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Last updated : Nov 2009
Bruges, Belgium
Rating: (5.0) (3 Votes)

Budapest, Belgium
May 14th 2001

Pros: a beautiful medieval town
Cons: none

Today we drove from Normandy through northeastern France to Belgium. Our first stop at the crack of dawn (almost) was the D-Day beaches. Very moving. We saw the remains of the artificial harbour the Allies left at Arromanches.

We continued north and, when we reached the mouth of the Seine River, we stopped at a service centre for some breakfast. This poor excuse for a cafeteria gave us a TINY cup of coffee you could stand a spoon in. No cream. But good croissants. Later after driving on a very back road (one lane, two way traffic, pouring rain, soggy ground), we stopped in a remote French village hoping to find sustenance. One little restaurant we saw was closed because it was Monday. Desperate for nutrition, we stopped, parking on the sidewalk like everyone else, at a little hole-in-the-wall Brasserie where a little dog was barking at us from the top of one of the tables. Nevertheless, we had a terrific lunch -- warm soup (great on a cold, wet day), great bread (no butter), Hache Parementiere (shepherd's pie), a fresh rhubarb tart (pie). It was fabulous.

A little later, we stopped at the Canadian National Memorial at Vimy Ridge (Canadians: if you don't know about this piece of Canadian history, look it up! Americans: this battle took place during WWI and was a sight of great moment for us Canucks.) Mom's grandfather was posted to this area in 1917 and lost his leg soon after when he stepped on a mine. There are many mines still unexploded in the fields of this region. Farmers are killed every year. We toured the trenches/tunnels. It was very moving. Some are as much as 25 m underground.

Tonight we're staying in Bruges -- a beautiful medieval town. Beligum is famous for their French Fries served with sauces, especially mayonnaise. We had some for supper and the waitress gave us six sample of sauces. Some were very spicy!

That's all for now. Love to all.

Stay tuned for our next adventure in Bruges and then in Holland.