You’ve guessed, we are in Belgium.
We arrived in good time for the Shuttle this morning and were glad to be offered an earlier train. We’d feared a long queue, this being the first Saturday of the school holidays, but thankfully, we were wrong. There were no queues at all at this hour of the day.
But as we waited in the line of cars, the heavens opened and the view through the windscreen changed somewhat.
The advertising hoarding opposite seemed to issue a rather prescient warning as well. Hmm. We were hoping for dry weather at least, even if it were a little overcast.
But never mind, we’re on our holidays!
Our first target was to be Bruges, where we’d booked our first overnight stay. Though we’d been here several times previously, it had been a few years since the last time and for Mary, this was all new ground.
Sadly, there wasn’t much of the Flanders countryside to see.
It had stopped raining when we made our way from the car park to the hotel – not very far at all, thankfully – over treacherously slippery setts. I was lucky not to fall flat on my face on a couple of occasions and was very relieved to step onto a dry floor at last. The proprietor greeted us warmly, though was a little preoccupied himself as he awaited the arrival of the red fire engine to pump a few inches of floodwater out from his cellar. We hoped for rooms on a higher floor!
We lost no time in getting out into the city and really enjoyed pottering about the old streets. It was pretty busy, but we avoided the main shopping areas and found the quieter places equally attractive. The rain had passed by now and the afternoon brightened up considerably, for which we were grateful.
Our favourite spot was Van Eyck Place – by a small canal and with a splash of colourful cafe umbrellas here and there. We stopped a while, took photos and having perused the menus, decided to book a table for dinner. Fingers crossed the rain will keep off.
Not only did the rain hold off, the sun came out and we enjoyed a beautiful evening there in the square.
As we walked back through rather quieter streets this evening, there was a spot or two of rain but not enough to prevent us lingering by the rather characterful centrepiece to t’Zand, the marketplace outside our hotel. These cyclists were my favourite group of the whole arrangement, I think.
But there was something about the mermaid that appealed to me, too! Looks like she’s had a rough time of things, doesn’t it?
I’ll finish with some chocolate shop advice for your consideration.