Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day 7 Ghent to Brugge, back to Ghent

After our afternoon wandering around Ghent, it was back on the bikes for a 5km ride to our bike, a welcome sight after a long day.  We were greeted with the usual 3 course fare to restore our energy levels.  A usual meal on board would start with an entree, something like Thai salad, tuna salad, French onion soup, or Camembert on crusty bread.  Mains would always be accompanied by a bowl of salad. A platter would arrive with something like satay chicken skewers, rice and a veggie, or beef stew with duchess potatoes and a veg, or fish with chips and veg.  Always a dessert.  Last night profiteroles.  All pretty tasty, but always too much.  Heaps thrown out, which is a shame.  Even Schnitzel wasn't allowed the scraps.
Our day was a little different today as we were walking to the bus stop (15min walk)  to catch the 9.00 bus.  There in plenty of time, but when the bus arrived, the driver just jumped out and went for coffee.  It was the start of the line and he was early.. Our bus was running a few minutes late.  Our non transferable train seats were reserved on the 9.30 train.  The usual 15 min bus ride was taking longer because of road works.  The driver was trying to be helpful to get us there on time.  Wiko was getting a bit anxious by this stage.  The rest of us ready to get off quickly when we did arrive.  The 6 Americans had their luggage as they were staying the night in Brugge.
The bus arrives at 9.29.  We all get off, helping the Americans, and all sprint for the platform, Wiko racing ahead to find out which platform!  John (78yo) and Maureen (66yo) beat the lot of us, we were all huffing and puffing when we got to the platform.  Fortunately, the train was a couple of minutes late and we just made it.  Eventually found our reserved seats and we could relax.

Brugge is another historic town, typical of so many in this part of Europe.  Churches, town halls, etc, grandiose by the bucket load everywhere you look.  You become very used to seeing beautiful buildings built in the 1400 or 1500s.  Huge amounts of money have been spent keeping them restored. There is still the wow factor for us though, everyday.  A series of photos below of Brugge.
Concentration required to take selfies!
The building on the left above is one of the oldest in Brugge.  It is the toll masters place.  The river is to the right and used to be the main river through Brugge.  Boats had to pay a toll to go past this point.  The river still goes under the road.
A typical street, with houses right to the edge of the footpaths.  Not front yard to mow.
Brugge, and the greater Belguim, is well known for its chocolates, cakes, beers, waffles. Here are some examples of the delights available.
The tools in front are made from chocolate, but they look like rusty old tools.  Incredible.
We are trying to be restrained, but it is hard!
Naturally, another church to visit.  This one was just as grand, although a large chunk of this one was under restoration.
It still amazes me how these places were built so many hundreds of years ago without modern equipment.  
Ghent had some large bell towers. Above. 
That is all for now.  Bye

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