With the van finished (as finished as we had planned anyway) we set off at an ungodly hour for Dover. After a smooth crossing we turned east and headed for Bruges. To our surprise, even at our steady 55mph we were there by early afternoon - with all due respect to northern French cities I have visited, this is by the far the prettiest, nearest place you can get to once you land in Calais.
With some quick research online we found an aire walking distance to town that we could stay at for a reasonable fee, which included elec, water, but no showers. After a brief settle in, we were off for a look around...
It really is a pretty place, but unbelievably full of tourists.
According to the kids the best thing about Bruges was all bubbles Matt - they ran around like crazy.
The obligatory boat trip around the canals.
Autumn colours were fantastic
All in all while stunning to look at, Bruges felt quite soulless to me, tourism has completely taken over at a cost to the city itself. It was nice to re-visit but I'm not sure I'll be hurrying back.
In our aire we couldn't miss one of our neighbours who had an amazing converted Mercedes truck. The family who designed, built and were now travelling in it were lovely. Our kids made friends, played on scooters and skateboards then came into our bus for a movie.
With friendship established, unfortunately that evening they headed off to continue their European adventures. Perhaps our paths will cross again in future...
For us, next stop Ghent