Today was an early start day. Europe went on daylight savings time plus we had to to be on the busses at 8:30 to be driven to Brugge. The ride was about 45 minutes plus we have tour guides on all of these tours. We are all on a wireless communication system so we can hear the guide. This works really well. All our tours have been this way. We saw the sights of Brugge and then we had an hour of free time. We then boarded buses to go back to the ship do we could make the shuttle into the center of Ghent. Of course we had lunch on board the ship. I keep saying it must have been an hour since we ate last. Tonight we are having a Dutch themed dinner. I’m surprised I still fit into my clothes!! Attached are pictures of Brugge and Ghent. I have to say this cruise is really wonderful. The staff go out of their way to make sure we are spoiled. And I do mean spoiled.
We left Kinderdijk and continued along the Rhine? River. We passed miles and miles of refineries. There is a lot of commercial shipping on the river. We also passed thru several locks.
After breakfast there was a guided walking tour of Antwerp. The end of the tour was at the Cathedral of Our Lady which houses several paintings by Peter Paul Rubens. We decided to stay in town for lunch. Lunch was beer and fries. The size we ordered was the small. Then there was time to just wander on our own and several of us did shopping. We came back to the ship about 4:30pm. There are several events scheduled in the lounge tonight, but we have not decided what we will do. While I was in town I found a yarn store and bought sock yarn,
We took a train from Veitsch to Vienna. In Vienna we boarded an Austrian overnight train to Frankfurt. Nice train and we shared the compartment with 3 very nice women. The conductor woke us up and brought us breakfast. Breakfast was a piece of bread, a croissant, butter, jam and tea or coffee. We changed trains in Frankfurt to go to Brussels. In Brussels we got the Chunnel Train to London via Lille, France.(Recap of countries- Austria, Germany, Belgium, France and England.). Once we were in London we had to take the subway to the train station that would take us to Bath, England.
But I got ahead of myself. We had about 6 hours to spend in Vienna. We had prepaid for a hotel so we checked in for a few hours. Naturally we went walking around and found a mall – see pic. We also decided to eat because we knew we would be traveling for a long time. See pic of our last meal in Vienna.
Back to Bath, England. When we got to Bath we could not find a place to stay for the night. Apparently there was some Jane Austen celebration going on and it was packed. We then got a bus and traveled on to Bristol, England. We found a place to stay and went to look for food since we were tired and hungry. We lucked out again. We fond an Italian restaurant that had really good food. Marsha had bruschetta and I had pâté for appetizers. Marsha had spinach and ricotta ravioli and I had penne with spicy sausage. See pics.
In the morning we went back to the bus station to explore our options of getting to Ireland. Again we were lucky! We could take a 10pm bus (that includes the ferry) and arrive in Dublin at 10:30am. That left us with the whole day in Bristol. We headed out to see the town. See pics. After we walked the entire downtown we decided to have an early dinner since we would have a long night of travel. We went to a restaurant called “Slug and Lettuce”. Marsha had a veggie burger and I had Thai tikka chicken. All was good. We are now in the hotel lobby after retrieving our luggage waiting to go on the short walk to the bus station.
I almost forgot!!! I had my first English breakfast at the hotel in Bristol. It had toast, croissants, muffins, crumpets, baked beans, baked tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, scrambled eggs, sunny side up eggs, ham, sausages(bangers), various cereals, yogurt, 2 kinds of fruit salad, coffee, tea and juice. I had my first crumpet and banger here in Bristol.
Also, as we were walking around Bristol we came upon a 5 lane bowling alley. Of course we had to bowl a game. The lanes are much shorter than the ones in the US.
It is now 2;45am and we are on the Irish ferry headed to Ireland from Wales. The ferry has wifi so I can send this message.
We got up and had a nice breakfast with the other guests at the B & B, a couple from Britain and a couple from France. We grabbed our luggage and headed for the bus to take us to the train station. Rode the train to Brussels where we had a 4 hr layover. We put our bags in a locker and headed for the center square – see pics. They were getting ready for some sort big festival tonight. We were walking to the most famous statue in Brussels when a waffle stand jump directly in front of us.
Of course we had to carb up for the train trip – see pics. Marsha had a waffle with chocolate and I had one with cherry sauce. Unfortunately In the pic Marsha’s fork looks like it is going up her nose. The fruit syrups here are not very sweet so they don ‘t hide the flavor of the waffle. Then off to the famous statue of the “Manniquin Piss”. Unfortunately, no peeing today
but see pic of statue dressed in costume. Them back to the train station and off to Frankfurt.
We got up and had a lovely breakfast. We hopped a bus to the center of Brugge, the old section. We planned to do several tours. The first tour was of the brewery, the only one still making beer in Brugge. The tour was very informative about Belgian beers. It also included a rooftop view of the city-see picture. The steps down in the brewery were so steep we had to go down backwards. Then we were off on foot to the lace museum. On the way we stopped at the windmills-see picture. Marsha is taking a picture of a windmill while I was taking a picture of the next one. At the lace museum there was several women making lace- see picture. It appears to be a very lengthy and painstaking process. The museum had rooms of absolutely gorgeous lace. Then we headed back to do the chocolate tour. Unfortunately we were too late for the last tour. In an effort to improve our nutrition we each had a huge plate of French fries with mayonnaise. We walked around town taking in more sights (plenty of pics on my camera). Several hours had passed by this time and naturally we had to add something to make our healthy food tour complete. Belgian waffles and ice cream was our choice. Delicious!!! We walked some more and there was a flea market in one of the squares. We were walking around the flea market when one of the vendors tried to sell me something and I said
“Sorry, I don’t speak English”. I think I may have been in too many countries already. It was getting late and we thought we should head back to the
B & B. Of course we would need to get a late night snack. Belgian chocolate of course. So we hit all the Belgian food groups. I forgot to mention the brewery tour included a glass of beer. So we had beer, French fries (invented in Belgium), waffles and chocolate. We are off to Frankfurt tomorrow. The last picture is the house where we are staying.