Sunday, 22 May 2011

The end of another holiday.....

We drove from Berlin to Ghent in Belgium on Good Friday.  When we turned the motor on in Berlin there was a horrible ticking coming from Bruce's dash.  It sounded like a time bomb!  Being Good Friday, there would be nothing open so Richard checked it out and could not work out what was wrong.  It seemed we had little choice but to drive and keep our fingers crossed that it was nothing serious if we wanted to get home.  Basically it was a full day's drive with Bruce making funny noises and us playing the music loud to try to drown it out! ACDC seemed to be a good choice as the ticking melted into the drumbeat.  About 5 kilometres out of Ghent there was a truck spewing fumes in front of us.  Richard turned the vents to recycle rather than fresh and miraculously the ticking stopped!  Those few kms were blissfully peaceful!  It seems Bruce's last few months will mean no fresh air for us!!

We had decided at more or less the last minute to spend the last few days of the Spring half term break in Belgium and were pleased we did.  We stayed in Ghent and did a day trip to Brugge.  Belgium was lovely although I think by the time we got there we were both exhausted, so we did a lot of wandering and looking around rather than going into places to visit, but that seemed the right thing to do.

Ghent is a pretty little town with very old buildings (including a fairy tale castle), cobbled streets, trams and lots of canals.  Our stay there was very pleasant.

The Castle

One of the canals...note the bikes they are everywhere!

A very eye-catching shop front!

Hams hung in the market hall.  There was an exhibition of local artist's work in here while we were in town.

Many of the building had cute little guys like this one as decoration.

On Easter Sunday we decided to go for a train ride to Brugge.  It was only half an hour away and was a pleasant day out.  We wandered around, took some photos, ate Belgian Waffles for lunch, wandered some more and then returned to Ghent.

One of the many churches.  The bells were ringing when we arrived in town and it was really beautiful!

 Part of the main town square.

There were boatloads of tourists on the canals and huge line ups to match! 

Look closely......Guido had been given a beer....and he had drunk it all!

Along with the canal boat trips were the rides on horse carts!

A very cute old organ grinder!

Obviously the place to be when all those pesky canal boats keep disturbing your peaceful afternoon on the water!

After our train ride back from Brugge to Ghent we had dinner and then spent our last night in Belgium.  On Monday morning it was up early for the drive to the Eurostar and then back home to London.  We left the train with Richard driving and us saying 'stay left, stay left' (we had spent the previous month saying 'stay right, stay right' every time one of us got behind the wheel) and hit the London traffic!  A quick stop for supplies and we were home to prepare for our return to work the next day.  It was to be a short week.  I started it with a pupil free day, then two days of the students and then it was another four day weekend to celebrate the royal wedding and May Day.  I will tell you about that soon.


Coralie said...

now I've been thinking... I just love Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and his whole River Cottage thing down at Dorset/ Devon way... I want you to go and eat at River Cottage HQ or whatever his place is called now. I want a photo of the three of you in or out front of his cafe/restaurant... ... I'd just love that... ... I'm such a big fan... if I could I'd be an artist and live off the land from my own produce... just like Hugh.

Ali said...

Hi Coralie. Not sure if we will be able to get there now....not too many weekends left that are free before we head home! But I will check out the web sites!