Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Trip

Camping Memling, €22.50
Overcast with a few sprinkles, 72°
By Claire

Today was our longest driving day at 3+ hours. Chuck drove like a pro and I do plan to drive one of these days but I’m looking for a quiet, little used, wide road. Soon, soon.

Belgian Highway

Computer Crashed? Get On-Line Backup

Our cab and dashboard with road signs, tea thermoses and GPS

Filling up with Diesel

With our TomTom, we can go anywhere. It's a miracle.

Huh? Three lanes? Who goes where? This is a two way street

We arrived in Bruges at 13:00 and checked into this so-so campground though it does have a great location--Only 3 Km into town. We rode our bikes and made it in about 10 minutes. I have to say, it was swarming with tourists—including us. Once we got off the main drag, we found some relief and then did the touristy thing everyone probably does: The De Halve Maas Brewery Tour. It turned out to be fun and informative. The guide claimed that no matter what the canal boat cruises say, they don’t use canal water for their beer. But, if they do, it’s only for export to France. The tour came with a glass of beer which we enjoyed in the outside café.

In the fifties, they promoted beer as being as good for you as your daily bread, milk and meat. The promoters were Dr. Heineken and Dr. Maas.

We stopped for chocolate at the famous Dumon Chocolatier, a family run business highly recommended by Rick Steves and other travelers. I guess we got the bitchy relative. We tried to engage her and talk about the chocolate but she simply made us feel small. Oh well, the chocolate really was good.

Couldn’t find the Chocolate museum so gave it up and headed back to the campground to relax. As soon as we arrived at Homer, I asked Chuck where his backpack was. A look of panic swept over his face when he realized he’d left it where we had parked our bikes in the market square. He hopped back on and tore back to town. It had his camera, the chocolate, our Rick Steves Guidebook, and most distressing of all, his rain pants! I waited and waited and finally saw him ride up with the pack on his back. When will we learn?

More soon.

Camping, €22.50
Internet, €2.50
Fuel @1.06 per liter, €23.11
Chocolate, €5.75
Brewery Tour, €11

Total: €64.86

Running Total: €26,413.91


Carol said...

Oh, oh, not another backpack mishap. Glad you guys were able to retreive it no worse for wear.

I'm really impressed with just taking to the roads and driving. Is it really that easy with your GPS unit? By the way, how do the drivers compare to American drivers?

Sorry you missed the chocolate factory. Yum!


Kelly in West Sac said...

You did the whole driving thing, the getting set up in the campground thing, and then did all the touring thing, all in one day? Wow!

Chuck and Claire said...

Yes, driving with the GPS is amazing. We would probably be spending hours looking at maps, ripping out hair out trying to figure out which way to go. Drivers seem good and clear about what they're going to do.

Getting set up doesn't take much time and with bikes, we can literally zip into town. Nothing is very far. We were home by about 5. We're heading back into town today and will try our best to find the chocolate museum.