On the 3rd August 2015 we departed Norwich for Folkstone and the Channel tunnel.  While we were away for 3 1/2 weeks last year this trip is to be 2 months and feels a much bigger adventure.  The other big difference is last time we had the fantastic Neil & Caroline as our tour guides whereas this time we only have a vague plan!

Have to admit I was exhausted by the time we left having thoroughly tidied and cleaned the house from top to bottom for the incoming guests, house sitters and parents that will pop by to take care of the place for us.

Luckily Operation stack had finished on the 1st August so it was plain driving all the way down and we were offered an earlier train slot which was even better.  Out of the tunnel at 2120 French time and it was obvious they were gearing up for another night of tag with the immigrants. On the drive out we saw maybe 50 on walkabouts with more gathered in the fields nearby. Really pleased we are coming back from Dunkerque although I doubt very much we would have an issue anyway.

An hour or so drive and we arrived at our first stop over in Wattan which was a sleepy little village except for the summer fair that was in town which had some pumping music until nearly midnight. Thank goodness for ear-plugs and the hour time difference which meant it wasn’t that late really…!

The next morning we walked under clear blue skies to the local Boulangerie for some fresh bread and our first taste this holiday of the delicious cakes and pastries, my personal favourite being a Cafe Eclair.

A quick empty of the grey tank and we headed off to Bruges and arrived there about 13.30 to a lovely Aire which costs €25 per night however that did include EHU (electric hookup) and water servicing. It also happened to be only 10mins walk from the city centre so after a rest for me and some Internet time for Steven we walked in.

I’ve been to Bruges once before when it was raining so it wasn’t very impressive, this time we had glorious sunshine with a pleasant cooling breeze and it is a vibrant city choc full of chocolate and waffle shops (see what I did there?). We managed to find the tower featured in the film “In Bruges” (a silly gangster movie with Colin Farrell) and saw lots of tourist on boats and riding in horse carriages. We thoroughly walked our little socks off before treating ourselves to waffles and then heading back to Ellie the long route (i.e. we got a little lost).

The next day we moved further east in Belgium to a little Aire at Blegny Mine (whose website is a little lacking) however TripAdvisor has some great reviews of it so well worth a visit.