There is a one way system through Tournai to negotiate – not well marked, you suddenly see big red lights at the side of the canal & have to call into the control station to request passage through. There is a great deal of work being carried out throughout the city – restoration of the Cathedral, roadworks, new buildings and work to widen the canal.
Tournai has its origins dating back to AD 60. A roman city, it became the focus of early Christian activity. The Cathedrale Notre Dame provides evidence via the excavations exposing the many previous buildings on the site – including roman baths. There is an ornate marble rood screen and some beautiful stained glass windows. The treasury in the Cathedral is one of the most precious collections of Church treasures in Belgium. It includes the reliquary shrine of St Eleutherius and an episcopal gown from Thomas Becket – apparently, after his execution, relics were sent to many places in recognition of his martyrdom.
There are numerous museums in Tournai but we decided on just visiting the Musée des Beaux Arts. It is a rather fine building, having been designed by Victor Horta, a renowned Art Nouveau architect. There is a good collection of paintings and sculptures, including Watteau, Manet and Monet.
The town Grand Place is lined with restaurants and is a great place to sit, eat, drink and watch the kids running through the fountains!
So after a couple of nights in Tournai we headed to Peronnes with Chris (Laura Marie). The Yatch club is on the ‘Grand Large’ – a huge lake – and is probably the friendliest yatch club we have ever moored up in! Absolutely delightful people who all welcomed us and invited us to join their annual get together on Monday evening – bring a dish to share and something to drink and just join in! We were welcomed, hugged, introduced to one and all, plied with food and drink! Friends of Chris’, Lucas and Pascale, were also there so we had a very jolly time of it! And Belgium were playing Japan – we all had Belgium colour face paints applied – and there was great excitement when Belgium won.
We stayed and extra day after this in order to recuperate and Adrian and I went on quite a long bike ride around the lake and up the old canal.
Decided to pop up to the bar for an aperitif before dinner cos I’d seen these frozen cocktails (remember jubbly ices?) – unfortunately we got ‘involved once again and didn’t eat til 11pm!