Category Archive

Poperinge, Belgium Poperinge, Belgium

Situated in the low foothills of the Kemmelberg, a formation of hills in Western Flanders, and a mere fifteen kilometres from Fintele is the village of Poperinge. Our destination for the day, our journey’s path also led us through some beautiful farming villages. The township itself has some beautiful buildings, cells where British soldiers were […]

Fort Knokke to Fintele, Belgium Fort Knokke to Fintele, Belgium

Continuing upon the Ijzer, the day’s destination was Fintele, a short 6km away. We didn’t think the scenery where only distant church spires denoted the presence of townships could become any more picturesque, but it did. With a depth of mostly 1.8m, there was only one point at which Gratis gently rose and fell: we […]

Ieper and the Yeper Museum: Ypres, Belgium Ieper and the Yeper Museum: Ypres, Belgium

Yesterday we discovered that for 13 euro each, we could see both Ín Flanders Fields and the Yeper Museums, so Bob and I purchased the tickets to both: that for the latter was valid for three days, such a bonus! As with ‘In Flander’s Fields’ Museum, this too was situated in the old cloth hall. After yesterday’s emotional […]

In Flanders Fields Museum: Ypres or Ieper, Belgium In Flanders Fields Museum: Ypres or Ieper, Belgium

‘In Flander’s Fields’ was the plan today, and an emotionally charged journey it was, too! At times, I had to move on: it was that or burst into tears. Short movies depicting the views and memories of soldiers or medicos long gone, whilst another made use of drone technology to capture today’s landscape, assisting in telling the […]

Diksmuide to Fort Knokke, Belgium Diksmuide to Fort Knokke, Belgium

This morning Gratis enjoyed a short motor of 7km on the Ijzer as it wended and wound its way through more of the famous Flanders Fields scenery that became ever more picturesque this morning. Waterlilies, dragon flies, reeds and, of course, the fields of crop which today were interspersed with tiny reed lined channels fed […]

Museum Aan de Ijzer: Diksmuide, Belgium Museum Aan de Ijzer: Diksmuide, Belgium

Flanders Fields contain so many monuments, cemeteries and museums dedicated to those hundreds of thousands people killed that it would take a person months to view it all. Bob and I have decided to focus on just a few places on the list, and several are in, or near, Diksmuide. Just across the river Ijzer, […]

Brugge to VVW Westhoek Nieuwpoort, Belgium Brugge to VVW Westhoek Nieuwpoort, Belgium

It is best to be at the first bridge in Brugge by 9 for the morning convoy run. If missed, there can be long waits for the late comer. For us, this was a gentle rerun of our journey of last year, except no rain. An unusual lift bridge along the way. Arriving at the lock […]

Zwin Nature Reserve, Belgium Zwin Nature Reserve, Belgium

  With our New Zealand friends joining us this day, we took the train from Brugge to Heist, then completed the remaining 6km journey to the Zwin by bike. What a delightful dune and heath landscape this was, with its large tidal lagoons, tall grasses and multitudes of flora in bloom. Nosy geese peered, storks fed, horses […]

Zeebrugge, Belgium Zeebrugge, Belgium

One of Bob’s wishes was to visit Zeebrugge where he could explore the marine shop and marina. Today was it! Roughly a 30km round trip, the weather was in our favour. The township, itself really was a true seaport town that, from the number of shops and apartments closed, appeared to be experiencing a slump in the […]

Damme, Belgium Damme, Belgium

A pleasurable sixteen kilometre round journey from Brugge led us first along the Damme Canal, then through stunning countryside full of crops to the medieval township of Damme and back. Although its 7 star shaped walls are currently in the state of restoration, sadly much of the original old town has disappeared, the casualty resultant […]

Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium

Travel back in time to the denouement of the last ice age when, with the warming of the earth, waters rose as the melting of the ice caps commenced: this was the birth of the North Sea we know today. From this event, the great northern European rivers of today were created, which in turn […]

KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium

Exiting KGWV, one heads straight across the Ring Route Canal and immediately enters a very different Leie to that found leading from Deinze to Kortrijk. This is a meandering river that wends its way in twists and turns across the countryside for some 20km. Interspersed with small villages, farmland and tiny forests, for its contrast, […]

Gent to KGWV Gent, Belgium Gent to KGWV Gent, Belgium

Having been given the incorrect data pack in the Netherlands (you really need to check that it is the international pack you are given prior to handing over the cash), we discovered our phones no longer worked on crossing the Belgian border yesterday. This meant a trip into Gent was required, so an unintended excursion […]

Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium

Unlike previous years, there are no set dates – besides departure to Oz, that is – ahead, so the aim is slow and enjoy. So, a lazy start behind us, mid – morning it was time to depart upon the Gent Terneuzen Canal for our second year running. From Vlissingen, this is the quickest way […]

Breskens to Terneuzen, Netherlands Breskens to Terneuzen, Netherlands

High tide at 2pm, it was a lackadaisical start to the day. Bob went overboard to clean the prop. Those winter months spent up on the hard to dry out in order for the repairs to be made also meant the antifoul dried and is no longer as effective as was. A quick refill. A […]

Breskens, Netherlands Breskens, Netherlands

Bike ride around the countryside, which is a mix a waterways and farming land, with dikes made of sand dunes up to 4m high protect the coastline from storm surge inundation. Just for Terry, who loves unicorns. There is an interesting history to do the Battle of the Scheldt in WWII. The Battle for the […]

Vlissingen to Breskens, Netherlands Vlissingen to Breskens, Netherlands

In the latest start of the summer season, this was the day that Gratis departed Vlissingen, setting forth to continue our travels through Belgium. Light winds predicted on the morn, an early start was the go. A short motor of 9km across to Breskins which was situated on the Westerschelde: practically opposite our winter home. […]

2018 2018

2018 Journey on Maps Vlissingen, Netherlands to Paris, France Return to Vlissingen, Netherlands   Maps used come from Tom Sommers books on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands

The first of October brought the first of the chilling wind and rain that foretold the coming of Winter: ‘bone numbing’ were the words to describe it. Winter woollens and rain jackets came out, but for those out on the helm, there was nothing to stop that aching chill. Passing through the final tunnel of […]

Cergy to Peronnes, France Cergy to Peronnes, France

The 26th saw us departing Cergy and commencing our return journey up the Oise. Colours were slowly turning, but as with all years, our October departure meant we would miss their full glory. A lone pilot drew our attention at one stage. For me, it was a time where successfully helming into the locks came with greater ease […]