On the 13th September we headed from Holland to Belgium to Brugge (Bruges in English) to meet up with Scott, Ains, Peanut (Ains bump), Carl, Vick, Will and Dougie. We rented a very nice and very stylish 19th Century terrace house in the centre of Brugge with cobbled streets out the front and a very quite private canal at the rear, we were really in the old town.

We had four days in Brugge and one of the things that we had decided to do after our bicycle experience in Sweden was to rent bikes and do some touring like the locals. We managed to track down a decent bike hire place that rented some modern looking bikes; one of the places we went to were renting out bikes that must be at least 25 years old, not that there is anything wrong with these it just that we are suckers for style and comfort. The guy at the rental store didn’t approve of Charlotte or Dougie to sit in the rear chair on the cobbles and said that they need to be at least 10 months old. And after touring around and giving Charlotte a very bumpy ride (once) we now agree with him, the cobbles are not young child friendly, so we ended up slinging Charlotte for the rough bumps as did Carl for Dougie. Once out of the city Charlotte did enjoy her time in the saddle.

We headed to Damme which is about a half hour bike ride from Brugge. We had a packed lunch and the kids on the back as we headed out on the many bike paths that surround Brugge and Belgium. One part of the ride took us across an intersection that required a little nerve and probably some more bike experience than our few trips in the last four years; we just find that we cannot peddle in a straight line when we have to. Anyway we made it safely through and the rest of the journey was by a canal that joins Brugge to Damme. A walk through Damme and we had our lunch in front of the town hall, sitting around the well that had more rubbish than water. A visit to a Church and a waffle in a cafe and the day was over it was time to return home.

This trip to Brugge was a nostalgic tour for us as we were here last October when Narelle was pregnant with Charlotte (vomiting at every corner after each meal) so it was great to come back and remember the places we saw and the things that we did. It was also great having other people to share it with us as we did last October.

Dave, Scott and Carl went to a bar in Brugge that has 300 Belgium beers available for tasting, complete with menu and table service! After three beers at more than 6.5% it was time to have one last beer, the 20 year old vintage beer (brewed by Rose as we told by an English beer connoisseur sitting at the table next to us – we think he was legit as he really knew his beers and breweries but to know the brewer of a beer in 1987 is quite amazing even more so if it is true). The beer tasted like a vintage port, very smooth with an almost sweet taste, it was definitely one of those bottles to savor and sip enjoying every ml of the 750 that was in the bottle. Shared by the three of us it was a great end to a nice night out.

The weather in Brugge for the four days that we were there was great the only rain that we had was on the last day where everyone had had enough of the tourist sight seeing and were content in buying some souvenirs such as Chocolate and one last street waffle that is laced with sugar and if that isn’t sweet enough for you then you can get it with Belgium melted chocolate (Scott we know you had one of these!).

We all had a great time and would like to thank Scott, Ains (carrying peanut), Carl, Vick, Will & Dougie for making the journey from England to meet us.

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