Tuesday, 21 September 2010

HOLIDAY CRUISE: Part 2

We left Invergordon in the late afternoon, and set out into the North Sea, heading to Honfleur, in France. It was another very uncomfortable night - the fact that the wind had moderated from Force 9 to Force 8 didn't seem to make a lot of difference!

By morning it was obvious we would not make Honfleur by even midday. So the backroom staff worked miracles and got us a berth at Zeebrugge in Belgium.



Zeebrugge docks were vast, a container port as well as a Ferry port, and a place for docking cruise liners. We were glad we had booked a tour coach to take us to Bruges, and not tried to do things ourselves.



Anne-Marie, our tour guide, was very keen to fill us in on the political problems of Belgium, and the tension betwen the Flemish speaking North and French speaking south. Bruges is in the Flemish part.

The coach parked just out of town, and Ann-Marie set off at a more than brisk pace through a pretty park to take us into town, where she would meet us much later on for the return journey.



Unfortunately, those of us with mobility problems were left behind, and at a junction between two paths had to send an able-bodied runner to find the right way! We finally caught up in the square above.



We set off into town on our own, but being peckish, hot and very thirsty, we stopped in the first cafe to have a vacant table. That is Mr G studying the menu. We both had really excellent omlettes and some good Belgian beer.



Much refreshed we set off again. Bruges is a very pretty town, with towers, spires and interesting skylines.



There are lots of canals winding their way through the town. We would have liked to take a trip on a boat, but the queues were so long it seemed pointless. It being a really fine day, lovely sunshine and blue sky, the tourists were out in force!



There were lovely little things to see, like this attic window.



The shops were most interesting. This one is a window full of Belgian tapestry cushions



And this one is one of the many chocolate shops. Belgian chocolate is famous, and there were dozens of shops selling all sorts of chocolatey goodies. It was mouth-watering, but we didn't think we would get any home in a decent state. They would have either melted or got squashed!

Then it was back to Zeebrugge, and time to sail off southward. I was looking forward to seeing Guernsey and the Scilly Isles (another of my "must-see" visits. The weather had moderated considerably, and I could walk around the ship without banging into walls, tables, chairs, etc.!

Sailing southwards seemed like a good idea...........



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6 comments:

Diane said...

Well Bruges looks like a pretty good second best!! Bruges is on my list of places to visit - your photos are lovely. xx

TheMuddledMarketPlace said...

....oooh
that attice window is rather special
:)

KathyA said...

Bruges is lovely! I like looking in shop windows, too -- I especially like those tapestry pillows -- so beautiful! And the chocolate speaks for itself!
So very, very sorry that the seas didn't cooperate. Will you venture this again perhaps at another time of year?

kenju said...

It all looks wonderful; so quaint and charming!!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Bruges looks like a wonderful place to visit. I love the picture of the canal.

Aunt Snow said...

It looks wonderful. I love the architecture. Too bad about the rough seas - I'm not sure i'd fare well with that.

Love the tapestry pillows - did you get some?