Belgium, Holland and Homebound
Monday 7th August- Today we headed North into Belgium, and we were feeling like we were starting to miss the coast, having been in land for a week so far. And so the toss up between Brussels and Bruges as our destinations resulted in the latter. This should have been top of our list of places to visit and we were so lucky to stumble across it like we did- Bruges is one stunningly beautiful place! It is definitely somewhere that we will return to, that’s for sure. We pulled up and used a free car park within walking distance of the centre that we had found using Park4night. Having had a late night we decided to join in with the locals and have ourselves a siesta!
After recharging our own batteries we took a wander into Bruges and fell in love with it instantly. Gorgeous buildings, quaint little shops, beautiful canals throughout, horse drawn carriages, traditional singers, oh and the countless number of chocolatiers! We were in heaven! We indulged in an al-fresco late lunch and then spent the rest of the day exploring beautiful Bruges. We decided to do the canal boat ride, which was a reasonable price for a half hour ride and was worth every penny. It was an ideal place to pick up some gifts for family, and maybe one or two chocolate related purchases for ourselves! We didn’t fancy stopping in the car park that night, and so headed further towards the coast and found a more rural spot using Park4night- this time it was a truckers car park but on the smaller side, and so we found ourselves next to a couple of other motorhomes. We had a couple of buzzing visitors that night in the shape of mosquito’s but luckily we managed to catch them before going to sleep and then it a case of having a hot night with the windows shut! Good old Avon Skin So Soft worked a treat (Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Body Spray with Jojoba 150 ml – Pack of 3).
Tuesday 8th August- The weather was a little bit duller today and we both seemed to have come down with slight colds over the last 24hours, most likely due to the changes in temperatures as a result of one-night stopovers and moving such distances each day. So we took it easy and drove up the coastline of Belgium and the Netherlands. We came across several holiday destinations, and picked up our breakfast from a local café for a change- croissants and a fresh loaf of bread to see us for the next few days, delicious! We arrived back at The Hague and it was still a rainy day unfortunately. We went to the mini-town attraction but soon after entering it really chucked it down and so it was a case of calling it a day and heading back to the van. To be honest that was one of the most over-priced places that we called in to- costing 8.50 euro’s just to park, and then around 30 euro’s for us to get tickets for it and then 15 euros for lunch on site. We never felt that things were over-priced when we were in Germany and that was really lovely, not even at the major tourist places such as the Eagles Nest. However, here you kind of felt that you were falling into the tourist trap again so watch out for that if you’re trying to cut down on the pennies that you’re spending.
That night we stopped near a local park and popped to the shops to get some food. Note to self, use the translate app on your phone if unsure- we ended up buying sour milk for our cereal by not doing this! Not a mistake we want to repeat! We ended up moving the van late on as there were too many people walking past for our liking. Not ideal but we were chuffed it hadn’t happened to date so we couldn’t complain.
Wednesday 9th August- Today we spent some time in Rotterdam, having an easy morning and a wander around the center. We hired some bikes and had a ride around on them, as we had intended to do this in Germany but never got round to it. So it turned into a pretty chilled day before returning to the campsite that we had used on our very first night of the holiday- like we said at the start, this turned out to be the nicest campsite of the whole trip and so it seemed like a good way to bring our trip to a close.
Thursday 10th August- The day to head home! We were both gutted that our trip had come to an end and couldn’t believe that it was time to return to the ferry already. Neither of us were desperate for our own bed or dying to get back to living in a house again, which we took as a sign of a bloody successful trip!
Getting to the ferry was nice and simple, although there may have been a few attempts in there to take the wrong turning and miss the ferry! It was a mid-week sailing and therefore a lot quieter, with most check-ins being for freight rather than passengers. We managed to get through check-in quickly again and got ourselves some decent seats for the journey. When back in the UK we stopped with family before driving back home the following day.
And that was it! We were home and soon with family and friends eager to ask how it had all gone for us. Our honest answer was- amazing! We think it is safe to say we have found our new way of holiday-ing and we absolutely love it. It’s so exciting knowing that we have our van and we can do trips like this now, and we would encourage anyone to go for it if you’re thinking of touring in your vans too. Some good preparations beforehand to get the van ready, going with an open mind and some loose plans or a wish list and you will see so many places and hopefully have the best time.
How long until we were next in our van you ask? 1 night. We had a 1 night break and then jumped at the chance to be back in it again! We are definitely planning to get our next trip sorted and enjoy some shorter ones in the mean time…
We hope you enjoyed our blog! Please let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions. We would love to carry on doing this on our future adventures too so watch this space!
I dedicate this blog to my late Gran who sadly passed when we were on our travels…
Trips like this wouldn’t have ever been a reality without a loving devoted Gran & Grandad round us when growing up…. the best Grandparents anyone could ever ask for.
R.I.P Grandma – Eileen Thompson 1931-2017