Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bruges, Belgium - A Coach Trip!

Another trip out of London again?! Yep... I love London, but there are times when you just want to get out of here. Away from everything and everyone, and just enjoy a trip elsewhere...

Miss Pinky and I decided to go on a day trip to Belgium after seeing on my work noticeboard that a person was selling their tickets, but I couldn't get hold of the person so I decided to have a look on the Internet to see if there was something similar we could go on. There are lots of Internet sites, but sometimes you have to really look for them! In the end I found East London Travel, where they offer day trips via coach, and also 3 day holidays. I think it is worth going on a day trip via coach if you find trains too expensive! I bought 3 seats as we were bringing along Master H. He has never been outside of the UK before, and this is his first European experience... Miss Pinky called it a tester for him! Heheh.

It was an early start to the day. I woke up at 3.15 on Saturday morning had a bit of breakfast and then left to meet Miss Pinky and Master H at Canada Water Underground Station. We had to get the first train to Stratford for the pick up at 6.10 am! It's not hard to find the pick up, just go out of the station and turn left into Great Eastern Road, keep walking left until you see the Theatre Royal... I saw a beautiful sunrise by the way... (This is when I realised I left my SD card in my computer! :( )
Sunrise in Stratford


Somewhere around Kent
There are several pick ups along the way, so make sure you're in the right seat beforehand... Someone sat at my window seat, which I had booked... I wanted that window seat to take pictures!! Nevermind!

It was an interesting journey going towards the EuroTunnel in Folkestone... A variety of different characters, and people who have traveled with East London Travel before. I read, tried to sleep and listened to a lot of music along the way! When we got to Folkestone there was a 20 minute delay with the trains so we were allowed to have an hour at the EuroTunnel stop... (I got my SD card from here, £10 well spent, not).
It takes 35 minutes to get to France via EuroTunnel from Folkestone


Awaiting our departure time...


Shopping are at EuroTunnel


Our coach
Finally got onto the EuroTunnel. It only takes 35 minutes to cross over as they go highspeed across the English Channel, and it's actually my second time experiencing this (well 3rd time if you count the return journey from my first trip)! I went to Calais once on a school trip where I went to see the graves and No Man's Land from World War I many, many years ago, and funnily enough I went with Miss Pinky during that trip. You can't see the sea unfortunately as you're actually in a tunnel. It's hot in the coach as well as they switch off the engine, so if you get hot easily, have a walk around...
In Folkestone getting ready to board the train


Amazing piece of land art of a horse! ^_^


Inside the train
Got to Calais yay!! But now it was an hour and 20 minutes drive to get to Bruges!! :( Another long trip... Stick the music back on!!
Travelling along Calais
When we got to Bruges, the place where the coach usually stopped had a festival going on in there, so they parked at the coach parking are which is alongside the riverbank...

The town centre (centrum) is not far, but we had to walk a longer way due to the festival! And this is where our actual journey / adventure began. We only had 4 hours in town, so we had to shop, browse, eat, and take as many pictures as quickly as possible. XD So now it's picture time!
Finally in Bruges!! Someone selling flowers in a boat...


We went in this public serving boat a bit later... The other boats are private...


Pretty street art!


Love this canal / river ^_^


Bruges is well known for their swans... There's loads of them!


Yummy bakery...I want to have them all... but I will get fatter! XD


Streets of Bruges


Not sure what this building is called...


Miss Pinky wearing pink, and Master H taking pictures of the orange car!


Me, The Geek with Master H  ^_^


Miss Pinky on the right side just marching to find good deals! 


Loads of cheese!! Dutch cheese?


Antique or secondhand store


Bruges is well known for their horse and carriages!


Quite religious too


Or maybe not that religious...


Nice ornaments!


Water fountain for the horses


Tourists and horses and carriages


Lots and lots of ducks and swans... and there's a canal ride you can go on if you have time


Beautiful canal!


Cool nun! :D
Finally it was time to eat. Didn't know what to eat. Master H wanted a burger. I could tell Miss Pinky wanted mussels. And I wanted anything meaty! We ended up eating at t' Nieuw Walnutje where they serve 15 different flavours of mussels. Their menu was in Dutch and French. I can read a bit of French (I did French GCSE - need to touch up on it though) and I had spotted the beer flavoured mussels for Miss Pinky. And Miss Pinky said Master H should have the mixed grill with chips as they don't serve burgers... I wanted the mixed grill too!!!! :D
My diet coke and Miss Pinky's Belgium Biere


Inside t'Nieuw Walnutje


The menu in Dutch and French
My mixed grill was excellent! I loved it, and so did Master H. The chicken was a bit dry, but everything else compensated for it... The beef steak was juicy, and I like the sausage too!
Mixed Grill
Miss Pinky's mussels were very, very tasty. I have not seen mussels cooked in beer before! :D But she said it was disappointing not to have any bread with it as she normally does in other places. She had bread in Dallas, Ireland and London! Why not in Belgium? 
A big stew pot of mussels in beer...
Anyway I had a good time, it filled my stomach for a good 6-7 hours.

My quick geeky rating for t'Nieuw Walnutje: 4.5/5

Website: http://walnutje.be/?lang=en

This is outside the restaurant - Zeus, Leda, Prometheus and Pegasus
Now it was back to touristy things and shopping! I bought quite a bit of chocolate, so I will review some on another blogpost... It's also cheaper to shop in the supermarket if you're indecisive about where to get the best chocolates, beers, wines and other things. But still shop in the chocolate places, tea rooms and touristy places for some good bargains!
Lots of Belgian chocolate!!


More chocolate!! All we heard was chocolate!! Chocolat chocolat!!


Some street signs


Belgian waffles!! I wanted to try them, maybe next time!!


Spot the beer Miss Pinky saw... :P


So many bikes for the festival!! It's really safe over there... Their bikes have no locks...
It was now time to go back... Master H only had one tiny moan as he wasn't allowed to buy a ball. Miss Pinky was being very authoritative about this, but you can buy balls in London for cheap! Nevermind Master H, you will understand when you're all grown up, paying for bills, rent and trying to survive... And then paying for all our trips in the future. Heheheh XD

Our last stop was at May Flower, a boat cafe / restaurant for the public... Some boats are private by the way! So watch out... I had a hot lemon tea (I forgot to say iced lemon tea)... and it was served with a waffle!! Hahah. Master H ate that.
Some more ducks spotted at May Flower


Hot lemon tea with a waffle
Finally home time... It was a very long trip back. Was so tired... It was quite funny seeing people in London thinking we were tourists on the coach!! Hahahaha...
Some power cable towers in Calais


Back to the EuroTunnel - Calais side!!


From inside the train


Sunset in London
Before we all went home, we ate at Thames Indian restaurant in Waterloo, I will blog about that place another time!

Another great adventure well spent. Trip cost £39 per person. So if you do plan to take this trip, remember to book early and don't forget your passport!

Website: http://www.eastlondontravel.co.uk/ (the only moan I have on this website is that they don't have an approximate itinerary for the journeys...)

1 comment:

  1. I love this kind of post.I have enjoyed this post very much.Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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