21st to 23rd March 2006
Following our successful trip on Eurostar to Paris these intrepid explorers ventured a little further to Bruges in Belgium - bravely taking David's parents with us as a belated Christmas present! Once again we were very pleased with the simplicity of the journey (this time from Ashford rather than Waterloo, involving a fair drive but avoiding the train into London, much cheaper with four of us) though it did take us a bit longer and involved a change of trains in Brussels.
After a short taxi hop into the city, we arrived at the simple but comfortable and civilised Hans Memling Hotel late Tuesday afternoon. Once unpacked, we headed out into town, finding ourselves very conveniently placed for the main square with its many eateries. And so started a couple of happy days wandering around the compact city in between breaks for coffee, chocolate, Leffe and fine dining. Several of our photos were taken whilst travelling along the many canals on a very enjoyable boat trip. On the second day we tackled the 366 steps of the spiral staircase to climb the famous Belfry and get some great views across the city. The group photo is of us at the top after we'd got our breath back! We also explored to the edge of the old city, with charming windmills and a big shipping canal. All this exploring was (apart from the canal trip) entirely by foot, perfectly practical in such a small but perfectly formed city!