28 June

A hazy start to the day, we sat eating our breakfast overlooking the beautifully ornate square, at this time in the morning devoid of tourist and discussing our plan of action until we needed to set off to catch our ferry from Zebrugge, just ten kilometres down the road. Although we have visited Brugges many times there are still places we have not explored, so we used the map provided by the hotel to discover the ‘undiscovered Brugges’. The routes, yes we did all of them! took us through winding roads, backstreets, alleyways and along the canal, over bridges and was fascinating. The architecture of the city is very different to any we have seen on our journey, very old, and there is much renovation work going on throughout the city. The streets are gently curved which gives great views of these fabulous buildings, many brightly coloured, others original brick and stonework. One thing many have is ornate sculptures on the walls and above the doors. Many of these are religious in nature, many the Virgin Mary in many poses with baby Jesus but others for eclectic. As the day progressed so did the warmth and sun came out making the gold on the many ornate building shine brightly. One thing Belgium is famous for is chocolate, and it seems every other shop is a chocolatier! Chocolate in every shape and colour is on display and so inviting, of course we had to make a purchase, rude not to really! The other thing in abundance, and great debate as to where they originated – Belgium or France – is moules frites. The enticing aroma of mussels cooking is all around you as you walk the city and no visit to Brugges is complete without a dish of this delicious shellfish. As we had had them yesterday and were not particularly hungry after our lavish breakfast we opted for ‘street food’, sitting watching the world go by in the square.Whilst I chose frites and a very (un)healthy dollop of mayonnaise, Amr decided to try Johns recommendation of Flemish beef stew. He said he enjoyed it but nothing beats moules frites! Too soon the time had come to make our way to the ferry and join the queues of caravans and motorhomes also waiting to board.

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