We had a restful 2 weeks at our mooring in Brugge. This is where we are leaving our boat for the northern winter, so it was great to get to know our surroundings a little better and to do a few touristy things. We took the train to Ostend (only 15 minutes away), and then a tram to Niewport. The coastline facing the North Sea is like a giant Surfers Paradise, endless stretch of beach, with an endless stretch of high rise building and a population of retirees. Not the most joyful places in the world.
The 2 hour train trip to Ypes allowed us to see a little of the countryside, including some of the WW 1 graves beside the railway line. A lot of people had told me how moving the Menen gate was, but nothing can prepare you for the 3 story high list of names, for those who do not have a grave, over 56,000 young men whose lives were cruelly cut short.
On a lighter note, back in Brugge we did one of my all time favourite tours, on a segway. Just the best fun you can have standing up.
At last Friday 28th arrived, and we were all spruced up for Margaret to join us. We spent an extra 2 nights in Brugge to show her the town, then as per arrangement with the haven master we left our mooring at 10 in the morning, through 4 bridges and we were on our way back to Ghent.
A sunny warm Sunday was our travel day, which was more pleasant than the rainy travel day we had with Kathy and Alan, that was until we turned off the main Ostend to Ghent canal, onto the narrower Ghent ring canal. It was like Bourke St on a carnival day, with small boats assaulting us from all directions. So we have a new rule, never on a Sunday, or in fact on a Saturday!
We moored in the same digs as last time, and walked in to the town, where Margaret treated us to a plate of chips, the Belgium national dish, and yes they are as good as they are reported to be.
Two nights in Ghent and we had done the town, so it was off to new pastures, down the Zeeschelde towards Antwerp. We were now on a river, with a strong tidal flow. We left at 7.30am to catch the ebbing tide, that gave us a lift. We were targeting Antwerp, but the tide turned, as it usually does, after 5 hours so we moored up at the village of Temse. Not much to the town, unless you want a chemist or a hairdresser. We did find a very good supermarket, half of which was devoted to selling wine!
Tomorrow it’s on to Antwerp again with an ebbing tide.