Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brugge, Belgium: 5 July 2009


When i was in Asia, going to Europe sounds romantic and extremely expensive. But since we are staying just in UK, going to Europe is just like going from Singapore to Malaysia. Nothing 'grand'. However, due to the weak pound stirling, traveling in Europe is indeed more expensive than UK.
This is supposed to be our honeymoon. In consideration with the overall cost and others, we decided to drive from Scotland to as far as Czech Republic and camping all the way. It proved to be quite a good decision. The car did not break down :), we got lost sometimes, but always managed to find our way later. We really had fun, eventhough our 2 weeks journey was not a luxury Europe trip that people would expected for honeymoon.
Well... the 'homework' and preparation for such a DIY trip is very essential. We found all the campsites that we wanted to go and then printed out Google maps for the direction to go from one city/campsite to another. We also had to find out about the driving requirements of different country, such as are our driving licenses accepted and what are the traffic rules. Eg: In Czech Republic, one has to drive with the headlights always on, eventhough it is day time.
We search for visa requirements as well, eventhough we knew that, likely both of us do not need any. This proved to be an extra works, since border crossing by land in Europe does not have border control anymore! We were assuming that, there would be some kind of border control for non-EU citizen, as like in airport, but the fact is, everyone just drive through the border, overpassing the now empty border control offices. The only border control we got is from UK to France and France to UK.

Note: After more than one year of traveling around, we are gradually not very keen in pictures taking. We didn't even use up our 2GB memory card for camera in 2 weeks. I think, after a while, all places look alike, especially in Europe and we enjoy more to soak in the atmosphere rather than snapping around. :)

Our trip started from Scotland. From the last experience, it took us 12 hours to drive from Wales to Central Scotland. So this time, we decided to break our journey to London at The Lake Side District, Morecambe.
Our car is so old that, we do not really mind about it. So we chopped our vegetable on top of the car booth and sometimes even cook on it.

Chocolate, Channel, Romance ...

The only thing that came across my mind with Belgium is: chocolate. That is all i knew about this country. i don't even know that, people here speak Flemish and/or French as their first language. When i left the country, i knew, besides from chocolate, this country has delicious Belgian waffles (gaufres) as well. :)

Chocolate in different shapes, designs, tastes ...

Brugge is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the largest tourist attraction in the country. Canals carve their way through rows of stone houses.

The dizzying 88m Belfort towers high at the center of town, presiding over the handsome square of the Markt.

The Burg Square is dominated by he flamboyant Gothic facade of the medieval city hall. Around, there are many restaurant and bar for dinning.

Small enough to be thoroughly explored by short walks and lined with the gorgeous canals, Brugge is best seen on foot. The best nightime entertainment is wandering through the city's romantic streets and over its cobblestoned bridges.

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