on an triangle shaped island, so there is a canal on three sides.

 

 

Typical of some of the larger barges on the canal in Brugge.

 

 

Pam cycles into the Market Square, lots of people today.

 

 

Another old building in the Square.

 

 

Same building from further back across Market Square.

 

 

There are horse drawn carriages everywhere in Brugge. ย A little intimidating on a bike, they travel at a fast trot, quicker than we ride on the cobbled streets. ย You can hear them but often not see them until there going passed.

 

 

There are canals weaving all through Brugge. ย You only have to stop for a few minutes on any bridge and another little boat full of people pass under. โ‚ฌ8 a pop is obviously good business.

 

 

 

The canal adjacent the park in the Begijnhof. ย The area is famous for its garden and walled convent. ย There is also a lovely Abbey within the walls, but no photos allowed.

 

 

The second square in Brugge, the Burg. ย It didn’t look it’s best at they had set up a stage outside the town hall. ย We grabbed a quick selfie.

 

 

 

The Hotel de Ville (City Hall) in Burg Square.

 

 

Our digs in Brugge, it’s high season and the school holidays have started in Belgium. ย The Aire is full tonight and a few campers are parked in the adjoining bus parking area. ย It costs just as much there but no power. ย Anyway we were happy we got here early.

 

 

After dinner we head back into the Old City for waffles and to check out the lighting in the Market Square which is supposed to be quite special. ย We no sooner arrive in the Square and it starts to rain. ย We get a spot out of the rain but 20 minutes later it hasn’t eased, so we decide to ride back now before it gets dark. ย Getting wet is one thing but riding on wet cobble stones in the dark is not worth it so it’s a wet ride back.

It was another quiet night in the Hymer and we enjoyed the sleep after a big day. ย The rain has cleared by morning and we decide to ride out to the old market town of Damme it’s about 5-6 kilometres from Brugge, but about 10 kilometres from our Aire. ย We had enough of the crowds yesterday and the girl at the Tourist Office recommended it.

 

 

Riding around Brugge on our way to Damme. The walls to the old city no longer exist but most of the 14 gates around the city survive. This is the Gentpoort Gate. It’s on the road to Gent and it stands next to a lock on the canal, hence the name.

 

 

We pass four traditional windmills on our ride this morning. One is still working and on display.

 

 

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We arrive in Damme. The swing bridge lined with flower baskets.

 

 

Statue of Jacob van Maerlant 1292, outside the town hall in Damme. ย Not sure about his claim to fame, but he looks pious to me.

 

 

A little bit of Belgium garden art for you.

 

 

The amazing old abbey attached to the church in Damme. The church was locked which was a bit of a shame. ย A drop of Mary’s (The Virgin) blood is rumoured to be a relic here.

 

 

An unusual headstone, must have been a bit keen on the chainsaw. The trees and garden of the church and graveyard were immaculate.

 

 

For Norm, Belgium has the biggest and best white hydrangeas we have ever seen.

 

 

Big working barges along the canals in Belgium. As we rode back into Brugge we followed this big sucker as he created traffic chaos as bridges went up or swung across to let it pass by, in the canal around Brugge.

 

 

After coffee and lunch we venture out again, this time to the Groeningemuseum.

 

 

Pam walking through the gardens of the Groeningemuseum. ย Or perhaps posing.

 

 

So we spend an hour or so with the Flemish Masters. The Groeningemuseum is considered Belgium’s best small art museum.

 

 

Well we’ve done the Groeningemuseum. Much easier on the feet than the Louve, but much harder to spell.

 

We head back to the Hymer, it’s been an interesting day. ย A little pub tempts us as we pass. ย We sit between two English couples waiting for their bus to the port and then back to Hull on the overnight ferry. ย It’s a good old chat about adventures in Brugge with a pint or two and a rose for lubrication.

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