Home > Travel Blog > 2014 > Jan-Mar

January to March


New Year was celebrated in the city square with live bands, lots of fireworks and copious champagne. New Year's Day we again held the Paper Boat Race in the Coupure Haven. Rules state only photo copier paper and sellotape may be used but some extraordinary craft were created and most of them floated and sailed; each year we improve, newcomers bring along new skills and children join in. This year Andy and Kay won both the race and the best light display - almost a hat trick.

During January we made a big driving tour around France, covering 3000 km, staying with friends and family along the way. It was so good to share time with some folk we hadn't seen for years, to enjoy super hospitality and to see more of the beautiful French countryside, including Burgundy, Provence, the Midi and Bordeaux.

Beautiful Provence Out walking with our hosts
Beautiful Provence                            Out walking with our hosts

P1070222 Nerac near Bordeaux
The Med in winter                  Nerac near Bordeaux

In February, English friends Christine and Edd visited Brugge to celebrate his 60th birthday and it was lovely to meet them again and share their celebration meal at the nearby "Schaar" Bistro.

The big winter event here in the harbour was the wedding of Dave and Carol. Guests came from far and wide and celebrations continued for a week, including Dave's birthday, stag and hen do's and an big informal party on board their ship to round it all off. The wedding ceremony took place in the picturesque old Brugge town hall followed by a superb reception in the classical setting of the Park Hotel.  Really romantic and wow, those guys certainly know how to party!

Carol in hen night regalia Pronounced man and wife
Carol in hen night regalia         Pronounced man and wife

The ultimate serenade Cutting the cake
The ultimate serenade                         Cutting the cake

Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras is celebrated with Carnival Week and is half term for the kids. The carnival at Knokke-Heist is one of the big ones with impressive costumes, very elaborate floats, very international too.  We saw Scots Independence, Irish Leprechauns as well as Quality Street sweeties. The celebrations go on for four days and the loud music shakes the foundations of the buildings.

Scottish independence and Irish leprechauns
Scottish independence                         and Irish leprechauns

Only tourist boats are allowed to navigate in the old city but an annual one-day permission is granted and the local kayak and canoe clubs take full advantage, racing round the network of tiny waterways. Two massive flotillas, one through the night and the second in daytime,  they even have to "portage" their vessels over the lock gates. Incredibly, not one of these athletic experts fell into the canal.  We were watching carefully with cameras ready.

Kayak flotilla powering through the city
Kayak flotilla                               powering through the city

In early March we travelled to England to spend some special time with our family before returning to Esme to prepare her for the summer season. This year we are off again to La Belle France.

To follow us on our travels, this blog will be updated every couple of months and to find out exactly where we are click here.

QR Code