It was hard to leave Dienze after having such a good time there,
Andy and Nicki (Shensi) had already left……
and it being Thrsday so we were missing a really good market there. But needs must, so onwards we went…..
Heading up the river Leie it was like a commercial big guys traffic jam!
We just had 2 big locks to go through – first one went fine – we were rafted up against a commercial so that everyone could get in – 4 commercials, Piedaleau and Carmen! At the following lock we were going in with only 3 commercials and all seemed fine – the wall hooks were a bit of a pain to rope up to but all seemed OK, we managed. We came out and pootled off expecting Carmen to follow on behind us. But after a while, when we still couldn’t see him and it looked like he was still in the lock (AIS computer system) but we couldn’t raise him on the radio, we got a bit worried ……. we turned around and headed back to the lock. He was moored just outside the lock.
It seems a length of heavy rope had been left dangling from one of those pesky wall hooks. David had seen it on entering the lock but did not realise, until he came to leave, that it had been sucked in around his prop! It was holding the boat so that he couldn’t leave the lock! Memories of Misty morning and rope trapped in lock gates comes to mind!
Anyway he managed to limp out eventually and had tied up and just outside the lock and had gone into the drink to free it from his prop! So as we came in behind him, it was to see David smiling broadly, in his underwear, complete with snorkelling mask, standing on the steps at the rear of his boat, waving said large lump of rope and ordering photographs be taken! David has been told off by more than just us about going into the drink without anyone else around. Enough said.
We then came into Kortrijk and moored up together near the hotel boat. There is an inlet and moorings are at either end. What it means is that as the huge commercials power up or down the main river, wash is sent along the inlet from both ends – got pretty rocky at times! Apparently the commercials can move all night long …… we were certainly woken up at 5am the next morning. We spent 2 nights in Kortrijk – loved the town but didn’t enjoy the boats being tossed around.
Adrian and I did some touristing on Thursday – Beginjhof, Cathedral with the Dukes Chapel, 1302 museum.
Cathedral and Counts Chapel:
Museum Kortrijk 1302:
The battle of the Golden Spurs was fought near Kortijk and this airy museum expalins the battle and why it is an important Flemish landmark. It highlights the beginnings of the Flemish nationalism and the antipathy towards the french.
Begijnhof St Elizabeth:
A superbly renovated and maintained begijnhof with good audioguide and ‘experience’ centre. The leaflet starts with Jan van Ruusbroec’s expression: ‘Holy glorious women’. And goes on ‘Beguines were strong women. Democratically organised. Independent of the Church and the State. For centuries they represented a city within a city.’ The last Beguine, Marcella Pattyn, here died in 2013 ending the 800 year long tradition.
That evening we all ate in one of Adrian’s TripAdvisor little finds – ‘Y-Not’, a small Thai restaurant just along from our mooring. The waiter was a bit of an acquired taste, rather in your face, but the food was delicious and fresh! Most enjoyable.