A Travellerspoint blog

Belgium

Flanders For Free


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One of the highlights of the summer occurred when I took a day trip, along with Saman, Matt and Jenna over the channel to Flanders. And best of all....the ferry was free! Having underwhelming service on the Christmas Ferry out to Lille back in December, we complained and were awarded free, unrestricted ferry tickets for 2014.

The day trip turned into a weekend for me, as I left work straight to London, staying at Matt's on Friday night before the early start on Saturday. Leaving at 5:30am we blasted out the #choons as we made our way down to Dover. As the weekend was the first day of the summer holidays it was absolutely packed, and we ended up spending the whole journey across the channel in the restaurant queuing for breakfast.

After this energy boost, we got back in the car, entertaining the other passengers with our singing and dancing as we entered the French roads, making our way over to the Belgian border, and our first city of the day - Ypres. Being Kevin I had sussed out the sights, prices, and car parking arrangements for us all, and we headed straight to the centre of town before the Market closed down. After this we headed over to the Menin Gate, the commemorative arch to Commonwealth soldiers without graves during the First World War.

Menin Gate

Menin Gate

Whilst there, and going up the stairs to the elevated gardens we found Tony Robinson from Time Team doing filming for a TV show! So we stayed around for a while to watch him fluff his lines before heading back down for a photo shot of us by the arch, before heading back round the City Moat, and back into the centre for Waffles and finally to visit a Commonwealth cemetery, which was immaculate.

Commonwealth Cemetery

Commonwealth Cemetery

Leaving Ypres, we headed to the south to a restored trench system known as "Bayernwald". After racing to the local village to get tickets before closing we entered the site, and had a wander inside them to get a feel for how soldiers had to spend their time, including seeing some of the dugouts where soldiers would have slept.

Bayernwald

Bayernwald

After the morning of history in Belgium, we headed back into France, towards Dunkirk for a bit of beach relaxation. Whilst the weather wasn't the sunniest, it was still a warm day and the beach in Dunkirk was lovely and sandy.

Beach Relaxation

Beach Relaxation

After a few games we hired a quadracycle and caused carnage along the promenade, screaming, shouting, driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, and getting clothing caught in the thing!

Reconstructed image of the bike

Reconstructed image of the bike

The last thing before heading home was a 'lovely' French meal, where we were reacquainted with the stinky cheese of 6 months ago. All I can say is that the food wasn't great.....

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Belgium Tagged beach history friends war Comments (0)

Brussels

sunny 29 °C
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After taking a packed out coach from Bremen at midnight, I arrived in Brussels at 7am and took my suitcases across the city to my hotel in the south. Already by half past 7, it was reaching 25˚C, and although the hotel was just 5 minutes from the station, the cobbled streets on the way there made dragging 55kg strenuous work. Luckily the hotel had storage and so I could leave my luggage there and then go off into the city with just a few bits.

European Parliament

European Parliament

Firstly, I went to the European Parliament, where there was free access to the debating chamber twice a day. Afterwards I went to Jubelpark followed by Brussels' most famous attraction - the Atomium.

Atomium

Atomium

After visiting the attractions on the outskirts of the city I went to visit the Royal Palace, where there was free entry for the summer and then the city centre.

Grand Square

Grand Square

Having been a very busy day I went for an early night and the next day I took the Eurostar back to London in the middle of the day. I then had a 45 minute changeover at St. Pancras back to Luton, where I met with two of my Erasmus friends who were visiting London for the last few days.

And that's where my Erasmus journey ends, after just over 10 months of living in Germany, I am finally back in Dunstable. I still have many more travels to go this summer before going back to University in September, but for Germany - it's over.

Thanks for following my travels!
Kevin.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Belgium Tagged history city europe erasmus Comments (0)

België

Eurovision 2011 - Antwerp

overcast
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Final full day, went to Antwerp to explore some of Belgium. Explored the Town Square, ate a waffle and some fries, before coming back and stopping at the old border control building.

Grote Markt

Grote Markt

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Belgium Tagged city border eurovision Comments (0)

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