Christmas 2017 saw us on board Piedaleau in Bruges, but on our own this year since all the kids were busy doing their own thing! Moored at the Flandria Boathaven it has been a very different, but enjoyable Christmas. Easy drive here, lazy mornings, sightseeing, lots of good food and drink with other boat owners here and at The Coupure Boathaven.
A small group of us went to Esme (Diana & Chris) for early champagne, a superb restaurant for lunch on Christmas Day followed by a little silliness on Piedaleau – pass the sprout parcel! Really nice day.
On Boxing Day we were on board Bella Fortuna, playing even sillier games and eating delicious curry – Voirrey and Andy are excellent cooks and such good hosts.
We took a day trip by train to Ghent with Voirrey and Andy to do a Christmas market comparison ……. on balance I think we preferred the one in Ghent because the streets are wider so there is more room to walk – Bruges seems to be rammed with tourists all the time! Met Kate and Dave on Victor & went to Amadeus for lunch – a ribs restaurant with fantastic Art Nouveau decor.
New Year’s Eve came round and we set off for the market square with Tim and Jo (Maria of Zandam) for gluhwein and brahtwurst prior to midnight. Wrong! It was all eerily quiet – hardly anyone on the streets – market stalls all shut – just one open selling gluhwein (so we had a couple) and another selling Belgian frites (so we had some of those too!) And then to add insult to injury, we were told that the fireworks had been cancelled because of the winds!!
So we repaired to a bar on Tim’s list of good local hostelries, picking up a group of young Brits en route, and Diana & Chris from Coupure arrived with their guests mark & Amelia. So we all proceeded to have a great evening! Somewhat too many beers, lots of good music and some bopping! Excellent start to 2018.
Couldn’t tarry too long in bed on New Year’s Day ‘cos we had a boat race to attend! Every year in the Coupure they hold a paper boat race (rules are A4 paper and sellotape only but otherwise the design is up to you). About 6 boats were entered – Chris ‘s boat took a detour away from the finish line so that left it open for Mark to get blown into first place with his creation – HMV Amelia!
Gluhwein and soup to follow before returning to recover on Piedaleau, followed by an early night. Who knows we may enter boat ourselves next year!!