Wednesday, 1 August 2012


We almost missed our crossover into Belgium, but noticed this sign at the last minute.  Guess we won't be getting stamps on the old passport on this trip!

One thing that suprised us on arriving in the first Belgium town was the public transport.....Haven't seen these things since we were in Melbourne:

The Belgium Seafront was remarkably similar to France (suprise suprise)
even down to the - guess what?
As we were passing through places along the coast we always stopped to check out the boats either anchored up or in the Marinas: this one was just lovely:
We came across this lovely statue which even though the inscription was in Dutch, we knew it was dedicated to all the the men lost at sea!

Belgium has such a small coastline that they really try to make the best of it in a small area. these are the views from the road we were traveling along- 
firstlylooking to the coast:

and in the opposite direction- which would you prefer?

There were some great buildings.  This one just took our eye and even though we have no idea what it is or what it was built for it was pretty fascinating!
We again chose to travel where we could down canal paths and found some pretty good ones...
It was just so nice to be cycling along good trails, meeting nice people, preferably in in good weather, and checking out beautiful scenery - this is what this trip is all about!

Every day seems to bring with it something different and interesting..... this was the first time we had seen this way to let boats passs by..........
Firstly a road in the air:
Note the curvy side pieces and the boat coming through underneath.
and now on the way down:
and back in place ready for business.
We were told by people back in the UK that we could not go to Belgium without checking out Brugge..which seemed to be pronounced Brushe (like bruise with a shh) or bru gg ah, clearing your throat while you say it, depending on who you speak to.  Anyhow you say it, it is just a wonderful medieval city and we spent a couple of great days exploring.
the canals were just wonderful.
While in Brugge we decided to lash out for a B & B as we could not carry all our gear with us and still are very wary of leaving everything in a tent while we go away. The people in this place were lovely and Rene' helped a lot with his local knowledge, but the ensuite had to be the smallest one in existence and was not even given a room of its own but just had a corner with a curtain....check it out:
As with most cities that we have visited in Europe there are statues in all the city squares.  This one though was a bit more modern. And relevant!!
They also had some more traditional transport still happening along the city streets.
Since arriving over here Dave and I have also become fascinated by the views down all the little side streets and our collection of these photos is becoming rapidly larger..

We also like to check out the local food and beverages wherever possible.  Dave decided to sacrifice himself in this case for the taste test:  What a guy!!

The canals in Brugge just seem to be threading their way in and out of the city and around every corner it seems that there is another branch going somewhere.  We happily got lost a couple of times but always found some wonderful shots.
We took so many photos in Brugge that I could fill this Blog, but some are really interesting and noteworthy, but leave a comment if it all gets too much won't you.  I can ramble on forever!!!

This door that we found in the courtyard of an old medieval church has been defaced, but we decided that it was pretty interesting and would be fascinating to know the circumstances under which it was left.  Post WW2 graffiti.....

During the day we were entertained by music from a bell tower in a church.  Not just a couple of rings
but a carillon, it was incredible!  This is the tower that held the bells:

As always the statues kept us fascinated and again we always wished we could find out the stories behind them.
In this case though i'm not so sure - - - I'd hate to think what this guy had for breakfast!!!
There were also some more modern statues which were interesting to say the least - any clues on what you think this one might represent??
But again we were drawn back to the buildings....they are absolutely incredible, the size, the age, the detail,  just blows you away...
And when you get inside.................................................OMG...words just can't begin to describe...
Too soon we had to get our bikes packed up again and head off, but one unusual thing we did find in of all places, this church - was the whole Irish blessing that we first saw as two lines in 'Uncle Charlies' bar in Northern Ireland....We will leave you with these great words - especially for cyclists! 

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